01 February, 2019

Central Station Expanding Mental Health Pilot Project In Winkler

Central Station Community Centre Executive Director, Bev Wiebe and Craig Lawrence, Community Investment & Communications Officer with BellMTS.

After a successful trial of offering three Canadian Mental Health
Association (CMHA) Recovery College Courses in 2018, Winkler’s Central
Station Community Centre will be expanding the pilot project.

The initial pilot offered 3 courses from the THRIVE Learning Centre.
Students from Winkler were able to take part in Understanding
Depression, Understanding Anxiety and Journey to Recovery.

Central Station’s Executive Director, Bev Wiebe says the overwhelming response from the community led them to expand its offering to include more courses.

Thanks to a $25,000 grant through Bell Let’s Talk, Central Station will facilitate ten additional CMHA Recovery College courses.

“This has been in the works for quite a while, and it’s just crazy
exciting to see it all come together,” says Wiebe. “We are passionate
about providing supports to families and individuals in our community
that are accessible for all and promote hope and overall wellness.” 

The courses and educational resources for mental health service
users, their families, friends, and members of the community, focuses on
promoting mental health literacy, self-exploration and skill

The courses will be offered in partnership with Eden Mental Health
Services, and CMHA of Central Manitoba. “We are not mental health
providers and never intend to be,” adds Wiebe. “We’re about revealing
options in the community and connecting agencies, so this is just a
great place that we can connect CMHA together with Eden and use their
powers together to make this all happen.”

Sean Miller, Executive Director for CMHA Central, says one of the
things about services in rural communities is that they typically lack
the breadth of services that are offered in larger city centres. “We
know that right now, that there is a wait time for a lot of the services
that are offered, anywhere from eight months to sixteen months. So very
often, you’re often looking at people that are struggling moderately
getting into a situation where it becomes a crisis.”

Miller says one of the great things about this model, is that there’s
great evidence to show that as people move into an innovative service
offering like THRIVE, it greatly reduces some of the severity they are
going through. He adds as people are waiting for other types of
services, it’s being realized that after they go through the Recovery
College or THRIVE Learning Centre, that they no longer need the same
level of services. “That’s not to say this is a replacement for those
services, we look at it as adding a compliment to what’s already

Wiebe says the $25,000 grant will cover the cost of facilitating the
ten courses. “That will offer enough facilitation, honourariums and that
kind of thing for this first pilot. After that, we’ll see what the
community says and how the community buys into the program.”

The ten CMHA Recovery College Courses in this phase of the pilot project will run until June.

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