New caregiver support program launched at CCH

New caregiver support program launched at CCH
Caregiver James Joyce tells the audience at the Cornwall Community Hospital's Centre for Addition and Mental Health his story and the state of caregiver support in Cornwall and the surrounding area at the announcement of the Embrace program on Wednesday

CORNWALL, Ontario – The Cornwall Community Hospital (CCH)’s announced on Wednesday, March 8 that in partnership with the Change Foundation, they would be developing a new program to support caregivers in Cornwall and the surrounding area.

Dubbed the Embrace program, the program aims to “develop practices with family caregivers to better support, recognize and embrace their vital role in the recovery of their family and/ or friend with addition and mental health issues.”

The Change Foundation is an independent health policy think tank dedicated to promoting positive changes to the Canadian healthcare system.

The Foundation is investing $9 million in four communities in Ontario. Cornwall is one of those four and was selected from 73 different applicants.

James Joyce is a caregiver from the Dunvegan area and has been involved with the caregiver support community in Cornwall and the area. Joyce described the relationship between the Cornwall hospital and the caregiver support system as being “two solitudes.”

Joyce was one of the driving forces behind the Cornwall and District Caregiver Support Group.

“Year after year we would hear horror stories about mental health services in the region,” he said but added that since 2013 a relationship has grown between the CCH and caregivers and that they’ve come “a long friggin way.”

Joyce said that this program represented a chance for a real initiative on addiction, mental health and caregiver issues.

“In my mind, the Embrace project is not about studying the problem one more time, its about doing,” he said.

Christine Penny, the CCH’s Vice President of Programs and the Executive of the Embrace program said that this funding marked the start of a three year journey between caregivers, the CCH and the Change Foundation.

“The over all goal is to make sure caregivers feel included,” she explained.

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