TORONTO, Sept. 18, 2013 /CNW/ - September 18, 2013, COTA Health is marking its 40th anniversary by hosting a celebration event on September 25, 2013, 2:00p.m. at Hart House on the U of T Campus. COTA Health provides a wide range of community-based services to people living with mental health and cognitive challenges. This includes services for people living with serious mental illness, geriatric mental health conditions, acquired brain injuries, developmental disabilities and dual diagnoses. COTA Health's mission is to assist our clients to live well within their communities and, collectively, our services inspire positive change in the lives of over 2,000 Torontonians every year.
Frank O'Dea, co-founder of Second Cup, will be the keynote speaker at this event and will share his journey from homeless panhandler to entrepreneur and author. COTA Health will also be launching a new brand for their organization at this event and thereafter will become known simply as Cota.
Paul F. said, 'I entered Cota's Safe Bed Program a shattered soul, a mess and left with a new set of eyes, a fresh start and the stability to build a life foundation on… you all "took me in", saw value and potential in me at a time when my friends, acquaintances and family left me abandoned.' Cota's short-term residential beds program provides a free temporary accommodation and support to individuals living with mental health challenges who are homeless and at risk of involvement with the justice system. Paul was also supported by Cota's Mental Health Court Support program which helps people with identified mental illnesses, who are involved with the justice system, to have their charges diverted so that they can get the treatment and support they need as an alternative to proceeding with prosecution.
Mark W. said, Cota "extended my life, my dignity, integrity, composure…the program saved my life." Mark receives support for Cota's At Home-Assertive Community Treatment Team which has its roots in a recent pan-Canada demonstration research project that was implemented by the Mental Health Commission of Canada. Not only does the Housing First approach make a difference in people's lives, it makes a good economic sense. Evidence suggests that, on average, it costs taxpayers more for a person to spend a night in a hospital or in jail that it does to provide someone with rent subsidized place to live and community support services. In recognition of this, the service recently received a permanent funding commitment from the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care.
"At Cota we take great pride in the positive change that we inspire in the lives of the people we support and in the broader health and social service sectors in which we operate. We are committed to the delivery of high quality and innovative service solutions that help meet the complex care needs of those in our community who most often fall through the cracks of the health and social service systems." says Paul Bruce, Executive Director.
Members of the public who are interested in donating or volunteering at Cota can contact (416) 785-9230 or visit www.cotainspires.ca for more information.
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