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Project Sunrise receives $200,000 towards mental health initiatives

The Lloydminster Regional Health Foundation has received a $200,000 donation from Richard and Barbara Klinger to enhance mental health services in Lloydminster.

Project Sunrise aims to strengthen mental resources within the City to help during mental health emergencies, and to be able to provide care. According to the Canadian Mental Health Association, one in five Canadians will be affected by a mental illness at some point in their life. In a recent needs analysis done by the LRHF through Project Sunrise, that number was determined to be one in three within Lloydminster and area.

Richard Klinger says he has seen a need for mental health services in the community, especially after losing his own nephew Jeff Torry to a battle with mental illness. Klinger says he hopes Project Sunrise will help remove both the stigma and barriers surrounding getting help for mental health in Lloydminster.

“In the past if you had a mental health issue you had to go to another city, you had to go into, if I could call it a mental institute. Hopefully this gets people away from that, and if they can go to the Slim Thorpe Centre, it may be uplifting for them to go there.”

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Klinger’s donation was in two parts, both for $100,000, which was able to fund the Mental Health Needs Assessment project in Lloydminster. LRHF CEO Malcolm Radke says the rest of the money will be put towards funding the one million dollar four point plan to provide acute mental health care, beds and awareness resources in the city.

“We’ve got a pretty firm plan in place with Thorpe Recovery that will take some fleshing out. We want to bulk up mental health workers and resources, and also help with some [professional development] current front line nurses, ER staff and social workers. Fleshing out the actual mental health care pathway and getting all physicians engaged, all professional support people.”

Radke adds that they hope to raise enough donations to be able to launch the initiatives in Project Sunrise by the Fall of 2018.

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