Businesses and organizations in Williams Lake will be able to offer free mental health workshops through the Canadian Mental Health Association thanks to a $20,000 donation from the Bell Let’s Talk Community Fund.
“It will be unique,” said Bettina Egert, manager of the family solutions program at the Canadian Mental Health Association Cariboo Chilcotin Branch.
“The programs objective is that employees will be be allowed to participate in the workshops during work hours. We can cover depression, anxiety and suicide prevention. We are open to any mental health topic.”
Egert credited stakeholders involved with Community Mental Health in the South and Central Cariboo for identifying mental health as a key factor in the region and assigning her and staff at CMHA South Cariboo to write the proposal.
“Cariboo Regional District directors Joan Sorley and Margo Wagner started the whole group and helped with the proposal,” she said.
Once the program is offered at a workplace, the hope is employers will continue offering workshops and fund them.
“If people have good mental health they will be better at work,” Egert said, noting healthy employees benefit the entire community.
This year the Bell Let’s Talk community fund is supporting 55 organizations across Canada.
During the last five years, the fund has invested more than $5 million in hundreds of community programs and services that improve access to mental health care.
Last month Bell extended its commitment to the program for another five years.