Monday, Kim Willis & Claudia den Boer from the Canadian Mental Health Association – Windsor-Essex Branch joined us to discuss their projects and how they have had to pivot their business during covid.
They explained how the CMHA offers a broad range of services including comprehensive primary care, health promotion, illness prevention, disease treatment and recovery.
We also learned about the Sole Focus Project that offers mental health awareness, education and training, fundraising and advocacy.
In total, they offer 20-25 different programs and services with a specialization in mental health and addictions support. CMHA has a large housing program that offers a safe place to help people reintegrate into the community.
1 in 5 Canadians will personally experience a mental illness.
5 in 5 of us have mental health and we need to care for it in the same way we do out physical health.
“There’s no health without mental health.”
Pandemic has had an enormous impact on everyone's well-being. They conducted a survey in March 2021 where 80% of Ontarians believe that we will be in a serious mental health crisis in a post-pandemic world and included other very staggering results.
The Health Unit is working on the development of a safe consumption site, to help them stay safe and get access to care.
Kim and Claudia also shared 10 ways to build resilience:
Make connections, avoid seeing crises as insurmountable problems, accept that change is part of living, move towards your goals, and take decisive action when faced with difficult
Look for opportunities for self–discovery, nurture a positive point of view of yourself, keep things in perspective, maintain a hopeful outlook, and take care of yourself.
Throughout the pandemic, they have been deemed an essential service. To accommodate health mandates they quickly developed online services while the health centre remained open. Online they provided education and support to the broader community with free educational webinars where they saw Canadians participate from across the country.
A Pandemic Response Therapist was introduced from the Toldo Foundation. It’s a workplace Outreach Worker who goes to workplaces (pandemic depending) or meets virtually and does virtual educational webinars.
They’ve also harnessed the power of social media #KeepConnected. Showed ways that people we’re still connecting in creative ways.
The Sole Focus Project was developed in collaboration with WeTech to address challenges surrounding mental health and led to the development of a mental health toolkit. The toolkit provides ways to support you and your employees' mental health and a healthy workplace.
Healthy Minds 4 Life was also developed in partnership with primary care providers.
New projects:
Recovery College – Matches people with lived experience and mental health professionals, so that they can work together to support mental health and recovery