Officials with Eden Mental Health Centre in Winkler are dreaming about what a future mental health centre in Winkler might look like.
The mental health centre was built in 1967 and after over five decades of use is structurally and functionally obsolete and needs to be replaced, according to CEO Kym Kaufmann
Kaufmann says they’re exploring the idea of, not only replacing their current building but also developing the 11 acres of land that the centre is located on.
“We would really want to develop that area into a bit of health and wellness campus where individuals could access different types of mental health services … with a mental health centre on the grounds. Also, it would really be our dream to have the community embedded within that land so that we could help further destigmatize mental illness instead of having that invisible barrier that we have right now with the empty land around us.”
Kaufmann says they have been looking at the provincial modelling for southern Manitoba and it appears that a future mental health facility would require about 40 hospital beds. That’s based on a rising demographic for the Pembina Valley and southern Manitoba overall, resulting in a greater need for mental health services.
The concept is in its very early stages at this point and Kaufmann admits such a project would need a fair amount of financial support. She says it would require a partnership between the community and the provincial government.
“We haven’t had the opportunity to present our proposal to them yet, but we do know they are more likely to be interested in a proposal if there are some community donations that could help support the overall cost of the capital project.”
Eden Mental Health Centre is a church-owned and operated facility that receives funding from Manitoba Health and works in partnership with Southern Health Sante Sud to deliver mental health services throughout all of southern Manitoba.
Kaufmann says there’s a lot of work do to make such a project happen which would include getting all the stakeholders on board before they could present a proposal to the province to see if they’d be interested in partnering.
“We’re really pleased about this opportunity and we’ve got a great team and a wonderful community that has shown support for our organization time and time again. We’re really excited about the future.”
(Re-printed from Pembina Valley On Line – Dean Penner)