Canadian nurses at convention donate over $30,000 to Partners for Mental Health

Media release from the Canadian Federation of Nurses Unions:

For immediate release: Friday, June 7, 2013

Canadian nurses at convention donate over $30,000 to Partners for Mental Health

Delegates to the Canadian Federation of Nurses Unions Biennial Convention that ended in Toronto today have donated $33,769 to Partners for Mental Health.

The funds will go to Partners for Mental Health to assist with awareness, education and engagement campaigns to support the group’s mission of catalyzing a social movement. In addition, a portion will go to the Canadian Mental Health Association.

On Wednesday, nurses from across Canada joined a lunch hour rally at Toronto’s Harbourfront to support better mental health services.

Along with the CFNU, whose conference at the Westin Harbour Castle Hotel was attended by more than 850 nurses from across Canada, the rally was co-sponsored by Partners for Mental Health and the Mental Health Commission of Canada.

After the rally, delegates decided in meetings of each of their provincial caucuses to make donations to the national organization, a registered charity that is dedicated to creating “a social movement to transform the way Canadians think and act toward their own mental health, as well as toward people living with mental health problems or illnesses.”

“We are serious when we say mental health is everyone’s business, and nurses and their unions are willing to do their part,” said CFNU President Linda Silas after the size of the combined donations was announced to the convention this afternoon. “But nurses are partners, and that means we can’t succeed without federal, provincial and municipal governments doing their parts as well.”

“It’s through partnerships like this one with the CFNU that we will engage the public, which will allow us to redefine the current norms so that people living with mental health problems or illnesses can get the services, treatment and support they need, and get it when they need it,” said Partners for Mental Health President Jeff Moat.

The CFNU convention consisted of four days of training and business focusing on the future of nursing and other important health care issues. Featured speakers included Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne and Canada’s former governor general, the Right Honourable Michaëlle Jean.

The CFNU represents close to 200,000 nurses and student nurses. Members work in hospitals, long-term care facilities, community health care, and our homes. The CFNU speaks to all levels of government, other health care stakeholders and the public about evidence-based policy options to improve patient care, working conditions and our public health care system.