CMHA Vernon sees increase in demand as mental health needs grow

More mental health needs

The Canadian Mental Health Association is responding to more people in need of help in the North Okanagan.

CMHA Vernon has been experiencing significant growth in demand recently as needs for mental health support evolve.

“Programs and services have expanded greatly, ensuring more individuals have access to mental health supports and services in a timely manner in our community,” says Jodi Cunningham, chair of CMHA Vernon’s board of directors.

Among CMHA's highlights from 2022/23 are:

  • Opening of Albert Place II, a 29-unit, multi-generational housing complex.
  • Expansion of Care2Speak, a free and confidential support to health and community care workers in B.C.
  • Increased participation in the national crisis line network.
  • Establishing a partnership with recovery centres to facilitate employment services.
  • Opening of the Youth Integrated Services Hub, which assists youth and families navigating mental health.

“We are seeing these visions come to fruition because of the hard work of our staff, volunteers and board, and the support of our community,” says CMHA Vernon executive director Julia Payson.

“We embrace these visions because that’s what our clients need and want. We are committed to the people we serve. We also want to acknowledge the North Okanagan community for the support it provides CMHA.”

The organization will continue to challenge stigma and historical attitudes on mental health, says Cunningham.

During the meeting, Taylor Sheardown, a lawyer at Davidson & Co., was elected to the CMHA board as a new director.

Sheardown joins Cunningham, as well as directors Kyle Camalush, Tom Christensen, Richard Finn, Jennifer Guscott, Tom Nolan, David Penner, Dominic Scorah, Marilyn Scott, and David Service.

To learn more about CMHA Vernon, visit their website.

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