CHEK Upside: Courtnall brothers launching mental health society


At the Bateman Gallery, the Courtnall brothers are taking the next step in their efforts to support individuals struggling with mental health.

It’s been a personal journey. Bruce, Geoff and Russ’ dad Archie suffered from depression and took his own life in 1978.

“This seemed to be the best plan for us to help people year-round”

“My dad was embarrassed to talk to people about it and when he did they would just say ‘snap out of it Archie’ because they saw him as a strong man,” says Russ via Zoom.

“Unfortunately depression just continued to eat away at him and losing him was something that I don’t want any other family to go through,” says Geoff.

After success on the ice for Geoff and Russ, as well as success in the business world for Bruce, the family decided to open the Archie Courtnall Centre at Royal Jubilee Hospital in order to provide emergency psychiatric services.

“Geoff can attest to that walking anywhere, especially Victoria, that we’ve had people stop us and say ‘thank you so much for saving my loved one,” says Bruce.

There have also been celebrity golf tournaments with the likes of Pamela Anderson and Wayne Gretzky, but the trio wanted to do even more. That’s why the Courtnall Society for Mental Health was born.

“We thought [it] best to create a society that can sustain itself and help as many people as we can through other charitable organizations,” says Bruce.

“There’s so much need out there right now that people continue to want to help and I think that this is a great opportunity for us to give to great causes,” says Geoff.

The society will provide grants for mental health organizations across Canada with a focus on substance use, suicide prevention, children and youth as well as community integration.

“It was important to be able to create those pillars and there’s so many organizations within each one that we feel that we’ll be able to pick the right ones,” says Bruce.

“We’re going to try to reach as many people who can financially help us grow this society and be able to help as many people as possible,” adds Russ.

To learn more about the Courtnall Society for Mental Health, visit their website.

Cole SorensonCole Sorenson

Recent Stories

Send us your news tips and videos!