Feds offering $400,000 for mental health supports in Guelph

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The government of Canada says it is investing $400,000 in a pair of Guelph-based mental health supports.

The Canadian Mental Health Association Waterloo Wellington is receiving $250,000 for its Here 24/7 service, while $150,000 is going to Compass Community Services.

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“The two projects funded in Guelph will provide a range of mental health support and care for young people and families in our community,” said Guelph MPP Lloyd Longfield.

“This is especially important as we work our way out of the pandemic and its associated pressures from isolation and uncertainty into a new normal.”

The federal government earmarked $50 million in its 2020 fall economic statement to support distress centres across Canada during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Minister of Health Patty Hajdu announced just over $9.2 million for 57 programs in Canada on Thursday with more funding expected in the coming months.

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CMHA Waterloo Wellington said its Here 24/7 crisis telephone hotline usually received 4,000 calls per month, but since the pandemic, it has been receiving 6,500 calls per month.

“We are deeply grateful for this additional staffing as it will allow us to support a significantly increased baseline of mental health and addictions needs in our community,” said CEO Helen Fishburn

“This additional funding will add desperately needing staffing capacity to an increased number of anxious, depressed and overwhelmed people in our community, as well as additional staff to provide a mobile response to people who are imminently at risk.”

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Compass Community Services will also be using the new funding to hire more staff for its telephone support services along with increasing software and system capacity.

The organization also plans on launching a 2SLGBTQ+ line in the coming months.

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