Funding Announced for Mental Health and Addictions
Government of Newfoundland and Labrador
Health and Community Services
April 18, 2012
Reducing stigma and transforming the way mental illness and addictions are perceived begins in the community by changing attitudes, and beliefs and providing opportunities for greater understanding. Through an investment of $180,000, the Provincial Government will provide grant funding to 10 mental health and addictions grass roots groups and individuals to support early interventions through community-based initiatives. In addition to the grants funding, a public call for volunteers is also being made to help steer a Mental Health and Addiction’s Community Leadership Committee.“Our government is engaged in a variety of ways to address the conditions and factors associated with mental illness and addictions,” said the Honourable Susan Sullivan, Minister of Health and Community Services. “Over the past number of years we have invested in new treatment facilities and programs and now we are trying to create a greater awareness in our communities and new opportunities for people to get the help they need. The grassroots funding and the Community Leadership Committee will serve as tools to educate, engage and encourage people to learn about mental illness and addictions as well as offer greater access to those in need of support.”
The goal of the grassroot grants is to support individuals and groups at the community level who through their efforts are creating opportunities to improve health and well-being and decrease the stigma and discrimination associated with mental illness and addiction. These initiatives will be offered at the community level to create better access to effective, evidence-based services for people who experience mental illness and addictions. Funding for the 10 grants range from $10,000 to $25,000 and details of the organizations and individuals who have been awarded the grants are listed in the backgrounder below.
“We value the important work community-based mental health and addictions groups do throughout the province and we are proud of the strong partnership our government has forged with these groups,” said Minister Sullivan. “Supporting work at the local, grassroots level, allows us to tap into successful work already occurring in our communities. The programs, educational opportunities and awareness initiatives being funded will build momentum and enable people to take action to change the way mental illness and addiction is understood in their community.”
To further engage the knowledge and experience of community members, the Department of Health and Community Services is seeking volunteers to join the Mental Health and Addiction’s Community Leadership Committee.
Community members who have a personal or family experience with mental illness or an addiction and would be interested in advising the Provincial Government on awareness and anti-stigma initiatives are encouraged to apply. Membership in this committee is voluntary and meetings will be held monthly in St. John’s or via teleconference. Ideally, members of the committee will include individuals and family members who have lived with or experienced mental illness and/or addictions from throughout the province. Anyone interested or who would like additional information on this committee should contact Niki Legge, Program Manager, Mental Health & Addictions Division at 729-3647 or by email [email protected]
Over the past two years the Provincial Government has invested $15.9 million in mental health and addictions services to increase awareness and access.
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Director of Communications
Department of Health and Community Services
Projects Receiving One-Time Funding
Consumers’ Health Awareness Network Newfoundland and Labrador – $25,000
Consumers’ Health Awareness Network Newfoundland and Labrador (CHANNAL) is a provincial organization that exists to build and strengthen a self-help network among individuals who live with mental health issues. CHANNAL’s aim is to combat isolation for those living with mental illness, to provide a forum for mental health consumers’ concerns, to educate the public on issues relevant to mental health consumers and to offer advocacy, social and emotional support to mental health consumer/survivors. The funding provided to CHANNAL will be used to hire an outreach peer support worker to promote the Let’s Talk campaign and reduce stigma through education.
Canadian Mental Health Association – Newfoundland and Labrador Division (CMHA – NL) – $22,000
The Canadian Mental Health Association, Newfoundland and Labrador Division (CMHA-NL), is a voluntary, non-profit, charitable organization established in 1964 to promote a better understanding of mental health and mental illness in the province. As a division of the national Canadian Mental Health Association, their mission is to promote the mental health of all and to support the resilience and recovery of people experiencing mental illness. CMHA-NL’s project will address awareness through the development of a mental health and addiction monthly newsletter and to further build on their successful radio campaign regarding stigma.
Dr. Kris Luscombe – $17,000
Dr. Kris Luscombe is the Director of Strategic Growth, Killick Health Services and Assistant Professor, Memorial University. Killick Health Services are viewed internationally as a leader in medical research for diabetes, lung disease, gynecology and cancer genetics. Dr. Luscombe plans to review current processes and communications within Killick Health Services Inc., to assist enhancement of patient access to psychiatry and improve appropriate referral and access to mental health and addictions services in the central region.
Dr. Gerard Farrell – $20,000
Dr. Gerard Farrell has been the Director of the eHealth Research Unit since December, 2006. Following in the footsteps of the pioneering telemedicine work of Dr. Max House, Dr. Farrell is collaborating with Roger Butler, Associate Professor of Family Medicine at MUN, and Christine Caravan, Geriatric Psychiatrist. Together they plan to develop a proposal on methods of monitoring using technology, which will enhance caring for people with dementia in their home and provide support to the primary caregiver.
Healing Expressions – $25,000
Healing Expressions’ mission is to provide a free community-based art studio in St. John’s that gives people living with mental health and/or addictions issues an avenue for expressing themselves creatively. This empowering self-expression supports individuals in moving forward with their lives. Healing Expressions plans to use the funding to offer skills-based art workshops for approximately 75 individuals with mental health and addictions issues.
Inuit Mental Wellness Project – $16,000
The Inuit Mental Wellness project aims to support and foster cultural identity and cultural continuity, especially in young people. A significant means of supporting cultural identity and pride is its positive representation in print accompanied by appropriate activities to teach good mental health coping skills.
Jim Hart – $10,000
Jim Hart is a local community leader whose goal is to promote addiction awareness issues among seniors and people in rural Newfoundland and Labrador so they have greater access to support to live free from addiction. Funding for this program will allow Mr. Hart to conduct education sessions on addictions issues for seniors in rural Newfoundland and Labrador.
Newfoundland and Labrador Association for the Deaf – $15,000
Newfoundland and Labrador Association of the Deaf (NLAD) is a non-profit organization. Historically, NLAD is one of the oldest associations of persons with disabilities in the Province of Newfoundland and Labrador. Their mission is to protect and promote the rights, needs and concerns of people who are profoundly deaf or who communicate in American Sign Language within Newfoundland and Labrador. Funding for NLAD will support the association’s outreach efforts to members where there is also a high incidence of mental illness and addictions.
Smokers’ Helpline – $10,000
The Smokers’ Helpline is a provincially run, confidential toll-free line (1-800-363-5864) anyone in Newfoundland and Labrador can call and receive free information, resource materials, advice, support and motivational counseling while working towards being smoke-free or creating a smoke-free environment. The Smokers’ Helpline plans to utilize grant funding for the promotion of their services and education sessions for health professionals.
Turnings – $20,000
Turnings is a community-based organization that was formed to support offenders, ex-offenders and their families who wish to become productive members of society. Repairing harm done to victims is an essential part of this awareness. Turnings fulfills its mandate to serve the needs of the community in a proactive manner by assisting those who have genuine needs in the areas of addictions, mental health, spirituality and homelessness. Turnings plans to offer “Circles of Support and Accountability” train the trainer workshops with Aboriginals groups in Labrador which targets offenders, community members and the reintegration of offenders into communities with the necessary supports to maintain a safe community.
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