Lloydminster residents got a chance to see the Project Sunrise Mental Health Navigation Tool in-depth Thursday evening.
The showcase was the first of a monthly wellness series at the LloydMall, in partnership with the Lloydminster Region Health Foundation. For this incarnation, Lorlee Marin, AHS Health Promotions Facilitator showcased the resources located on the site for mental health in people of all ages.
The goal of the site is to be a streamlined way for residents to access these tools, especially after a needs assessment found that one in three people in Lloydminster have a mental health concern or addiction, while the national average is one in five.
Marin explains that all of us either have been or know someone who’s been impacted by mental health concerns and the site will give them accurate, non-judgemental verbiage and information to approach the subject, either with themself or a loved one.
“Too often we’re worried about what people will think of us, and so we bury that [subject]. So if we talk about it more, it ends that stigma and it becomes more okay to talk about.”
The site breaks down into several categories along the banner. There is a section to learn more about mental health and self-care exercises, one for an in-depth understanding of addiction and it’s warning signs, and detailed information about warning signs of someone considering self-harm or suicide, along with how to speak with them.
In addition, the site is a full directory of local, community, online and app resources. At any time, people can also be directed to crisis services should they need them, with a direct button being available at several areas of the site.
Marin says having a readily available mental health tool could also help people who have misconceptions about mental health or addiction understand it better.
“I think as well grow the conversation, get more people engaged, get people to recognize that the language we use matters and that ending the stigma around addiction and mental illness is an important issue for our community, that we’ll have more confidence in responding to people who are very negative about people with an illness like mental illness or an addiction.”
Community feedback was also heard Thursday about the site, as well as mental health in the city in general.
Many people discussed more cost-effective and in-community access to mental health care providers as being a need, especially as Lloydminster has to work inside two provincial health systems.
Marin notes that community feedback is important, not only for funding but also so the Mental Health Navigation Tool can guide people to resources that fit their needs.
“Mental health is as important as physical health, and so how do we accomplish that and get funding to support that vision, we need the community to respond to that, and then the other thing would be how do we show people where they can get services that have a sliding scale. So based on your income, or what the free services are and how they can access services online as well.”
The LloydMall and LRHF will be doing another Wellness Seminar on March 4th, with the subject being announced on their respective social media pages.