Adam Jesin is a Toronto-based musician/songwriter and the co-founder of Northern Frequencies, a music production company. Adam is also the vice chair of Sheena’s Place’s Board of Directors and one of the organization’s most generous donors.
Many years ago, Adam worked with pediatric cancer patients as a staff member of Camp Oochigeas, at the Hospital for Sick Children. There he met Deb Berlin, a clinical social worker. Sometime after both Adam and Deb had left their positions, they ran into each other at a cafe. In conversation, Deb mentioned that she had gone on to assume the role of Executive Director at Sheena’s Place, an organization Adam was familiar with.
Adam had learned about Sheena’s Place over 15 years ago, when family members and others close to him were struggling to cope with eating disorders (EDs). He was left with an indelible impression when one of those people had continued to struggle after trying hospital-based programs and individual therapy. They had said that recovery began in earnest only after seeking support at Sheena’s Place. He would never forget hearing that and soon after being reminded of the impact this organization had on him, Adam joined the board.
Adam’s reasons for donating his time, energy, and money are two-fold. He is concerned about the pervasiveness of EDs and often tries to educate others about their impact. One statistic that he finds particularly striking is that EDs affect 2.7 million Canadians, and that there is a high likelihood that whomever he’s speaking to, knows someone coping with an ED. In fact, research does suggest that at least half of all people in Canada personally knows someone with an ED.
He notes that while great strides have been made to open dialogue about mental health concerns like depression or anxiety, EDs still carry significantly more stigma and misinformation. He believes the impact of EDs is “insidious” and he is passionate about wanting to help those who need support.
He also volunteers because he recognizes the ongoing commitment of the other board members and enjoys working with them. “Even more than that, I am in awe of the amazing work of the staff, including the facilitators. There is so much dedication, skill and compassion on the team at Sheena’s Place. I’m so proud to be able to support such incredible work helping so many individuals.”
In an ideal world, Adam believes that there should be an organization like Sheena’s Place in every city in Canada. For now, he’s doing what he can to ensure that SP continues to provide support to as many people as possible in Ontario.