Help us change the face of mental illness and shape the mental health of our community. We believe that the power of shared experiences, open conversations converging around mental illness, and true collaboration are the key drivers for change.
The Canadian Mental Health Association is a respected national voluntary organization, and since 1956, Kelowna Branch has been a leader in providing community based programs and services to care and support those with chronic and persistent mental illness.
Now, we are leading the way with a new direction focused on empowering families and our community to live better lives by addressing mental health and wellness. Currently, our mental health system is overwhelmed, underfunded and extremely difficult to navigate. We want to change that and we need your support to make this happen, and to help the many families in our community who will benefit.
At CMHA Kelowna, system navigation and assisting people to get the right level of help and support they need at the right time are fundamental pieces of the work we do. We speak daily with parents, young people, and other community professionals that tell us there is much work to be done. They highlight the challenges in gaining access to the right types of mental health information and support required to address the specific needs of parents and youth. All of this information has led us to the place we are at today, and has helped us to establish a collective and shared vision for doing things in a different and better way. For CMHA Kelowna, and the citizens of our community, the solution is clear. We are proposing the development of a youth and family mental health ‘hub’, and require $5 million over 5 years to make the vision come to life.
The health hub is a two story, one-stop shop that provides readily accessible, timely, and needed services for families and youth. It also includes transitional housing for youth that do not have the family support that many of us take for granted. It represents an opportunity to do the right thing, for the right reasons, and provides parents and young people with the kind of timely information, resources, and supports they need to achieve outstanding mental health. The hub stands as a centerpiece of our community, where the vision of CMHA Kelowna is realized. The hub symbolizes and exemplifies collaboration, the best of our community, and stands as an example for others that we care for, and about, the mental health of our citizens.
By bringing CMHA Kelowna and other community organizations under one roof, we seek to create a place where family and youth get the help that they need, when they need it. The hub breaks down traditional barriers and is a place where mental health prevention, promotion, and intervention efforts seamlessly converge to pave the way toward increased mental health and wellness, and resiliency for the families and youth of our communities. The hub is a place where parents attend a Knowledge is Power information session, and when they put up their hand to say they need more help, just down the hall is access to supportive services, including counseling, community navigators, and the services of local psychiatrists and physicians. It is a place where they learn that they are not alone in their journey, a place that they learn about wellness, and most importantly, a place where they can achieve it.
Through our Connected by 25 program
CMHA Kelowna has learned that a number of youth in our community do not have a connection to family, or the necessary supports they need to become successful and productive adults. The hub is also a place that meets a long identified and outstanding community need, by providing transitional housing for 16-‐24 year olds. The hub is a place that they can call home as they build the kinds of skills, knowledge, and connections they require to become productive citizens. It is a place where they can come to learn about community resources, join our Supper Club, and learn the skills required to make their way in the world. It is a place of fresh starts and new beginnings, it is a place where they can build a solid foundation; it is a way forward. The hub is a place where youth build capacity, where they realize their potential, where they move toward mental wellness.
Investment: $3,000,000 -‐ $5,000,000 (over 5 years)
Navigating the mental health system can be overwhelming, especially if your family is experiencing a mental health crisis. The system is overwhelmed, underfunded and ever-‐ changing. CMHA Kelowna has developed navigation expertise over the last several years and, with increased funding, could increase our current capacity to provide Navigation Services to families as well as individuals.
Investment: $75,000 per year
Knowledge is Power (KIP)
KIP is a broad-based community education program designed to educate parents and health care professionals about signs and symptoms of prevalent mental health issues, promote resiliency and ways to take early action. In 2011, the KIP theme was designated to address child, youth, and family mental health. KIP topics have included: preventing suicide in youth, youth and substance use, and disordered eating and athleticism. Held quarterly, in partnership with a local psychiatrist, mental health clinician and a parent/youth, the average attendance for a KIP session is between 50‐60 people, with 150 attending our most recent session on anxiety. We record all KIP sessions, which are then placed on our agency website so that interested individuals can access the sessions at their convenience.
Investment: $15,000 per year
Mental health is not just the absence of mental health issues. Positive mental health involves emotional and psychological wellness, a positive and confident sense of self, healthy relationships, and an ability to work through actions and feelings on a daily basis. By being aware, we can take positive steps toward mental healthier lives.
The Canadian Mental Health Association Kelowna Branch draws on a wealth of experience from board members, staff, volunteers, participants and clients to provide help to others. CMHA is committed to innovation and the highest quality of service delivery.
It is our responsibility to work together as individuals, public servants, government and community service providers to support each other in coping with mental illness and pursuing mental health and wellness.
With your financial support, the board and staff of the CMHA Kelowna will be able to help youth and families in navigating the system so that they can get the right help when they need it. With your help, we can educate parents, teachers and young people about the signs and symptoms of mental illness and, most of all, provide them with hope for recovery.
We invite you to DONATE to the Canadian Mental Health Association and work together with us as we build a stronger, mentally healthier community.