Igniting Mental Wellness
Lutherwood worked with KW Counselling and the Ontario Centre of Excellence for Child and Youth Mental Health to establish a local chapter of the New Mentality using a grant from KW Community Foundation. Locally known as Ignite, the youth group is eliminating the stigma of having a mental illness by improving awareness and understanding of mental health. Initially, the tight-knit six-member group set a goal of speaking at one school a month. However, in their first four months, their popularity soared as they spoke at 15 schools and reached 1000 students.
Helping Businesses Upskill Their Workforce
Businesses know that investing in workforce training can increase job quality, improve business performance, create advancement opportunities and create a more satisfied workforce. To make more training opportunities, the Federal and Provincial Governments have teamed up to offer the Canada-Ontario Job Grant (COJG) program which provides up to $10,000 per trainee to help offset the costs of training new and existing staff. Last year, Lutherwood helped 70 businesses navigate the application process resulting in over 900 employees being trained for new or better positions, thereby opening up additional entry-level jobs for future employees.
Easing the Transition for New Canadians
Lutherwood's Mentorship Program has been matching New Canadian professionals in Guelph-Wellington with volunteer mentors in their field. Funded by Citizenship and Immigration Canada, the program welcomed Danby as the first business to step forward and be an active source of mentors. With access to a larger pool of professional mentors, the Mentorship Program is supporting more New Canadians as they settle into their occupational field by helping them gain knowledge about their professions in Canada, grow their professional networks, and find and maintain employment in their fields.
Returning to Work After an Injury
Returning to work after a prolonged absence can be challenging for workers who have received a serious workplace injury. In 2015, Lutherwood was contracted by the Workplace Safety Insurance Board to provide specialized services to WSIB clients facing multiple barriers to re-entering the workforce. For up to 14 weeks, clients participate in pre-employment preparation training, including an 8-week work placement to help re-build their stamina and confidence, enhancing their skills and broadening their employment-related network. With referrals to the program steadily increasing, more workers are receiving the support they need to return to the labour market.
Keeping Youth Off the Streets
Every youth deserves support and a safe place to sleep in a time of crisis. This year, Safe Haven Youth Shelter helped 434 local teens between 12 and 18 when they had nowhere else to go. Thanks to The Orange Door Project, a fundraising initiative by Home Depot Canada, over $13,000 was raised at Home Depot's Kitchener-West and Waterloo locations to support Save Haven. This grant allows us to continue keeping youth off the streets and supporting their mental health. Home Depot's Orange Door Project, which seeks to raise awareness and help eliminate youth homelessness, has selected Safe Haven as its local charity partner for the past three years.
Accurate Assessments Improve Results
Lutherwood recently adopted InterRAI ChYMH (International Resident Assessment Instrument - Child and Youth Mental Health) as a tool to assess the needs of new clients. It offers a streamlined process to collect consistent and thorough information on each client, develop evidence-informed treatment plans, match each client with the most appropriate program and gather data to improve the quality of our services. With a $150,000 grant from RBC, Lutherwood is now helping other children's mental health service providers adopt InterRAI so that parents do not need to re-tell their situation each time they need service.
Improving Service Access in Rural Communities
A recent Lead Agency Advisory Council study revealed a need to improve mental health service access in rural areas. So Lutherwood and Carizon hired two mental health professionals to support a service specifically designed for Waterloo Region townships. Front Door (a Carizon/Lutherwood partnership) now offers single consultation and counselling sessions at community partner locations in North Dumfries, Wellesley, Wilmot and Woolwich to help identify issues and equip families with strategies to address concerns such as behaviour, emotional state, self-harming activities and conflicts at home or school. The sessions also provide access to more comprehensive services when required.
Inspiring Hope through Lived Experience
Imagine the stress of being an NHL goalie, battling slap shots for your team on the ice while battling anxiety, depression and PTSD off the ice. Clint Malarchuk doesn't have to imagine it, he lived it. His undiagnosed mental health issues as a youth escalated into a long battle with his mental health and even his attempt to end his life. This spring, Lutherwood, Waterloo Region Suicide Prevention Council and Carizon invited him to share his extraordinary and heart-wrenching life story before a crowd of 350 people at Bingemans. His devoted wife Joanie joined him to share her perspective as his steadfast rock and caregiver through some long and difficult years. By speaking out, celebrities like Clint and Joanie reduce the stigma of having a mental illness, give people hope and encourage others to seek support.
Nutrition for Learning
When students eat a nutritious breakfast, their memory and focus in the classroom improves. As a result, two dedicated staff members at our Children's Mental Health Centre have made a personal commitment to create an appetizing and often hot breakfast for our Day Treatment youth each morning before their school day begins. Each day the Nutrition for Learning program feeds about 12 youth who come to school hungry. The program provides a healthy and nutritious breakfast in a welcoming atmosphere for youth who have not experienced school in a positive light and offers a safe place in which youth can check-in with staff and feel unconditionally supported.