WHITEHORSE—The Yukon government has awarded $121,000 to the Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Society of Yukon (FASSY) under the Mental Wellness Innovation Fund. The award was one of 12 grants totalling $620,000 made under the fund.
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Caption: FASSY executive director Wenda Bradley (L) with Minister Nixon and representatives from the Yukon Association of Community Living, Teegatha’Oh Zheh and Options for Independence.
“The variety of projects put forward covered a broad range of services and supports to many different communities. This particular project addresses a segment of the population that is often overlooked from the mental health perspective.” Minister of Health and Social Services Mike Nixon said. “This idea is a solid one that will, we believe, improve the health and mental well-being of their fellow Yukoners.”
The innovation fund was identified as part of Forward Together: the Yukon Mental Wellness Strategy 2016 – 2026. The first funding period ended June 30, with 33 applications submitted for consideration. All proposals were reviewed by a committee comprised of the Council of Yukon First Nations, Kwanlin Dün First Nation, other Yukon First Nations, and government representatives.
The Whitehorse-based FASSY received the largest amount, $121,000 for Out and About – A Mental Wellness Program for Disabled Persons.
Working with other agencies over the next 18 months, FASSY will develop an interagency disability program to build capacity and address gaps in services after hours and evenings for the disabled community.
“It has been recognized there is a gap in support for people with disabilities to attend events and activities during evening and weekends,” FASSY executive director Wenda Bradley said. “People with disabilities have been shown to have an increase in mental well-being including self-esteem, self-confidence and inclusion when they have access to recreational, social, educational and creative activities, which often occur after five p.m. or on weekends. We are delighted to receive this funding and look forward to working with families and agencies on the development of this program.”
The second application deadline is September 2.
Disclaimer: The views and opinions in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views of Edmonton and Area Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder Network.