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$150,000 OTF grant helps mental health services agency respond to COVID-19 pandemic

Grant from the Ontario Trillium Foundation funded full-time nurse specializing in infection prevention and control at CMHA Ottawa

Ottawa, ON – On Wednesday, local MPP Lucille Collard met with representatives from the Canadian Mental Health Association, Ottawa Branch (CMHA Ottawa), to hear how a $150,000 Resilient Communities Fund grant that the Ontario Trillium Foundation awarded in 2021 is making a difference. Given at the height of the pandemic, the grant primarily allowed the community-based mental health and addictions services provider to hire a temporary full-time nurse specializing in infection prevention and control (IPAC)—a crucial piece of the agency’s COVID-19 response. The Resilient Communities Fund grant program was designed to help non-profits rebuild and recover from the impacts of COVID-19.

“This investment by the Ontario Trillium Foundation to empower a community-based agency to hire an IPAC nurse has helped keep safe some of the most marginalized people in our community during the pandemic,” said Lucille Collard, MPP for Ottawa-Vanier.

In addition to the hiring of the IPAC nurse, the grant contributed to the establishment of a clinic space on the first floor of the CMHA Ottawa building in Vanier, which, among other purposes, was the site of the agency’s COVID-19 vaccination clinic for its clients and the clients of its partners: individuals experiencing severe and persistent mental illness and/or substance use disorder. The grant also funded the employment of a Peer Support Worker, whose duties included attending the clinic space, as well as other related costs.

“This grant from the Ontario Trillium Foundation helped us provide essential care for some of the most vulnerable individuals in our community,” said Dr. Tim Simboli, Executive Director of CMHA Ottawa. “Ivana, our IPAC nurse, joined our staff right when we needed her most, and the positive effect she’s had on our clients is incalculable; we would not have had the pleasure of working with Ivana without the generosity of the Ontario Trillium Foundation.”

The Canadian Mental Health Association, Ottawa Branch (CMHA) is a private, non-profit charitable organization dedicated to promoting good mental health and improving the quality of life for individuals experiencing serious mental illness. The Community Support Services of CMHA Ottawa provides outreach, long-term intensive support and housing to individuals with serious mental illness and substance use disorders who are homeless or at imminent risk of becoming homeless. Learn more about CMHA Ottawa and its services here: https://ottawa.cmha.ca.

The Ontario Trillium Foundation (OTF) is an agency of the Government of Ontario, and one of Canada’s leading granting foundations. Last year, nearly $112M was invested into 1,384 community projects and partnerships to build healthy and vibrant communities and strengthen the impact of Ontario’s non-profit sector. In 2020/21, OTF supported Ontario’s economic recovery by helping non-profit organizations rebuild and recover from the impacts of COVID-19. Visit otf.ca to learn more.


Organization Contact for Media Inquiries:

Patrick Jodoin, Manager, Communications and Stakeholder Relations

CMHA Ottawa 613-737-7791 ext. 135 [email protected]

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