School is Out, Grade is in, But Mental Health Project is Underway

SYDNEY, N.S –  

They may have already received their grade, finished their academic year and started summer vacation, but this group of Bachelor of Arts in Community Studies students, from Cape Breton University, wants to finish what they started. Chelsea McClellan, Aaron Fudge and Kyla MacKinnon spent yesterday afternoon giving the mental health courtyard a facelift in hopes to brighten up the space for patients using the area.

The mental health courtyard at the Cape Breton Regional Hospital is a space designated for patients to get some fresh air and to spend some much needed time outside. “You’re going in when you’re most vulnerable,” Said Chelsea McLellan, who has been fundraising for mental health initiatives since her brother Connor lost his battle two years ago. “Patients just want to go out and put their toes in the grass, but it’s dark and dingy and they just end up feeling worse.”

The group decided to raise funds in order to make some improvements to the area. McLellan along with Fudge and MacKinnon spent time making simple changes to improve the area. Adding new flowers, painting furniture and adding chalk paint to pillars are all in the plans. Fudge, who has already graduated and has been working full time, took the day off yesterday to make sure the project they started is done right, “It’s all about how our environment impacts our mental health,” He said, with a shovel in hand.

Although Chelsea has faced some tough times in the mental health unit with her brother, she truly feels that making small changes are a step in the right direction. “It’ll really make a better healing environment for every patient,” She said, holding $550 in donations from local businesses and people.

One donation came from a woman who lost her son to mental illness and was very happy to give back for a worthy cause. McLellan also hopes to help end the stigma around mental illness, “I want people to just be more accepting. One in five people have a mental illness, just be kind to one another.”

Since 1992, the Cape Breton Regional Hospital Foundation, in partnership with the community has raised more than $38 million to purchase equipment, and fund upgrades at the Regional Hospital. Since 2014, the Foundation has raised 1.35 million for mental health services. Thanks to the generosity of the community, the foundation has been able to purchase priority equipment and fund services which provide world-class care, closer to home.

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For more information, please contact:                                                             

Mark Inglis

Communications Officer

Cape Breton Regional Hospital Foundation

902.567.7054

Mark.Inglis@nshealth.ca

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