Canada’s Premiers Announce Recipients of the Award for Innovation in Mental Health and Addictions Care

Équipe-toi : accompagne un proche en santé mentale – Québec
The Association québécoise des parents et amis de la personne atteinte de maladie mentale (AQPAMM) supports families and friends of people living with a mental health disorder. The Association quickly reacted to the conditions imposed by the pandemic to continue offering services and reach those affected, in particular those young people who were especially hard hit in this context. With the support of partners (Bell Let’s Talk and the Foundation of Greater Montreal), AQPAMM has developed interactive online training tools available on mobile phones for young people aged 13 to 25, called “Équipe-toi: accompagne un proche en santé mentale” as well as training for youth workers, “Équipe-toi: accompagne un jeune en santé mentale”. By focusing on young people’s preferred means of communication and relying on innovative strategies such as peer-help and self-care, AQPAMM contributes to the development of knowledge in the field of mental health and offers tools to young people to help them cope with complex situations related to mental health.

Mentally Safe Minecraft Server (MS²) – CMHA-SK – Saskatchewan
Mentally Safe Minecraft Server (MS²) is an interactive computer gaming program that combats cyber-bullying and its impact on mental health. Developed by the Saskatchewan division of the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA-SK), MS² was created and programmed by Saskatchewan youth with lived mental health disorders and takes into account things that are both meaningful and triggering for them. Chats are monitored by CMHA-SK Youth Coaches, mental health workers from CMHA branches around the province, youth peer supporters, and volunteers. Chat areas allow youth to confidentially ask a mental health worker questions about mental health or where/how to access services. There are also Saskatchewan helplines added in the in-game. In addition, there is a space for virtual groups to convene and learn about mental health tools. A mental health tip appears on the corner of the MS² screen every ten minutes, and there are creative events to celebrate Mental Health Week and challenge players’ creativity. 

Chris Spencer – Yukon
Chris Spencer is a passionate Whitehorse resident who cares about the mental health and wellness of their community. Chris founded the Yukon Disc-versity Guild, a disc golf club designed to be a safe space for women and the 2SLGBTQQIA+ community and youth. Chris chose to centre the club around disc golf for the sport’s benefits of being out in nature, providing activity and socialisation for people who struggle with their mental wellness, and because of the low barriers of cost and fitness level to participate. Additional benefits from the creation of the club have been the development of new community role models who provide inspiration and hope for young people, safer outdoor spaces, and representation of healthy lifestyles for women and 2SLGBTQQIA+ people. Chris also founded the “Feed your inner light” peer support group for people with diagnosed and undiagnosed eating disorders. Chris sits on Queer Yukon’s advisory committee for non-binary and trans people and is also involved in the CMHA Reach Out Support Line.

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For more information:

Olivia Billson
Senior Manager of Communications
Office of the Premier, Government of Manitoba
(431) 777-6675
olivia.billson@leg.gov.mb.ca
Paola St-Georges
Manager, Events and Communications
Council of the Federation Secretariat
(343) 961-5811
paola@canadaspremiers.ca