24/7 Crisis Line:
Text size
Posted 01.13.23 in NewsBack

Local Bell Let’s Talk grant recipients take centre ice at upcoming Battalion game

CMHA and Hands earn grants, offer public chance to win tickets, support our community’s mental health

North Bay Battalion fans can win tickets to the January 19 home game and cheer on two local mental health organizations that earned 2022 Bell Let’s Talk Community Fund grants.

Hands TheFamilyHelpNetwork.ca and the Canadian Mental Health Association, North Bay and District were each awarded $20,000 through Bell’s Community Fund for local mental health projects. An official ceremony will be held during Thursday’s match when the Troops square off against the Hamilton Bulldogs.

Hands and CMHA North Bay and District are offering the public a chance to win tickets to the game, courtesy of Bell Let’s Talk. Full contest details are available on the organizations’ social media platforms, Hands’ Facebook page and @CMHANBD (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter).

The game takes place less than a week before the annual Let’s Talk Day on January 25.

Hands TheFamilyHelpNetwork.ca will use the funds to help youth in crisis and police officers by expanding a rapid response team connecting youth to mental health services.

The $20,000 grant builds on the success of a pilot program launched in 2021providing quicker, more precise access to mental health services for children and youth experiencing mental health difficulties and coming in contact with police. Police are provided a simple smart phone-based screening tool that helps officers recognize and flag mental health issues so they can effectively respond and help the young person access existing community supports and expertise. The Bell Let’s Talk Community Fund Grant supports further development of the program by enabling Hands to add another trained mental health clinician. As well, researchers at Hands will collect and analyze feedback on the program with the goal of implementing it in other communities.

“Thank you to Bell Let’s Talk for recognizing the value in this program and investing in it and in Hands,” said Andrea Roberts, Hands CEO. “This grant helps us meet the incredible demand we are seeing for mental health supports across our communities. Having trained clinicians available and part of the rapid response team is key to ensuring children and youth are getting the help they need when they need it.”

With support from Bell, the Canadian Mental Health Association, North Bay and District will deliver 10 in-person mental health promotion courses, reaching 150 adults. The CMHA flagship Living Life to the Full course is based on principles of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) and research has shown it to be effective at improving resilience, well-being, mood, anxiety, and social support. Participants learn practical skills and gain awareness of mental health and addiction supports available in the community.

“We know the pandemic has taken a toll on our mental health,” said Mary Davis, CEO of CMHA North Bay and District. “Nearly half of Canadians say they are stressed or worried about coping with uncertainty. And more than a third report that their mental health has declined. This project will help people in our community gain new tools and learn new ways to deal with life’s challenges. We would like to thank Bell for this financial support that will allow us to offer these courses at no cost to participants.”