CMHA Annapolis County Branch has been very active since last July. Our Board of Directors met 8 times. We continue to meet in the Meadows Adult Residential Centre the final Monday of the month, through the generosity of the Annapolis County Municipal Housing Corporation. We currently have 12 Directors on our Board. Sadly we lost a lifetime member when Marge Keast passed away last fall. We remember her as a force behind CMHA Annapolis County Branch for many years. Maureen Publow resigned as a Board member in February and Kendra Wilson became a Board member in April.
The new CMHA Annapolis County Branch website was launched and is being maintained by our Branch. There is now a Donate button to make donations possible on line.
As part of our New Horizons for Seniors grant we facilitated and maintained CMHA booths at the Bridgetown and Annapolis Royal summer markets. These gained momentum throughout the summer and had many people talking about their mental illness concerns and looking for information. Amery Boyer finished her position with us as a co-ordinator of the New Horizons grant in July.
The Annapolis Valley Clubhouse project is still continuing to offer weekly musical and recreational activities due to the careful use of the grant funds. There has been a new grant application submitted to continue the social and recreational opportunities for people with mental health challenges throughout Annapolis County. Kate Wasteneys facilitates these activities along with our weekly Mental Health/Depression Support group which continues to draw members.
In October we hosted a concert by Morgan Davis which netted the Branch $850.00. His music and witty commentary was appreciated by all.
We had a very successful Defeat Depression walk/run/cycle event for the fifth year which took place in Annapolis Royal on May 29th with over 150 participants. We raised over $16,000.00 of which 75% (minus expenses) stays with CMHA Annapolis County. We were successful in obtaining sponsorship from Annapolis Royal RBC, Bridgetown Pharmacy, Bruce Automotive Group, Bridgetown and Area Lions Club, Bridgetown Volunteer Fire Department, Fraser’s Pro Home Centre, Kaulbachs Family Funeral Home and Cinnamon Creek. These sponsors boosted both profits and awareness and showed community support for mental health consumers and the work done by CMHA Annapolis County Branch. RBC Annapolis Royal has very generously supported us for this annual event and we appreciate and recognize their support for Mental Health programs in Annapolis County.
We applied for two grants this year. A Community Health Board Wellness Initiative Fund grant application was not successful. A Mental Health Foundation of Nova Scotia grant was successful. This will maintain the weekly support group and the market booths as well as initiate a “Navigators support” group. A navigators support group is designed to give clear directions for how to access mental health services in our area.
I want to end by expressing my gratitude to the Directors and other volunteers for their unending support and time given to help CMHA Annapolis County Branch to provide mental health / education services tot he residents of our county. We are a very small but effective volunteer Board with whom it is a pleasure to work. It would be remiss not to thank Kate and Amery for the caring support they give to those in our county living with mental health challenges. Their professionalism, caring and hard work are much appreciated.
Orris Orlando, President, CMHA, ACB