Wellness grants help community groups to engage Islanders in healthy living

With the support of provincial wellness grants, community organizations continue to build a culture of wellness in communities across the Island.

“Organizations who received wellness grants earlier this year are now seeing the fruits of their efforts in helping Islanders to engage in key areas of wellness,” said Health and Wellness Minister Robert Henderson. “We are now calling for applications for a second round of grants that address the five pillars of our wellness strategy which are healthy eating, physical activity, mental wellness, responsible drinking and living tobacco-free .”

The following groups recently received wellness grants for their projects from the Department of Health and Wellness:

•    Jeunesse Acadienne – 10-12 youth have been trained as facilitators in ‘First Aid Mental Health,” a certified program created by the Mental Health Commission of Canada. The program helps young people recognize the signs of mental illness and learn to promote mental wellness. Trained youth leaders are delivering workshops to students in Francophone schools and to 250 Island youth in regional and national Acadian and Francophone Games. The workshops focus on healthy food choices and physical activity and how they contribute to positive mental health.

•    KidsWest - KidsWest is developing an eight-week program for parents, grandparents and caregivers, providing them with a variety of self-care tools to increase positive mental health and decrease risk for chronic disease. The program focuses on physical activity and healthy eating practices such as healthy serving sizes, reading nutrition labels and preparing healthy food at home.

•    Heart and Stroke Foundation – This project builds on the sugar sweetened beverage campaign, Count Your Cubes which was launched in February. This scale-up initiative involves digitizing the campaign through an interactive online platform which offers information and resources to help Islanders decrease their consumption of sugary drinks and their risk of obesity, heart disease and stroke, diabetes, dental health and cancers.

•    PRIDE PEI Inc. – This project promotes the mental and emotional well-being of LGBTQ+ youth 18 years and under. Monthly opportunities are offered for LGBTQ+ youth to gather in a safe environment and engage in discussions about related topics such as coming out, labeling, bullying and homophobia.  

•    Recreation PEI – Building on the go!Seniors program and the Seniors Home ACTIVE Pilot Project with Beach Grove Home, this project will expand the program to two additional long term care facilities. It will also involve training and certifying instructors to deliver the Seniors’ Fitness Instructors course in six new locations across the Island. Both programs help seniors to eat healthy and increase their strength, endurance and flexibility.

•    UPEI Chaplaincy Centre – An extension of the Soup for the Soul project, St. Dunstan’s Gardens will creative opportunities for wellness through food production and reducing the environmental footprint of the Soup for the Soul program. Students and faculty will work together in vegetable production and preservation while learning about wellness and environmentally sustainable food practices.

•    O’Leary Legion – This project involves developing a community garden project that includes citizens of all ages and abilities in its planting, maintenance, and harvest. The garden will teach and support youth and families in growing their own food. Members will sell excess produce at the farmer’s market and donate it to the food bank for needy families.

Approximately $30,000 was allocated this spring to the wellness grant fund. Another $20,000 is being made available for a second round of grants to be awarded in September. Application forms are now available at www.gov.pe.ca/health/wellness-grant-program and will be accepted until September 1, 2016.

“We are very pleased to provide grants to groups from across the province, representing all demographics,” said Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Heather Morrison. Grant applications will be adjudicated by a committee of representatives from health, sport and recreation, mental health and addictions, and school health.

Media contact:
Samantha Hughes
Department of Health and Wellness
902 368 5512

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