Champions of mental health celebrated

Saturday night marked the ninth annual Champions of Mental Health Awards, held once again at the Dekker Centre.

North Battleford branch of the Registered Psychiatric Nurses Association of Saskatchewan hosted the event, which closed out another busy Mental Health Week in the Battlefords.

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There were four awards handed out: two to mental health employees, one to a supportive employer and one to a community champion.

In the employee category an award went to Lisa Chapman, child and youth mental health social worker, who was nominated by Battlefords Mental Health Centre staff. Her primary role is to act as liaison to youth patients admitted.

According to presenter Lucy Bendall, “Lisa has an extensive knowledge of services within our community and connects patients and families with every possible resource and tool they will need to succeed. Lisa pushes herself, is flexible, dependable and ensures no child falls between the cracks. She does this even if it means a schedule so compact she forgets about going home at the end of the day and stays on duty for all hours of the evening.”

The second award in this category went to Cindy How, RPN, nursing unit co-ordinator, and the Ward 5 staff of Battlefords District Care Centre.

According to presenter Cathy Watson, How and the staff were credited with being able to manage many challenges on a daily basis. They also went beyond their duties by taking residents out to the lake, out shopping and to barbecues at their homes.

“Cindy How and the Ward 5 staff have gone above and beyond in providing compassionate care plus looking after the total needs of the residents of Ward 5,” she said. “They have successfully carried out the proposed goals of the Behaviour Unit in spite of staffing challenges and suggested education.”

The community champion award for making a positive impact on mental health in the community went to Carol Johnson.

She was credited with her volunteer efforts on the board of AMGITS in its early years, and for serving on the boards of Interval House and River Heights Lodge.

She has also provided dozens of hand-crafted artistic quilts to clients in the hospital and in the community, and also delivers meals on wheels.

“Carol quietly goes about doing, sharing and giving with no fanfare,” said nominator Judy Lavoie. “She makes the community and world a better place in which to live.”

Finally, in the supportive employee category, the award went to Battlefords Publishing, Ltd., for employing individuals impacted by mental health challenges.

Publisher Gord Brewerton accepted the award on behalf of the company from Linda Shynkaruk.

“They are an equal opportunity employer, hiring a diverse cross-section of people,” said Shynkaruk. “Our current mental health clients working at Battlefords Publishing Ltd., say that it’s a great place to work. They feel supported, they feel part of the team. They feel that they have a fulfilling experience on a daily basis when they’re there.”

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