Bethesda Foundation Supports Eden East Mental Wellness Centre

Ken Kroeker EHCS CEO, Allan Kehler EHCS Chair, Garth Reimer and Darrel Penner, Bethesda Foundation

A significant donation was recently made to mental health in southeast Manitoba.

The Bethesda Foundation donated $250,000 to Eden Health Care Services to assist in bringing all of their services to one location in Steinbach.

Al Kehler is chair of the Eden Health Services Executive Board of Directors and says this donation means they now have ‘a beautiful, expanded space and an opportunity to expand our services.’

Eden Health includes a mental health hospital in Winkler, housing, counseling, and employment services, and a library. Kehler referred to it as a wraparound service, ‘we like to keep them all together, and that we can have them all in one building, it enhances that.’

Garth Reimer is chair of The Bethesda Foundation and says that part of the foundation’s mission is to partner and innovate through funding. And with the donation made to Eden Health, ‘we think that we’ve got a great partner. We think we’re innovating in the sense that this new home consolidates their services in this one location. And will be able then to build on that strength into new things and so we think innovation will occur.’

This donation means an enhancement of mental health care services according to Reimer, something the Bethesda Foundation believes in. ‘I think this is the sixth project in the community that where we have helped mental health services. We’re very pleased to continue supporting mental health care services in the community. It’s a community with a large population, a large trading area, and mental health services are required here and the surrounding area. So, we want to help good organizations deliver those services in a growing community.’

Crystal Cruickshank is the Director of Finance with Eden Health says their counseling services have been well used in the last year. Over 5000 counseling appointments were scheduled with Recovery of Hope and the demand continues. ‘The pandemic has really brought to the public’s attention the importance of mental health and we’ve noticed it in our counseling services.’

Cruickshank is thankful for the donation and what it means. ‘We’re so appreciative of the partnership of Bethesda. I know they wanted to offer more mental health services in our community. So, this donation really made this move possible and bringing all of our services together under one roof providing that wrap-around mental health services for clients so they can come to one place and receive the services and navigate the mental health system as well.’

The donation provides an opportunity for Eden Health to bring all their services under one roof and continue to grow says Kehler. ‘This represents an enormous opportunity to expand. That’s really the prize that we’re after. Expansion is the prize.’

Expansion is not a short-term goal, according to Kehler. ‘You talk to any doctor in town they’ll tell you that they deal with psychiatric problems all the time and the system isn’t there to enable them to deal in the way that they would like. We won’t solve that in the short run, but we will work at that issue in the long run. That is what this begins to open for us. It’s very exciting.’

And Reimer says The Bethesda Foundation is happy to help, ‘we’re just very pleased to partner with them, we just want to be an enabler.’

Eden Health plans to move into their facility next week and is making plans for a grand opening in September. And Cruickshank says they won’t be slowing down, ‘we hope to grow this space by the end of our lease. That’s the plan.’

Written by Carly Koop Steinbach on Line