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Wellness funds in Digby and area support various community projects

Those on hand for the Digby & Area Community Health Board's wellness fund celebration event included (standing) Nancy Hsu, board co-chair, and (seated, from left) Jan Murley, board co-chair, and Shirley Robar, representing the Bear River Health Clinic.
Those on hand for the Digby & Area Community Health Board's wellness fund celebration event included (standing) Nancy Hsu, board co-chair, and (seated, from left) Jan Murley, board co-chair, and Shirley Robar, representing the Bear River Health Clinic. - Contributed

The Digby & Area Community Health Board held its wellness fund celebration recently, an event that gave fund recipients a chance to talk a bit about their projects.

-- Laurel Alexander from Bear River Wellness Ways described the Mental Health Resource Centre: Training & Tools Project.

“Our project will give interested community resource centre volunteers the training and the tools to provide meaningful peer support and guidance to folks in our community who are seeking mental health services and support,” Alexander said. “Two desirable training options have been identified: CPI (Crisis Prevention Institute) non-violent crisis intervention and Mental Health First Aid. Ideally, these facilitated opportunities could be hosted in Bear River. In addition to training, we wish to provide a designated laptop at the resource centre.”

--Dawn Thomas from Digby & Area Seniors Safety Program gave an overview of the Caregivers Expo Project. Provincial and local exhibitors will showcase their programs and services. Seniors, children with challenges and loved ones with disabilities included. Information sessions from professionals on related topics and workshops and care services for those being cared for.

--Jane Cunningham from the Fresh Food Box group gave some insight into the Improving Food Access in Digby Project.

“We consider this a pilot project and, if successful, hope to have a sustainable project,” she said. “Our goal is to (1) improve access to affordable fruits and vegetables in the community (i.e. Digby town) in a way that those who are the most vulnerable to food insecurity will benefit; (2) We are still exploring the options, but we are considering subsidizing produce boxes; (3) We hope to work with local food producers to support the local economy; and (4) provide point of distribution/access education that promotes healthy food (i.e. recipes, taste tests, etc.).”

--Jen Lamrock talked about the Affordable Housing Symposium Project put forward by SHYFT. This group received their cheques in Yarmouth since the project covers the entire western zone and received funding from 6 CHBs, including Digby & Area, Yarmouth County, Clare, Central Kings, Western Kings and Lunenburg.

The Affordable Housing Symposium will connect stakeholders and municipal leaders to address rural housing and homelessness issues across the western zone. Participants will be invited to use a collaborative approach to establish a strategic direction to help address housing and homelessness prevention by identifying common leverage points for action.

--Kathleen Harris from the Digby Family Centre talked about the Seniors’ Day Project, which is meant to provide socialization for seniors and to create a safe environment that enhances mental wellness/wellbeing, and to increase supportive environments for seniors.

--Lindsay Longmire from the YMCA described the Digby Regional High School Cultural Summit Project. This is “a full-day cultural summit involving all students and staff at DRHS, where we learn to foster acceptance and tolerance in a fun and leaning environment with food and hands on activities.”

--The Digby & Area Community Health Board also funded a project with the Digby Regional High School’s O2 Program entitled Mental Health first Aid. The person responsible for the project, Geraldine Amirault, was unable to attend the wellness fund celebration. However, Amy Theriault from SchoolsPlus was on hand to explain the project, which will provide free mental first aid training to youth within Digby County schools (DRHS, SMBA, ICS).

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