Please describe the goal of your initiative; outline what you are trying to achieve
To provide front-line support for mental health clients and build the bridge between mental health care and literacy. Cross-disciplinary tools for mental health, social and literacy workers, will allow the community to provide holistic treatment for mental health clients, giving them a strengthened ability to make positive lifestyle choices and build a healthier future.
NP Mental Health will:
• establish inter-disciplinary networks/resources for mental health, social and literacy workers
• create a comfortable learning environment (not associated with hospitals) for literacy clients
• give clients opportunities to develop life/employment skills
• help mental health clients integrate in the community
• reduce stigmas often disguised/blurred with literacy issues
What has been the impact of your solution to date?
NP Mental Health is currently an idea that needs funding to become a reality. However, our solution to mental health literacy and treatment has already had a positive impact in our community by opening lines of communication with partner organizations, and discovering the eagerness that professionals have to establish cross-disciplinary networks in order to better serve mental health clients in a holistic manner.
What is your projected impact over the next five years?
In the first year, NP Mental Health is expected to impact over 100 people including mental health clients, mental health, social and literacy workers. Professionals will receive valuable cross-training and become part of a network that allows for holistic treatment for mental health clients.
The entire community of Hope (over 6,500 people) will also be impacted by improving overall health and well-being, and increasing the capacity for residents to build life skills that contribute to employability and healthy choices. Dependant on the success of the program, satellite sites and networks in other Fraser Cascade communities will be established over the proceeding four years.
What barriers might hinder the success of your project? How do you plan to overcome them?
• risk of literacy staff becoming “councilors”/mentors will provide “councilor” outlet for clients and teach/encourage literacy staff to establish healthy boundaries with clients.
• risk of clients dropping out of program/client mentoring will encourage clients to continue through the literacy program.
• not enough jobs even when clients are ready to work/ clients may be placed in volunteer positions until paid positions are available
• risk of curriculum not being relevant to client needs/having clients involved in development of a checklist of needs will significantly reduce this risk; clients check off activities with their mental health/social worker and take it to the literacy program.
Winning entries present a strong plan for how they will achieve and track growth. Identify your six-month milestone for growing your impact
Open the doors to NP Mental Health Literacy Drop-in Centre
Now think bigger! Identify your 12-month impact milestone
Critically analyze first year results and effectiveness and determine continuation of/and expansion plans of program.