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Bridging mental health support gaps on border

By May 25, 2022No Comments
Taylor Weaver Meridian Source Photo

 

With the need for mental health support services higher than ever, Catholic Social Services (CSS), in collaboration with the Lloydminster Region Health Foundation (LRHF) and Lloydminster United Way, has officially launched Border Bridge Counselling.

The initiative is funded through Project Sunrise and the two-year $71,000 investment allows anyone in our community who requires immediate mental health support easy access to counselling services.

The eligibility criteria for this service is for anyone who has a scheduled appointment with community counselling that is a greater wait time than two weeks.

“Catholic Social Services is excited to provide Border Bridge Counselling, to serve and support our community in a new and innovative way. Bridges are built to provide passage over obstacles that are otherwise difficult to cross,” said Shauna Godin, program manager, Catholic Social Services. 

“Border Bridge’s pillars are CSS, Lloydminster Region Health Foundation, Lloydminster United Way, community donors, Saskatchewan Health Authority, and all collaborators on the project. The pillars are the strong bridge foundation for all in need of a pathway through difficult times, and where fees will not be a barrier to getting to the other side.”

A Lloydminster social needs assessment from 2017 showed that 1 in 3 people struggle with or are affected by mental health issues (compared to 1 in 4 across the entire country). This statistic only worsened through the pandemic.

As a result of these statistics, the LRHF and CSS created access to subsidized counselling services, and through this project, hope to provide an estimated 400-450 additional counselling sessions per year.

“The Lloydminster Region Health Foundation is thrilled to be able to support this innovative mental health initiative in collaboration with the Lloydminster United way and Catholic Social Services,” said LRHF CEO, Stephanie Munro. 

“Through the generous support of our donors, we are able to provide funding to help ‘bridge the gap’ and decrease wait times for individuals requiring access to counselling services. This service is a vital piece in helping to provide mental health services to those in crisis, in a timely manner. Catholic Social Services will continue to work collaboratively with SHA to provide essential and seamless delivery of counselling services. The impact this new initiative will have in our community is truly priceless.”

The United Way’s Tricia Hunter added, “The United Way board is ecstatic to be able to support this innovative mental health initiative in collaboration with the LRHF. The opportunities and access this bridging program will create for our community are going to make a significant impact on the residents our region serves.”