Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Site Selection, Financial Contribution Boost Community-Focused Living Residences

Today's news release from the Mental Health Foundation of Nova Scotia:

Nova Scotians recovering from mental illness received a tremendous boost today as Health Minister Chris d'Entremont announced the site selection for new community-focused living residences and RBC contributed $150,000 towards their construction.

Simpson Hall, the former nurses' residence at the Nova Scotia Hospital site, will be removed to make way for four 10-bedroom residential-style bungalows for patients who need support to help them make the transition back into the community.

"A new model of mental health care is emerging; it is one that moves away from costly hospital and institutional-based care and towards community-based care that supports self-determination and integration," said Minister d'Entremont. "When services are provided in the community, support to mental health patients increases and recovery and reintegration accelerate."

The community-focused living residences are an expansion of government's commitment to improving access to appropriate mental health services across the province, and particularly for people in the Capital Health district.

The cost of supporting someone with serious mental illness in the hospital is $170,000 a year, compared to the $35,000 it costs to support that same person in the community.

The Province of Nova Scotia is funding 75 per cent of the $6.7 million cost for construction of the community-focused living residences - with the Mental Health Foundation of Nova Scotia raising the other 25 per cent.

The Foundation's $2 million fundraising efforts towards the residences received a boost today when RBC announced its financial contribution.

"RBC is pleased to support this new model of health care and to announce a lead contribution to the construction of the residences," said David McKay, RBC's Group Head of Canadian Banking. "Our donation of $150,000 will help to build the community-focused living residences that will play such an important role in this new model of mental health care."

Financial support from the Province, RBC and other corporate donors will help to narrow the gap between the acute care offered to mental health patients in a hospital setting and the support they receive once they are discharged.

"For many, the transition from receiving treatment in a hospital to living independently in the community can be overwhelming," said Robert Hunt, chair of the Foundation's board of directors. "The Mental Health Foundation is pleased to partner with the provincial government and the corporate community so that together, we can improve, enhance and change the lives of Nova Scotians with mental illness."

The Mental Health Foundation of Nova Scotia is a registered charitable foundation that was established in 1987 to create a higher level of awareness of mental health and to support organizations to deliver the highest level of mental health care in every community in Nova Scotia. Through major fundraising efforts, and with the support of our donors and volunteers, the Foundation is changing the way people think about mental health.

For more information call 464-6000 or visit

Photograph courtesy of the Mental Health Foundation of Nova Scotia.

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