The CMA Foundation (CMAF) is thrilled to announce the 15 recipients of the 2019 Healthy Canadians Grants program. Launched in 2018, the Healthy Canadians Grants program supports community-run initiatives that improve the quality of life for patients and vulnerable populations living in those communities. This year, 15 grants of $20,000 will provide support to youth mental health and/or substance use initiatives across the country.
“We know mental health and substance use are two important determinants of health, especially for youth and vulnerable populations,” says Allison Seymour, CMAF president. “Our goal is to focus on improving the health of Canadians and supporting the profession through impactful charitable giving to further excellence in health care.”
The 2019 Healthy Canadians Grants recipients are:
- FASD Society for BC (The Asante Centre): Peer Mentorship Program – Surrey, BC: The program involves weekly sessions for youth with fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD), facilitated by employees with FASD. The goal of these sessions is to help youth who are predisposed to mental health and substance use concerns to build strategies for resiliency as well as develop self-awareness and advocacy skills.
- Dan’s Legacy Foundation: East Van Dan’s – East Vancouver, BC: Working in partnership with other community organizations, the program delivers trauma-informed and culturally-informed counselling, designed to meet the needs of youth who have cognitive disorders, spectrum disorders and mental health challenges, and who are living with the impacts of trauma. The goal of this program is to eliminate barriers to mental health services for youth by going directly into the communities where they live.
- ARCHES: Hip Hop for Healing – Lethbridge, AB: The program offers song writing and recording opportunities for vulnerable youth, particularly homeless youth who have significant physical health, mental health, and/or substance use concerns, while leveraging this opportunity to connect them to physical health, mental health, and addictions supports.
- FASD Network of Saskatchewan: FASDiversity Support Group – Saskatoon, SK: The program involves monthly support meetings held specifically for youth who live with or suspect they may live with FASD and could benefit from sexual education and/or identify as a member of the LGBTQ2S community.
- Nor’West Co-op Community Health Centre: Building Healthy Buddies – Winnipeg, MB: The program trains youth participants to become peer supports within their communities by providing them with the skills and tools to help recognize signs and symptoms of mental health struggles and substance use in their peers.
- Northwestern Health Unit: Four Directions Community Pathways Partnership – Kenora and Rainy River Districts, ON: The program implements a community-based framework using culturally-competent student navigators to coordinate health and social services for at-risk students, particularly Indigenous students who are transitioning from other communities.
- Scadding Court Community Centre: HeARTwork – Toronto, ON: The program involves youth-led arts-based workshops in spoken word, music, and visual art. Workshops are geared toward low-income, racialized youth to increase their resiliency for coping with various social and economic challenges that affect their community.
- Prévention C.É.S.A.R. Petite-Nation: Programme A.D.O.S. en prévention de la toxicomanie et autre dépendance – Papineauville, QC: The program offers substance use prevention workshops for youth aged 11 to 17 years at 14 schools in the region, with the goal of preventing the consumption of psychoactive substances.
- Partners for Youth Inc: Youth in Action for Mental Health – Fredericton, NB: The program engages youth leadership teams at high schools to develop initiatives to raise awareness of mental health issues, reduce stigma, and promote positive mental health and wellness.
- Potlotek First Nation: Honouring Our Youth (We Matter Too) – Chapel Island, NS: The program develops an addictions and mental health toolkit designed to provide information and resources to help Mi’kmaq youth better reflect on the complex reasons for addictions, mental illness and suicide.
- Laing House Association: The Den (Youth Outreach and Peer Support) – Sackville, NS: The program offers drop-in support including peer support mentorship, wellness programming, and connections to external service providers in a safe, welcoming, youth-focused space called The Den.
- CMHA Prince Edward Island: Gay Straight Alliance – Kings County, PEI: The program promotes inclusivity and wellness for 2SLGBTQIA+ youth in Kings County. The program involves bi-weekly peer support meetings for 2SLGBTQIA+ youth led by older youth in the community. The newly formed group plans to host wellness events, which allies will be welcome to attend. The goal of these meetings is to improve the social connection and sense of belonging of the participants, as well as their mental health and substance use status.
- Community Mental Health Initiative: Youth Voices – Corner Brook, NL: The program recruits youth from seven schools in the Western region of Newfoundland to lead a student team in their school. The teams will plan and attend a one-day leadership rally where they will develop an action plan that includes five health promotion initiatives for the school year. The goal of this program is to support youth, parents, and communities in working together to take action to address mental health and substance use issues on a local level.
- Hamlet of Naujaat: Building on Strengths in Naujaat – Naujaat, NU: The program organizes land trips for vulnerable youth along with Elders and health care professionals. These trips promote skill building that will help the youth become independent and provide country food for their families. The goal of these trips is to prevent suicidality by enhancing resiliency and reducing substance use.
- Jack.org: 2019 Northern Jack Summit – YT, NT and NU: The program supports youth leaders from the North in organizing an annual summit that will bring 50 youth from across the territories to discuss the barriers to mental health they face and develop strategies to overcome them. Youth will have the opportunity to develop action plans for their communities.
Created by the Canadian Medical Association, the CMAF provides impactful charitable giving to registered Canadian charities and qualified donees that further excellence in health care. The CMAF is working with its partners – medical associations, affiliates and charitable organizations – to fund programs and initiatives that positively affect the health of Canadians and impact physicians and physician learners.