Island Savings kick-starts the Equipped to Heal campaign with $120,000. (Courtesy Victoria Hospitals Foundation)

Island Savings kick-starts the Equipped to Heal campaign with $120,000. (Courtesy Victoria Hospitals Foundation)

Latest Victoria Hospitals Foundation campaign targets $1M for mental health

Goal is to outfit new 19-bed unit at Eric Martin Pavilion

Victoria Hospitals Foundation aims to help heal mental health with its latest fundraising campaign.

The campaign, launched in response to community appeals, is called Equipped to Heal and targets $1 million for mental health and substance use services at Royal Jubilee Hospital.

“While there is a long-awaited end in sight to COVID-19, we can’t see one yet for mental illness. Equipped to Heal aims to support the other crisis B.C. is facing – mental illness,” Avery Brohman, executive director of the Victoria Hospitals Foundation, said in a news release.

Island Savings kickstarted the campaign with $120,000. The goal is to equip a newly opened unit in the Eric Martin Pavilion at Jubilee – increasing capacity by up to 35 per cent.

READ ALSO: It’s Critical hospital campaign gets $2.65M donation to advance Victoria critical care

“Helping our communities thrive is a part of who we are, and we know that an individual’s mental health plays a key role in that,” said Kendall Gross, president of Island Savings.

A first for Island Health, the new unit focuses on patients’ psychosocial rehabilitation. The goal is to help re-integrate patients into the community by completing a recovery plan with strategies to achieve goals; connect patients to community services for continuity of care; and engaging family, friends and peer support workers for ongoing support.

READ ALSO: New specialized unit opens this fall at Royal Jubilee Hospital

Patients receiving care on the new 19-bed unit have a wide range of mental health and substance use disorders, including concurrent disorders, schizophrenia and other psychosis, mood disorders and severe anxiety. They are often at risk of re-admission to the hospital.

“Mental illness impacts the well-being of one in five Canadians, yet due to stigma it is greatly undervalued as a healthcare priority in our country. We can change that. The support of our mental health patients through this campaign is an important step forward,” said Dr. Wei-Yi Song, department head of psychiatry and medical director for Mental Health and Substance Use Services for Island Health.

According to the health authority, an average of 48 patients receiving inpatient care at Royal Jubilee in a given day have a primary mental health and substance use diagnosis.

Donate online at victoriahf.ca/equipped or call 250-519-1750.

READ ALSO: Saanich woman completes 10 marathons, raises double her initial goal amount

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c.vanreeuwyk@blackpress.ca


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mental healthRoyal Jubilee HospitalVictoria Hospitals Foundation