CUMIS donation supports Joseph Brant Hospital Mental Health programs

BURLINGTON, ON, March 31, 2016 /CNW/ - CUMIS has donated $100,000 to Joseph Brant Hospital in an effort to increase access to services for people suffering with mental illness and addiction issues.

The money will fund a two-year pilot project to introduce the Peer Support Navigator program into the hospital's emergency department and in-patient mental health services. The program provides patients with access to one-on-one support from a trained peer-support specialist, who has experience in mental health and/or addiction services.

"This program is about improving mental health and well-being for everyone, and continuing to build on the mental health support system in our community," said Bob Hague, president of credit union distribution at CUMIS. "As a co-operative, an employer and a group benefits provider, we see a strong need for improved support services for those with mental health challenges in our community and communities across Canada."

There are currently no navigation resources available to patients requiring mental health and addiction services who present through the Hospital's Emergency Department or as an in-patient.

"Thanks to the support of CUMIS, we will be introducing a Peer Support Navigator to help provide the critical resources needed to meet the varied and complex needs of clients with addiction and mental health challenges," said Cheryl Gustafson, senior manager, community mental health at Joseph Brant Hospital. "With the addition of this new position to our inter-professional team, we will enhance services provided to patients and have someone to act as a role model, promoting empowerment and self-determination through non-judgmental listening and person-centred goal setting."

Reports by both national and provincial health associations have identified peer support as a priority, because it provides important benefits in both patient recovery and harm reduction for those suffering with mental illness and addictions.

As awareness of the impacts of mental health issues increases, so does demand for support services. As an organization, CUMIS is committed to addressing mental health issues and making Canadian communities stronger and more resilient. The contribution announced today will provide patients of Joseph Brant Hospital, and the community as a whole, with better access to valuable peer-support services.

About the CUMIS Group Limited
The CUMIS Group Limited (CUMIS) partners with credit unions to deliver competitive insurance and financial solutions. In doing so, it creates financial security and promotes the growth and success of the credit union system in Canada. CUMIS' principal companies are CUMIS Life Insurance Company and CUMIS General Insurance Company, and it has a 50 per cent interest in Credential Financial Inc. CUMIS is jointly owned by Co-operators Life Insurance Company and Central 1 Credit Union.

About Joseph Brant Hospital Foundation
Joseph Brant Hospital Foundation is embarking on a $60 million Our New Era Capital Campaign, the largest in the Hospital's and Burlington's history. This campaign will be the most significant health care development in Burlington's history and will ensure that our Community's residents have access to quality care in the years ahead.

About Joseph Brant Hospital
The Redevelopment and Expansion Project will include the construction of a new seven-storey patient tower, and the renovation of two-thirds of our existing site. The project will add over 170 new inpatient beds to our Hospital and is set to be completed by 2018/2019.

Our Hospital is committed to our vision of Compassionate Care, Exemplary Service, Every Time. Joseph Brant Hospital is evolving as we continue to care for the needs of our growing and aging Community.

SOURCE The CUMIS Group Limited

For further information: Kevin Klein, Associate Director, Communications & Stewardship, Joseph Brant Hospital Foundation, 905-632-3737 ext. 2160, kklein@josephbranthospital.ca or Leonard Sharman, Senior Consultant, CUMIS, 519-767-3937, leonard_sharman@cooperators.ca


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