Mental health services expanding in Windsor-Essex

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A private business and the local branch of the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) are both offering more help “to make that connection.”

Mental Health First Aid:

TRAINING: Mental Health First Aid – CMHA Windsor-Essex County

The CMHA-WECB is offering training for mental health first aid.

“We understand how to deal with individuals who have a physical health crisis, right?” says Carrie Davis, workplace outreach worker. “(But) we don’t often understand how to support those individuals (who are struggling with mental health).”

Over a seven-hour course participants will learn how to identify a decline or crisis in mental health.

“And then it also teaches us how to talk to them about supports – professional or other supports, as well as how to connect with those resources to help them on the road to recovery,” says Davis.

CMHA officials say statistically, one in every five Canadians will have a diagnosable mental health problem in their lifetime.

Offering first aid is a first for the Windsor-Essex County Branch, with Davis being the first employee trained to conduct the training.

“We’re not really doing a huge intervention, but we’re helping them to connect with those supports through identifying what is going on for them,” says Davis. “(And learning) ways to deescalate situations and be supportive in a manner that’s both safe to you and that individual.”

CMHA-WECB is offering three separate sessions of mental health first aid and the course costs $195 per person.

Pure Mentality expanding:

Pure Mentality, located at 871 Ottawa Street has only been open for a year, offering mental health services.

“We (start) from five (years of age) but we specialize in children, youth and young adults,” says owner Erika Pozzuoli, who is a registered social workers and who has a masters in social work.

“As soon as we had a waitlist, we were like ‘Okay, what can we do for the community to make sure that we provide affordable and accessible counseling to everybody who needs it.’? And so, I said, ‘I guess it’s time to grow.’”

With the help of a supportive landlord, Pozzuoli is expanding into a second unit in the building they are already in.

Construction is now underway for the space which is triple the size of her flagship location, which Pozzuoli intends to keep open.

“We’ll be adding four full-time practitioners as well as a whole bunch of drop-in holistic practitioners,” says Pozzuoli. “We also are super excited to introduce Windsor’s first wellness gym which will be a gym for mind, body and soul that will incorporate things like yoga, meditation, mindfulness, in group settings.”

Pozzuoli also plans to organize workshops for anxiety, social skills and art therapy.

She hopes eventually mental health services will be covered by OHIP; “that’s the dream”.

Until then, Pozzuoli says they work with insurance companies to make sure anyone who needs help can still access it.

“We do have something called ‘Rosie’s Mission’, which we sort of make funds (available) in different sorts of ways to provide counseling to individuals who can’t afford it or who run out of benefits that still need the service.”

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