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CMHA WW announces groundbreaking centre for children's mental health

After receiving largest single donation of $50M to community mental health in Canada's history
Screenshot 2021-07-22 at 11.43.22 AM
Supplied by CMHA WW

The Canadian Mental Health Association Waterloo Wellington (CMHA WW) announced Thursday that they will be bringing a new, groundbreaking Centre for Children's Mental Health and Developmental Services building to Guelph by early 2023. 

The three-floor building will be a hub for over 30 service providers focused on youth wellness, and will welcome 9,000 local children, youth and their families needing mental health and developmental services, support and treatment each year, according to the news release. 

“What a fantastic day for children and youth mental health,” says Helen Fishburn, Chief Executive Officer of CMHA WW. “Considering the impact of the pandemic on the wellness of our children and youth, there is an urgent need for increased access to mental health care and treatment. This new building will have a substantial impact on children and their families in Guelph and Wellington County.”

The owner of the building, the Vesterra Group of Companies, has pledged to donate the building to CMHA WW. The pledged donation is valued today at $50M and is the largest single donation to community mental health in Canada to date. 

According to the news release, before the pandemic it was estimated that one out of five youth suffered from mental health or substance issues, and the isolation and uncertainty caused by the pandemic have increased that number to four out of five. 

“Now, more than ever, it is absolutely critical that we make the necessary investments to support the mental health of Ontario’s children and youth,” said Michael Tibollo, Associate Minister of Mental Health and Addictions. “Through our Roadmap to Wellness, we are focused on filling urgent gaps in mental health and addictions care and addressing extensive wait times for services. I extend a heartfelt congratulations to CMHA Waterloo Wellington and all those involved in turning this project into a reality.”

The building is on 737 Woolwich St N, and features a variety of services for individuals up to the age of 26, including children and youth crisis support, youth outreach support, service coordination, mental health support in child care and early years, among others. 

“I am proud to be part of this project, because I was one of those kids that organizations like Canadian Mental Health Association helped when I was a teenager. I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for the dedication and hard work that organizations such as CMHA do day in, day out. So I’m privileged to be able to give back to the heroes that were there for me. And in today’s world after this global pandemic, this is needed more than ever,” says Robert Eilers, President and Director of Vesterra.

You can learn more here

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