The ‘Little Things’ in Mental Health
Mental health can affect anyone at any time. Everyday people your community are desperate for support, close to relapse, alone, afraid, distressed, perhaps even having thoughts of harming themselves. Our sisters and brothers, our partners parents, neighbours, co-workers, children, and friends. Real people whose treatable illnesses stand in the way of their ability to live healthy and fulfilling lives.
Recovery looks different for everyone and sometimes it’s the little things that have the greatest impact. Little Things supports the many little things making a big difference in providing support, treatment, and recovery for people experiencing mental health and addictions obstacles.
Often, a funded initiative allocates resources for necessary items like workshops, office space, research, staffing, and technology. However, the ‘Little Things’ provides much needed resources for all the small stuff that every so often gets forgotten.
The ‘Little Things’ funds support programs and provide help to those who need it most. A few examples of the needs that have been supported by the ‘Little Things’:
•Increasing support for youth crisis interventions in rural communities, ensuring appropriate resources are available when they’re needed most
•Groceries for someone newly housed during the worst of the Covid-19 pandemic when food banks were difficult to access
•A phone card for someone to connect with family and friends to lift feelings of isolation
•Play therapy supplies create a waiting room that is calm, and provides a stress relieving activities for a child in distress.
•The addition of Indigenous Artwork in centers to creates a culturally aware, welcoming and comfortable environment to receive support
•A bottle of water on a scorching hot summer day for a person experiencing difficulty securing safe housing
•Reliable transportation to therapy and wellness appointments
Who Will it Benefit?
For individuals participating in addiction and mental health programs, the cost of items that improve quality of life can sometimes be the biggest barrier.
Things many of us take for granted, like being able to afford a bicycle or other reliable transportation, can interfere with someone’s ability to attend therapy appointments. Hunger and safe housing are obstacles for many of the most vulnerable individuals Additions and Mental Health care teams work with to support. It is a privilege to be able to easily switch to virtual supports, however, technological devices, internet access, and a stable home are not accessible to everyone.
The Little Things Fund is utilized to support recovery goals for those struggling with mental health and addictions. This program can mean the difference between getting help and not feeling safe enough to go through the doors for support. Seemingly small gestures can mean the world – they ensure that everyone feels like their struggles matter because someone cares enough to help.
The ’Little Things’ bridge the gaps so that so no one ever has to face their mental health concerns alone.
There are many occasions where Addiction and Mental Health Services have clients with emergency needs requiring unique care, or where the best treatment requires new technology and tools, or opportunities when the expansion of programming would make a huge difference in a smaller community (many of which unfortunately cannot be covered by general operating budgets). Sometimes the most impact can be made by adding peer support opportunities, or removing a barrier to an existing program, even something as simple as having healthy snacks on hand to support a child who comes to a session hungry.
Working together, we can ensure that every Albertan has access to the Mental Health & Addictions support they need, when they need it most. The Little things embraces flexibility to be tailor support to the locations, people, programs who need it most.