Canadian Mental Health Association Waterloo Wellington Says “Thank You!”

Thank You So Much to the 100 Women Who Care Guelph from CMHA Waterloo Wellington!

Hello everyone, it is wonderful to be with you all tonight and to have an opportunity to say thank you to you in person for choosing to support CMHA’s Brief Service model of care at your October meeting.

Helen Fishburn, CEO of CMHA Waterloo Wellington. (Photo Credit:  Crista Renner)

My name is Helen Fishburn, and I am the CEO of CMHA Waterloo Wellington. CMHA Waterloo Wellington is the second largest CMHA in Canada serving more than 22,000 individuals each year and offering more than 100 unique programs and services to all ages: children, youth, adults, older adults caring for some of the most vulnerable in our community.

At your October meeting Lisa Hood shared some information with you about CMHA’s Brief Service model of care for children, youth, and their families in Guelph. This model of care was created as a direct response to the incredible increase in need for service we were experiencing during the pandemic. Our waitlists for service were growing exponentially reaching more than a year, which was simply unacceptable to us. In response our children’s service team developed a new model of care called Brief Service to move children, youth, and caregivers off the wait list and into care faster.

The Brief Service model of care supports children and youth with mental health difficulties, by building skills and addressing immediate needs. The needs of the children and youth we are seeing are different depending on age. For children 6-8 years of age, we are seeing a lot of emotional dysregulation and challenging behaviours, due to lack of socialization during the pandemic. For children 12-14 we are seeing children experiencing anxiety and loss of control resulting in self-harm and suicidality.

The Brief Service model of care is a very innovative way to serve our local children and families. Through this model children and youth up to age 18, receive up to 10, 1-hour, weekly sessions of therapeuticsupport. Parents and caregivers are always involved and are an important part of this treatment modeland are supported to better understand how to help their child.

CMHA’s Family Support Coordination team comes alongside the family at the same time the child is receiving treatment through Brief Service so that the support of the child and the family go hand-in-hand. Families receive support on key issues like Food Security, Financial Security, Housing, as well asgroup and individual support for parents – providing the wrap around care many of our families need.

The impact of this model is significant – 70% of children and youth who have accessed Brief Service do not require additional service or ongoing care. It has reduced the waitlist for ongoing care for children and youth with more complex mental health needs, from one year to four months.

Funds from 100 Women Who Care Guelph provided the funding needed for One Clinician to support 20 children, youth, and their families through 10 weeks of Brief Service Treatment. Your generous supportprovided children, youth, and their families, with the care and treatment they deserve, when they needed it most.

These are exciting days for CMHA Waterloo Wellington as we watch the final pieces of construction happening on our new Children and Youth Services Building located at 737 Woolwich St N in Guelph. This NEW, 48,000 sq ft, three-floor building will create a “one-stop-shop” for over 30 service providers, making it easy and seamless for 9,000 local children, youth up to age 26, and their families to get what they need to reach their full potential.

As part of the building design, we have included a Gratitude Wall which will be located on the first floor across from the main welcoming space where we will be celebrating gifts made to support our programs and services, 100 Women Who Care Guelph will be added to this wall as a way of expressing our gratitude for your incredible support.

Sharon Lewis, Lisa Woodcock and Tannis Sprott make a 100WWCG cheque presentation to Helen Fishburn, Executive Director  of CMHA WW
(Photo Credit: Crista Renner)
That was one BIG cheque! (Photo Credit: Crista Renner)