Youth volunteer Finn Pihl (left), and runner up Nicholas Reitsma with sponsor Joni Metherell at the Community Leader Awards Monday, Oct. 23. - Credit: Kevin Parnell/Capital News

Youth volunteer Finn Pihl (left), and runner up Nicholas Reitsma with sponsor Joni Metherell at the Community Leader Awards Monday, Oct. 23. - Credit: Kevin Parnell/Capital News

Youth wins awards as a difference maker in Kelowna

Finn Pihl won a Community Leader Award Monday night for his contribution to the CMHA

On the heels of receiving national recognition for his work advocating for mental health, Kelowna’s 15-year-old Finn Pihl has been named a leader for the same, here at home.

Pihl received the Community Leader Award for Youth Volunteer Monday night, less than one week after travelling to Vancouver to be recognized as one of the 150 Leading Canadians for Mental Health by the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health.

When he was six, Pihl’s parents noticed he was experiencing high anxiety and depression. This led the family on a journey of telling their story, assessments, appointments, and finally a diagnosis for Pihl. Ever since, the Pihl’s made it their mission to speak out and openly about their experience and be a part of change that would make it easier for other kids and families to navigate the services and systems.

“Since age 11, Finn has been courageously sharing his personal story as a way to end the stigma around mental illness. We are extremely proud that he is being recognized here at home and nationally,” said Shelagh Turner, executive director of Canadian Mental Health Association Kelowna. “Finn and the entire Pihl family are strong advocates for getting out there and getting loud about mental health. They are champions for creating a more inclusive and engaged community, for young people and families.”

Finn was co-nominated for the Community Leader Award by CMHA Kelowna and the KGH Foundation for his leadership as the key face in the Not Alone campaign, a fundraising collaboration between the KGH Foundation and CMHA Kelowna to raise $2M for Foundry Kelowna.

On Oct. 17, the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health named Pihl as a Difference Maker for his work building awareness, raising funds and establishing himself as an impactful mental health speaker. CAMH’s Difference Makers is a national movement to nominate and celebrate 150 Canadians making a difference in mental health.