London News & Search
Mental-health services are slowly but surely improving in London and it’s all thanks to people who want to make the system better.
The London Community Foundation, a charitable organization aiming to improve the community through collaboration, has announced a $378,000 grant to Family Services Thames Valley to help people in London and Middlesex County navigate the confusing system of mental health services.
The grant, which was one of the highlights of the foundation’s annual report, will be distributed over the course of two years and will go toward creation of mental-health walk-in — also known as “talk-in” — clinics in London, Middlesex County and near a First Nations community still to be determined.
“The idea is that there’s an array of services available in one spot that could meet anybody’s needs,” said Lori Runciman, director of grants at the London Community Foundation.
Runciman said a big issue is that people requiring mental-health services are often forced to go to several places across the city, which can be time-consuming and expensive for those without easy access to transportation.
“A lot of people just give up,” Runciman said.
While Family Service Thames Valley is the lead agency in this initiative, it has partnered with other groups, such as Vanier Children’s Services and the Women’s Rural Resource Centre.
Leo Desjardins, director of clinical services at Vanier Children’s Services, said the group of agencies wanted to look at how they could deliver mental-health resources to people of all ages in one location and without a long waiting period.
“We wanted to help simplify things so folks can access the service they need at the time they need it,” Desjardins said.
The group has already opened a successful pilot walk-in clinic in the White Oaks neighbourhood, Desjardins said.
Their next step will be to open one in Middlesex County and another near a First Nations community with the help of more agencies in those areas.
“It’s very hard to access services,” Desjardins said.
“But people can come (to the walk-in) without an appointment, discuss issues that are pertinent in their lives . . . and get information, engage in counselling and leave with a plan.”
London News & Search