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Government of Canada Announces Funding for Manitoba Project That Supports Positive Mental Health

Winnipeg, Manitoba – June 8, 2011 – The Honourable Vic Toews, Minister of Public Safety, on behalf of the Honourable Leona Aglukkaq, Minister of Health, today announced federal funding of over $2.7 million to support a collaborative mental health promotion project designed to improve the mental health and coping capacity of new mothers in Manitoba. This funding covers both Phase I and Phase II of a $27 million national funding announcement by the Government of Canada. Through the Public Health Agency of Canada’s Innovation Strategy, this funding seeks to improve the mental health of vulnerable populations in communities across Canada.”Mental health is intricately linked to overall health and cannot be overlooked,” said Minister Toews. “Today’s announcement provides funding that will assist in the promotion of the mental health of new mothers in communities throughout Winnipeg and around Manitoba.”

Funding from today’s announcement, for Phase I and II, will support the Towards Flourishing Mental Health Promotion Strategy within Manitoba’s Families First Home Visiting program. This family-centred program, delivered through the regional health authorities and funded by Healthy Child Manitoba, helps new mothers enhance their parenting skills and aims to improve parent-child interaction, child health development and encourages the use of community resources.

This innovative initiative, a collaboration between Healthy Child Manitoba, the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority and the University of Manitoba, focuses on positive mental health, uses simple and practical activities and links families to community and health resources. It is estimated that 1,600 families, including First Nations and Francophone families, will participate in 20 sites across Winnipeg and in rural and northern regional health authorities. Through this project, public health practitioners and home visitors will receive mental health promotion training.

“We are very pleased to receive this funding,” said Mariette Chartier, Assistant Professor, University of Manitoba and research scientist at Healthy Child Manitoba. “This support will allow Towards Flourishing to directly touch the lives of children, youth and families at risk, and also have a far-reaching impact by ensuring the people available to help them have the necessary training and skills.”

Through the Declaration on Prevention and Promotion, Canada’s Ministers of Health have agreed to make health promotion a priority for action. The Government of Canada is committed to working with partners—within and outside the health sector—to design and implement new approaches to promote the health and well-being of Canada’s children and youth.

FACT SHEET

Innovation Strategy – Mental Health Promotion

The Government of Canada, along with provinces, territories, and community groups, is working to find better ways to promote positive mental health among Canadians.

Differences in economic circumstances, education, living conditions and the physical environment can prevent a proportion of our population from achieving optimal mental health and well-being. This includes children, youth and families living in northern, remote and rural communities.

Through the Public Health Agency of Canada’s Innovation Strategy, the Government of Canada funds projects that will help to improve our understanding of what works to promote positive mental health among children, youth and families.

In several communities across Canada, these projects will directly support positive mental health among children and youth through community-based education and family support.

These projects, with funding totalling over $27 million, will contribute to our knowledge of mental health promotion and be shared with communities and partners across the country.

Manitoba-based project

Towards Flourishing: Improving Mental Health among New Mothers in the Manitoba Families First Home Visiting Program

The University of Manitoba’s Centre for Health Policy, Winnipeg, is receiving more than $2.7 million over five years (Phase I and Phase II) to implement and test the Towards Flourishing program. This program builds on the Families First Home Visiting Program that provides home-visiting services to families with children of up to five years of age who are living in conditions of risk.

Towards Flourishing is a family-centred program to support mental health of new mothers and children through positive parenting, enhanced parent-child interaction, improved child health development and use of community resources.

It is estimated that 1,600 families, including First Nations and Francophone families, will participate in 20 sites across Winnipeg and in rural and northern regional health authorities. Through this project, public health practitioners and home visitors will receive mental health promotion training.

The Public Health Agency of Canada is funding these initiatives under its Innovation Strategy program. The Innovation Strategy supports population health innovation and learning through interventions which build practice-based evidence.

Contact Information

Health Canada
Cailin Rodgers
Office of the Honourable Leona Aglukkaq
Federal Minister of Health
(613) 957-0200

Media Relations
Public Health Agency of Canada
(613) 941-8189