Medicine Hat News
Health foundation receives donation for mental health initiative
The Medicine Hat and District Health Foundation is kicking off its “Giving Hope for Mental Health” campaign with a $10,000 donation from Canadian Natural Resources Ltd.
The foundation’s goal is to raise more than $500,000 for mental health departments focusing on inpatient care at the Medicine Hat Regional Hospital.
“I think we’re all quite aware that mental health is a concern today and it’s only going to continue to be a concern as COVID continues and even as we come out of COVID it will still be a concern,” said Heather Bach, the foundation’s executive director. “We want to start talking about it right now and get ahead of it before it gets ahead of us and make sure that all those tools are in place for everyone who might need it.”
Bach says they are trying to improve mental health departments in a number of areas, including creating a dedicated space in the hospital’s pediatric department for youth mental health patients.
“They currently don’t have a specialized area, so we’re trying to give them something more suitable to keep them safe,” said Bach. “... Making sure they have that space where they feel safe, their family feels safe and the health care workers are able to keep them safe is very important.”
Bach adds they want to create a space behind the Medicine Hat Recovery Centre for inpatient residents to stay active. She says the space behind the building isn’t being used and people at the Recovery Centre want to get better, are looking to change their lifestyle and are looking at new tools and habits to do so.
“We want to be able to give them a walking path and a place for them to get some fresh air. They can meditate if that’s what they’d like to do and just find their way with nature,” she said.
“It’s important for your mental health to stay active and if they’re hospital bound, as you can imagine patients in our inpatient units, how do you exercise when you’re an inpatient? This is an opportunity to give them some kind of tool if they so choose to start getting active.”
The foundation is also planning to spend some money on ongoing exercise equipment and beds. Bach adds the goal mental health patients being as comfortable as anyone else in the hospital and that includes making sure they have good quality mattresses and beds because a restful night also helps people feel better.
Bach says it’s exciting to have the CNRL donate to the campaign and the CNRL’s Medicine Hat superintendent says supporting mental health initiatives in the communities the CNRL operates is important.
“This year we are proud to contribute to the Medicine Hat and District Health Foundation’s ‘Giving Hope for Mental Health’ initiative, which provides access to mental health services and supports to the people that need it most,” said Curtis Scherger in a news release.
Anyone who wants to donate to the “Giving Hope for Mental Health” campaign can donate online at ourhealthfoundation.ca, call its office at 403-528-8133 or mail a cheque to its office at the hospital.