September 18, 2020
Ontario Shores Foundation for Mental Health (Ontario Shores Foundation) is pleased to receive a $20,000 grant from the Bell Let’s Talk Community Fund to support the expansion of Recovery Colleges across Canada.
Bell’s grant will support Ontario Shores Centre for Mental Health Sciences (Ontario Shores) in its contribution of two full-time staff to a partnership with the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA). Together, the two organizations plan to bring 20 mental health and well-being learning centres - Recovery Colleges - to communities across Canada in the next year.
“It’s gifts like this that truly enable us to take so much of what we’ve learned about recovery here at Ontario Shores and, with our partner CMHA, expand this model across the country so that many others can benefit,” says Shannon Stuart, Chief Executive Officer of the Ontario Shores Foundation. “Now more than ever, we see a dire need for mental health services. Thank you to the Bell Let’s Talk Community Fund for identifying this need and joining us to help make this expansion possible.”
The free, welcoming, in-person community learning centres, which are modeled after successful sites in the UK, will offer courses that provide education about mental illnesses, treatment options, wellness and ultimately discovering or rediscovering passions, hope and meaning.
Ontario Shores opened its own Recovery College in 2016 and is recognized as a Canadian leader who will help take the program national in partnership with CMHA.
Recovery College complements professional assessment and treatment by helping people to understand their challenges and learn how to manage them better to pursue their aspirations. It is a place where lived experience is blended with the expertise of mental health practitioners to help participants develop meaningful goals for recovery. The focus is on hope, empowerment, possibility and connection.
“As a scientist who studies recovery, my work is centred around understanding how and why the recovery college model has impacted our students so profoundly,” says Dr. Simone Arbour, Research Scientist at Ontario Shores. “While the data itself tells quite a story, the first-person accounts from students detailing how Recovery College saved their lives are incredibly profound and meaningful. Students are so proud of what they’ve accomplished and of the gains they have made in their lives. We’re delighted to work with CMHA to increase access to this incredible model for thousands of Canadians, and we are so grateful to Bell Let’s Talk for their support.”
“Bell Let’s Talk is pleased to support Ontario Shores Foundation for Mental Health to help expand Recovery Colleges to communities across Canada,” said Mary Deacon, Chair of Bell Let’s Talk. “The Bell Let’s Talk Community Fund supports a diverse range of grassroots mental health organizations throughout the country that are taking action to improve access to mental health care and working to make a positive difference for people living with mental illness and their families.”
The Bell Let’s Talk initiative promotes Canadian mental health with national awareness and anti-stigma campaigns like Bell Let’s Talk Day and significant funding of community care and access, research and workplace leadership initiatives. To learn more, please visit Bell.ca/LetsTalk.
About Ontario Shores Foundation for Mental Health:
Founded in 2009, Ontario Shores Foundation for Mental Health was created to raise funds, and support Ontario Shores Centre for Mental Health Sciences. Our goal is to help bring awareness to, and reduce the stigma, surrounding mental illness, and to create hope, for those struggling, through the combined efforts of our team, and the generous support of our donors and community.
About Ontario Shores Centre for Mental Health Sciences:
Ontario Shores Centre for Mental Health Sciences (Ontario Shores) is a leader in mental health care, providing a spectrum of specialized assessments and treatment services for people living with complex mental illness. Patients benefit from a recovery-oriented environment of care, built on compassion, inspiration and hope. Ontario Shores engages in research, education and advocacy initiatives to advance the mental health care system.
For more information, please contact:
Ontario Shores Foundation for Mental Health
905.430.4055 ext. 6575