The Chatham-Kent Health Alliance Foundation’s (CKHAF) fundraising campaign in support of Withdrawal Management services and the Mental Health & Addictions program at Chatham-Kent Health Alliance (CKHA) has received a $155,000 donation from the United Way of Chatham-Kent (UWOCK). The major donation was made official during a joint announcement held at the CKHA Chatham site on Wednesday afternoon.
“Today is about more than just announcing a major gift,” said Mary Lou Crowley, CKHAF President & CEO. “Today is about celebrating the partnership of two community organizations, united by one common goal: combatting the ongoing mental health and addiction crisis right here in Chatham-Kent.”
Speaking on behalf of the United Way, Wes Thompson, President of the UWOCK Board of Directors, affirmed the organization’s unconditional support for the ongoing Withdrawal Management project at CKHA.
“Across the strata of Chatham-Kent, lives, families, and entire communities are affected by addiction. The need in our community for a local solution is great, but the will to develop that solution is even greater,” said Thompson. “We are proud of CKHAF, CKHA, and our Municipality for committing to this courageous, meaningful, and concrete project. Everyone in Chatham-Kent is going to benefit from it.”
These funds will go directly towards the construction of a 10-bed Withdrawal Management service at the CKHA Chatham site which remains on schedule for completion by June 30th, 2022. The announcement also represents an unprecedented community partnership between two of Chatham-Kent’s preeminent fundraising organizations.
“The charitable work that the United Way of Chatham-Kent performs in our community is truly inspirational,” stated Bob Hockney, Chair of CKHAF’s Board of Directors. “It is our hope that, through the partnership illustrated here today, people from across Chatham-Kent will be inspired to join us in combatting the Mental Health & Addictions crisis that rages on in our community.”
The Withdrawal Management service will provide a supportive environment to enable safe withdrawal from substances and initiation of follow-up addictions treatment. The Rapid Access to Addiction Medicine (RAAM) clinic will also re-locate adjacent to this service after construction is complete.
“We are profoundly grateful for the support our community has shown towards these pivotal mental health initiatives,” stated Lori Marshall, CKHA President & CEO. “Along with the RAAM clinic’s expansion to our Wallaceburg Site in November of 2021, much progress is being made in the delivery of patient-centred addiction care throughout Chatham-Kent.”
The development of a local Withdrawal Management service in Chatham-Kent will enable CKHA to provide the best and most appropriate care to people struggling with addictions. In doing so, it will also reduce the pressure put on the hospital’s acute mental health inpatient program.
“Since the onset of the pandemic, instances of mental health emergencies requiring hospitalization have skyrocketed across Chatham-Kent. For too long, many of our residents have been unable to get local access to the treatment they need, when they need it most,” said Alan Stevenson, Vice President, Mental Health and Addictions Program, CKHA. “The ability to provide greater access to mental health and substance use support services right here in Chatham-Kent is critical for the health and well-being of our community.”