Published on May 4, 2022

Not All Heroes Wear Capes

"Not all heroes wear capes." Considering the last couple of years that we have had; this statement could not be truer. Think of a tough time or a challenge that you have faced recently. Who was the person that came to your rescue? A hero is anyone that has personally made a difference in your life.

Amidst all the uncertainty that we have faced over the last two years, one thing has been very certain: just how far a little bit of kindness can go. St. Albert is a resilient community. We have come so far, overcome challenges, and made it through these last two years together, as one. As we make our way through these challenges and towards a new normal, both kindness and resilience have kept the city’s spirit intact and will continue to be the glue that holds us all together.

What does it mean to be kind? Kindness looks and is shown in different ways by different people. It could have been a teacher who went the extra mile for your child. Or how about the pharmacist who took the initiative to personally drop off your prescription at your home? It could have been the small business owner who made you feel safe while shopping in their store. Or maybe it was the friend that you knew was always just a phone call away.

Throughout April, St. Albert residents submitted nominations to honour the Mental Health Heroes in their lives. These heroes are teachers, pharmacists, lawyers, and personal friends who have made a difference. Mental Health Heroes supported others during tough times by taking the initiative to go above and beyond. They have actively demonstrated the St. Albert character of coming together, connecting, and working to continue building a stronger community together.

Heroes Selected

Four Heroes were selected this year to be highlighted as examples of how all of us can make the little things go a long way!

  • Family lawyer Michelle Roe of Valour Law was nominated as the hero in her client's life, for going above and beyond for them in court: “I have extreme anxiety and Michelle has gone above and beyond to be not only my lawyer through a family law situation but my support person in court. She keeps me calm in a very stressful situation and always knows what to say to calm my nerves. I am forever grateful to her in so many ways.”
  • Tony Robinson was nominated by a stranger after he went out of his way to support her in her time of grief: “I met Tony on St. Albert Chat Facebook page last December. He makes beautiful, welded pieces of art using utensils and other metal objects. I mentioned a moment when my Mom passed away. My daughter was relaxing outside, drawing a hummingbird for her and as she got word of her grandmother’s passing, a hummingbird hovered in front of her for about 15 seconds, then flew away. Since then, we associate her grandmother and the hummingbird as a sign she’s nearby. After hearing this, Tony took it upon himself to weld a hummingbird and flower in an outdoor lantern. He delivered it to my doorstep and left before I could thank him personally. I can’t wait to hang it in my yard to enjoy with memories of my mom and the wonderful angel who stepped up to help honour her memory. Forever thankful, Tony!”
  • Teacher Syndey Taylor was nominated for being the constant support children needed as they navigated attending school during a pandemic: “Mme Taylor has taught two of my children since the pandemic has started and has continued to inspire her students and encourage their love of learning. She has discussed current events with them in a considerate and age-appropriate manner. We are very grateful for the work she has done the last two years to make school feel like a safe space for the kids.”
  • Mustafa Bekheet is the pharmacist who owns and operates Remedy X drugstore in the Summit Centre. This is his second year being nominated and recognized as a Mental Health Hero. “Mustafa gives us very professional care, greeting us by name and knowing our needs and prescriptions at all times. When we tested positive for COVID, he delivered some current prescriptions to our home without our having to ask, something he has also done in the past when we were ill with the flu. We rely on his advice regarding all aspects of our health.”

It doesn’t take much to be someone’s Mental Health Hero. Reaching out to check in, going the extra mile or just taking a minute out of your day to do something kind for someone else. We never know the impact it might have. “I’ve had many dark moments over the past years, and I know what a kind gesture did for me in those times,” Tony says. “That’s why I do it for strangers. You never know who needs a break in life.”

As we move forward, we encourage everyone to keep the spirit of kindness and resilience alive in our community. We all need one another during these times of uncertainty and instability. If you ever wonder what you can do to help, ask yourself: What does kindness look like to you? What does your kindness to others look like? And you will find the answer.

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Last edited: May 4, 2022