Horizon Star - January 2019

Colleagues Corner

First-time program in Sussex is strengthening families

Staff inspired to get active for Horizon-wide 3K/5K Walk∙Run

To help celebrate the 10th anniversary of Horizon, Marilyn Babineau, Manager of Workforce Wellness, put together a team to plan an active, Horizon-wide event uniting employees and their families. On Saturday, Nov. 3, 2018 at 10 a.m., participants gathered in Fredericton, Miramichi, Moncton, Saint John and Upper

Participants had the option to meet on the early November morning, or if unable to join at the locations listed, were encouraged to create their own “virtual run.” Although it was a rainy day, participants still had a lot of fun and snapped some great photos. Each participant received a medal for participating, as well as a few healthy snacks!

River Valley to walk and or run pre-measured distances for Horizon’s first 3K/5K Walk∙Run. Employees were inspired to get active and lace-up their sneakers for this fun event, and more than 300 registration forms were submitted to Employee Health and Wellness departments. All levels were welcome — rookie, pro or somewhere in-between.

Employee Health & Wellness would like to sincerely thank all those who expressed interest and participated in this event. Thanks also to Communications who braved the weather to get some great photos, and our dedicated volunteers. Cheers to our regional committee involved with the planning of this fun event!

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Moncton

Horizon volunteer Donna Craig (standing, fourth from left) and Kathryn Scott, Human Service Counsellor at Horizon’s Sussex Health Centre (front row, sitting), are photographed with fellowmembers of the Strengthening Families Together group, a schizophrenia support group at Horizon’s Sussex Health Centre.

Fredericton

they are advocating for their loved one and learning to support them better, which further destigmatizes many myths surrounding schizophrenia.” “For far too long many people were ashamed and afraid to speak about the struggles of having a family member that suffers from a serious mental health issue,” said Horizon volunteer Donna, who has benefited from the program. “The more we talk about it, the more we’re not alone,” she added. “This program has allowed parents and loved ones to connect with people that have similar experiences.” The Strengthening Families Together program was first introduced in 2003 by The Schizophrenia Society of Canada, and through their New Brunswick chapter they offer training for facilitators to deliver the program across the province.

During each meeting, participants listened to different speakers, such as a local pharmacist, who spoke about the importance of medication, and members of Horizon’s Flexible Assertive Community Treatment (FACT) team. But what was most inspiring was hearing from an individual with lived experience who is successfully managing their schizophrenia. For many family members, this gave them hope that there is light in the journey to recovery, as well as knowledge on how to navigate the health care system to better support their loved ones. This was the first time the Strengthening Families Together program was offered in Sussex. However, now that the first group successfully completed the program, they feel empowered and want to continue with their meetings as an ongoing support group and recruit more members in order to offer the program again. “It was great to see the group quickly come together and bond on shared experiences,” said Kathryn, who facilitated the session. “Together, whether they realize it or not,

Lending support and providing information is what The Schizophrenia Society’s Strengthening Families Together program is all about and now, for the first time, family members who have loved ones with schizophrenia in Sussex are benefitting from this program. The nine-week program took place at Horizon’s Sussex Health Centre and was facilitated by two Horizon staff, Kathryn Scott, Human Service Counsellor and Sue Fry-Adair, Clinical Psychologist. Joining them were volunteers Donna Craig and Dale Kyrev who both have family members with a major mental illness, as well as Davine McLean, Director of the Sussex and Area Activity Centre. The program focuses on recovery for people diagnosed with schizophrenia and provides tools for self-care and stress management, advocacy and support. The group of nine program participants all have family members who have been diagnosed with a major mental illness. Some families have been dealing with the impact of the illness for many years, while others are newly diagnosed.

Miramichi

Upper River Valley

If interested in learning more about the Strengthening Families Together program, please contact Addiction and Mental Health Services in Sussex at 432-2090.

Saint John

Want to tell your colleagues about the services you provide for patients and staff throughout Horizon? Email HorizonStar@HorizonNB.ca .

Look Who’s Shining! Know someone who’s accomplished something outstanding outside the workplace? Nominate a colleague, peer or volunteer for this feature by emailing HorizonStar@HorizonNB.ca .

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