Christine MacMillan and Colleen Campo
Julien Gaudet’s House was initially conceptualized by Colleen Campo and Christine MacMillan, professionals with many years of bereavement counselling and education experience in Windsor-Essex County with the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA). They identified a gap in services for the bereaved after attending training at the Coping Centre in Cambridge, ON. The Coping Centre offered support to the bereaved, as well as training to professionals in a supportive, non-judgmental environment where grief was embraced and nurtured. After this experience, Colleen and Christine began to envision a similar place of support for the Windsor area; they soon began searching for the ideal location for a ‘Windsor-Essex County Coping Centre’.
Not long after this, Germain and Christine Gaudet whose 18-year-old son, Julien died as a result of a traumatic brain injury suffered in an automobile related accident and who were clients of the Bereavement Program at the CMHA and later as volunteers in the program, attended some training at the Coping Centre. The Gaudets came away from their training not only more informed, but also began considering a property they owned as a possible place to comfort and support the bereaved. They approached Colleen and Christine with their idea and Julien’s House was born with the vision of a house of support to the bereaved. Julien’s House is adeptly named in honour of Julien’s first home. Currently, the JGH Board is looking at attaining this space as the future home of a bereavement centre where grief education is offered, and a grief experience is supported and embraced in a nurturing environment.
The bereaved of Windsor-Essex County can only benefit from the unique, restorative programming of Julien Gaudet’s House. The addition of this service will complement the already existing programs for the bereaved in our community.
Kimberly Calderwood, PhD, RSW, University Professor
Colleen Campo, CYW, Bereavement Professional
Danielle Campo McLeod, OOnt. BSW, CYW
Germain and Christine Gaudet
Carl Hooper, CPA, CA
Patti Kelly, Victim Assistance Specialist
Christine M. MacMillan, BSW, MSW, RSW, Bereavement Professional
Brian Parent, Funeral Director