Another barrier to a better life has been removed for people in Pictou County living with mental illness. The Sutherland Harris Memorial Foundation has just made a donation to the Pictou County Mental Illness Family Support Association to achieve that.
The foundation has just given $5,000 to put toward the provision of dental care for people living with mental illness in Pictou County.
The money will go toward the Bright Smiles project, providing dental care to adults with mental illness in Pictou County who require it.
Cecilia McRae, president of the Pictou County Mental Illness Family Support Association, said there is a great need for dental care among those whom the association works with.
“This will allow adults who lack the financial resources for access to dental health services to get the services they need,” said Cecilia McRae, president of the Pictou County Mental Illness Family Support Association. “We started a preventative program, with X-rays and exams, and realized that they all needed treatment.”
“Adults with mental illness just don’t have the resources to access proper dental health care,” said McRae, who noted that 30 people were already signed up for the Bright Smiles program, and that there was already a waiting list for the services.
Elaine Garland, the vice president of the Pictou County Mental Illness Family Support Association, emphasized that dental care is one of the “basics of health care, but a lot of people in Pictou County living with mental illness can’t get access to it because there’s no government funding. We’re excited to do something about that.”
“It’s in our mandate to take care of the hospital’s needs, along with outreach into the community for non-profit organizations,” said Murray Porter, chair of the Sutherland Harris Memorial Hospital Foundation.
Porter said the foundation receives applications from community groups, and the board decided the Pictou County Mental Illness Family Support Association met the criteria required for support with the Bright Smiles program.
“It’s all volunteer, and nobody takes any money home from it,” said Porter, who presented the $5,000 cheque to association members at the Sutherland Harris Memorial Hospital on Thursday afternoon.
Porter commended the “tremendous” volunteer presence in Pictou County, and emphasized that he was honoured to be able to contribute, through the funding for the Bright Smiles program.