Community Grant to Support Mental Health Care

Chatham-Kent Health Alliance Foundation (CKHAF) was recently awarded a $10,000 grant through the Chatham Kent Community Foundation to support mental health care at Chatham-Kent Health Alliance (CKHA). The grant will help fund the future revitalization of CKHA’s Inpatient Mental Health Unit.

“A project of this size will require significant investment from our community, and we are fortunate to have such incredible support from the Chatham Kent Community Foundation early on in this endeavor,” said Mary Lou Crowley, CKHAF President & CEO.

Mental health illness has become prevalent in Chatham-Kent over the past few years, and has been further accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic, with cases rising rapidly over the past 22 months.

“As we are all aware, the past two years have been very challenging for everyone in our community, which makes a program like the Inpatient Mental Health Unit Revitalization more important than ever,” explained Chris Pegg, Executive Director, Chatham Kent Community Foundation. “The Chatham Kent Community Foundation is proud to support CKHAF’s efforts to help the community get through this difficult time, and on the road to recovery.”

CKHA has recognized a steep upward trend in acuity of mental health patients, highlighted by an increase in registered high-risk events. Cases are becoming more complex, and CKHA has identified mental health care as a significant need for the Chatham-Kent community.

“The Foundation is committed to addressing this need within our community,” said Bob Hockney, Chair of CKHAF’s Board of Directors. “We will continue to seek funding opportunities that support the revitalization plan and advancement of care for all mental health patients.”

This plan features the development of therapeutic spaces where outside stimulus is eliminated. The new rooms will focus on a recovery-based model of care, incorporating empowerment, hope, and meaning in life, while building on the current patient-centred approach already instituted at CKHA.

“This specialized space will help patients reset and feel calm. It offers privacy from other patients, and provides a safe space for patients who require a decrease in stimulation.” explained Alan Stevenson, Vice-President, Mental Health & Addictions at CKHA.

Currently, the Inpatient Mental Health Unit treats over 500 patients annually.