17/01/2012 4:05 PM
In Honour of the late Dave Beamish
It is with much sadness that I pass on the news that Dave Beamish passed away in Vancouver on December 23, 2011. His obituary is below. You can read further on Dave and leave a message in the condolence book on the link provided in the subject line.
I talked to Dave pretty much every day and his passing was quite unexpected. I was proud to count Dave as a friend, mentor and inspiration. His work at the Canadian Mental Health Association, National Office resulted in a strong push to include consumers in meaningful ways at all levels of the Association. I have often referred to him as the “Granddaddy of the consumer movement in Canada.” He was on the founding body of the National Consumer Advisory Council, responsible for the creation of the Consumer Involvement Award, instrumental in guiding the development of the National Network for Mental Health, as well as many other successful initiatives.
I met Dave almost 23 years ago when I joined the Framework for Support project ‘Building a National Consumer Network’ at CMHA National. I have many happy memories of Dave and I will always treasure how we connected through our struggles and shared our triumphs as only peers can do.
Dave was a kingpin in inspiring and organizing consumers through participatory democracy. I very much doubt that the consumer movement in Canada would have enjoyed such strength in the late eighties and early nineties without Dave’s energy and passion for his dream of a strong network of consumers using their voices to try to change a very broken mental health system.
Here is something Dave wrote in the eighties and appears in ‘King of the World, Poems and Prose by Dave Beamish.’ It’s one of my favourites.
Making Mental Health Legislation
Together we dance,
Not in rounds or squares
But one stiff boardroom rectangle,
Trampling an occasional toe,
Never too heavily, ever polite,
While the weeping wallflowers wait…
David Edward Beamish
Aug.17, 1942 - Dec. 23, 2011 With great sadness, we announce the passing of David at Langley Memorial Hospital, with his former wife and best friend Margaret by his side. Born in Toronto, Dave moved to Vancouver in the 1960s. Dave was predeceased by his mother Audrey and his step-father Frank. Dave was one of the first mental health consumer advocates in Canada. His early involvement with Vancouver Mental Patients Association and his work with Canadian Mental Health Association gave a voice to people with mental illness. In 1982 Dave's work with the Riverview Hospital Volunteer Association led to the founding of Pioneer House in New Westminster which he co-managed with the late Frances Phillips, RN, MA. Dave will be remembered as a bright, gifted individual with a great sense of humour. In spite of his many health problems he had an exceptional spirit and was determined to live his life with courage and dignity.
Rest well my friend.
Julie L. Flatt
1 comments so far...
By link wheel on
15/02/2012 9:03 AM
Re: In honour of the late David Beamish
"I was proud to count Dave as a friend, mentor and inspiration. His work at the Canadian Mental Health Association, National Office resulted in a strong push to include consumers in meaningful ways...