Google Translate Disclaimer

A number of pages on the Government of Saskatchewan's website have been professionally translated in French. These translations are identified by a yellow box in the right or left rail that resembles the link below. The home page for French-language content on this site can be found at:

Renseignements en Français

Where an official translation is not available, Google™ Translate can be used. Google™ Translate is a free online language translation service that can translate text and web pages into different languages. Translations are made available to increase access to Government of Saskatchewan content for populations whose first language is not English.

Software-based translations do not approach the fluency of a native speaker or possess the skill of a professional translator. The translation should not be considered exact, and may include incorrect or offensive language. The Government of Saskatchewan does not warrant the accuracy, reliability or timeliness of any information translated by this system. Some files or items cannot be translated, including graphs, photos and other file formats such as portable document formats (PDFs).

Any person or entities that rely on information obtained from the system does so at his or her own risk. Government of Saskatchewan is not responsible for any damage or issues that may possibly result from using translated website content. If you have any questions about Google™ Translate, please visit: Google™ Translate FAQs.

Mental Health and Addictions Award 2022

Mental health and addictions are complex issues that affect many Canadians. The steps taken to protect Canadians from COVID-19 brought greater focus to these issues.

Through the Council of the Federation (COF), Canada's Premiers initiated an Award for Innovation in Mental Health and Addictions Care. It was intended to recognize and support individuals and organizations who demonstrate innovation in the field of mental health and addiction care. All recipients were recognized nationally and used as examples to promote innovation and collaboration across Canada. The award's objective was to highlight innovation in non-governmental, private or academic sectors. Each province and territory issued one award valued at $5,000. The recipients also received a certificate signed by their Premier.

All provincial and territorial award recipients were announced on October 18, 2022. 

The recipient of the Saskatchewan award was CMHA-SK – Mentally Safe Minecraft Server (MS²)

Mentally Safe Minecraft Server (MS²) is an interactive computer gaming program that combats cyber-bullying and its impact on mental health. Developed by the Saskatchewan division of the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA-SK), MS² was created and programmed by Saskatchewan youth with lived mental health disorders and takes into account things that are both meaningful and triggering for them. Chats are monitored by CMHA-SK Youth Coaches, mental health workers from CMHA branches around the province, youth peer supporters and volunteers. Chat areas allow youth to confidentially ask a mental health worker questions about mental health or where/how to access services. There are also Saskatchewan helplines added in the in-game. In addition, there is a space for virtual groups to convene and learn about mental health tools. A mental health tip appears on the corner of the MS² screen every 10 minutes, and there are creative events to celebrate Mental Health Week and challenge players’ creativity.

Other 2022 national recipients of the Award for Innovation in Mental Health and Addictions Care were:

Day Treatment Mental Health and Addictions Program – Kainai Wellness Centre (Blood Tribe Department of Health) – Alberta

Blood Tribe members have been affected by opioid and other substance use in the community. The Day Treatment Mental Health and Addictions Program, founded in 2014, involves a qualified team, innovative approaches that address deep rooted issues, the wisdom of elders and knowledge keepers, and traditional ceremonies as part of their approach. The program is designed to provide awareness, education and support to those who are suffering with illicit substance and alcohol use disorders who are not attending residential treatment programs. Clients acquire a variety of skills to cope with drug and alcohol related urges. The program shares resources on several key topics: addiction awareness, physiology of addiction, relapse prevention, grief and loss, trauma, compassion fatigue, anger management, healthy parenting, healthy relationships and coping techniques, among others. To date, over 341 participants have benefited from this program, and there has been healing at the individual, family and community level.

Cherokee Bent – British Columbia

Cherokee Bent was born on the unceded and traditional lands of the Nlaka'pamux people. At 18 years old, Cherokee felt called through her cultural teachings to become a leader in Vancouver’s mental health and substance use recovery communities, with involvement in both adult and youth treatment centres. Through her work with Vancouver Coastal Health, Cherokee has designed and delivered curricula to health care providers about providing culturally safe care to youth who use substances and teaching healthcare providers how to better work with Indigenous youth from rural and remote communities. Cherokee has co-written and starred in an educational film used to teach healthcare workers about using cultural safety and humility when working with people who use substances.

KIDTHINK Children’s Mental Health Centre Inc. – Manitoba

KIDTHINK provides a model of care that includes psychologists, psychiatrists, social workers, occupational therapists and other professionals to create a truly multidisciplinary team that works together to give children and their families the highest standard of care. Within the Client Care Subsidy Program, the KIDTHINK multidisciplinary clinical team provides approximately 13 hours of no-cost, evidence-based mental health intervention for children ages 12 and under and their families who are low-income status. This includes providing services for a variety of mild to moderate social, emotional and behavioural challenges. Mental health disorders or challenges addressed include, but are not limited to, anxiety, depression, behavioural disorders, ADHD and learning difficulties/disabilities. KIDTHINK recognizes the importance of reducing barriers to accessing mental health services; the focus is on providing timely and preventative interventions by offering services to children with or without a diagnosis.

St. John’s Status of Women Council Managed Alcohol Program (MAP) – Newfoundland and Labrador

The Managed Alcohol Program in Newfoundland and Labrador is a pilot that began in 2021. The program operates within the St. John’s Status of Women Council to assist women and non-binary individuals who experience risks and harms related to alcohol use. MAP’s harm reduction approach provides a safe and stable supply of alcohol to participants, along with social and health care support. MAP works with Eastern Health to assess participant eligibility, determine a safe dose of alcohol, and provide ongoing reassessment and primary health care services. While managed alcohol programs are increasingly recognized as valuable tools, the St. John’s Status of Women Council’s MAP is unique in its focus on women and non-binary individuals and offers an innovative mix of outreach delivery, residential programming, and satellite site pick-up alongside research and learning. In addition to direct benefits to participants, MAP shares learnings from this pilot widely with the aim to increase managed alcohol services across other organizations and for more populations. MAP has created a model of collaboration across services that can set an example for others interested in pursuing similar work.

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy Tele-Counselling for Family Caregivers – Dr. Pamela Durepos, Nicole Cormier, Chandra MacBean – New Brunswick

The Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) tele-counselling for family caregivers of a person living with dementia in New Brunswick was developed and launched by Dr. Pamela Durepos of the University of New Brunswick, and Nicole Cormier and Chandra MacBean of the Alzheimer Society of New Brunswick. The ACT tele-counselling program is also the first ACT program for caregivers of persons with dementia in Canada and its overall aim is to improve access to high quality mental health services (e.g., psychotherapy) for all caregivers of persons with dementia in Canada. More specifically, ACT is an individualized program that screens participants for current depression, anxiety and stress levels in order to identify persons who cannot wait for therapy and may require immediate mental health care. This service is provided in both official languages at no cost using technology (such as telephone, text or videoconference) in order to reduce barriers to access and to assess whether participants are assigned to receive usual care or the ACT program. ACT is an acceptance and mindfulness-based form of psychotherapy different from cognitive behavioural therapy. ACT has proven effective at reducing depression and anxiety and in increasing acceptance and psychological flexibility. A study to evaluate the potential benefits and feasibility of providing ACT tele-counselling to caregivers is underway. The program is expected to expand beyond New Brunswick.

Supporting Wellbeing – Northwest Territories

Supporting Wellbeing (SWB) is a training program being developed by an Indigenous mental health expert with the aim of providing tools for land-based program providers. Led by a Steering Committee of on the land (OTL) leaders, the program will better prepare OTL providers to mitigate and respond to mental health challenges in remote environments. Given the prevalence of trauma experienced because of colonization, it is not uncommon for participants (and staff) to experience mental health challenges while on the land. During training, OTL leaders will learn about topics related to the planning and delivery of trauma informed OTL programs, including intergenerational trauma, suicide intervention, conflict resolution and participant aftercare. After completing the training, OTL leaders will be better equipped to support people in distress, mitigate risks and decrease burnout. This, in turn, will improve participants’ ability to safely engage in and benefit from OTL programs. SWB will strengthen OTL programs across the NWT, increase the emotional intelligence of community members, enhance community capacity for mutual support, and further the resurgence of Indigenous cultures, languages and ways of being.

Strongest Families Institute – Nova Scotia

Strongest Families Institute, based in Lower Sackville, is an award-winning charity whose focus on innovation and research has led to pioneering a new way of delivering mental health programs that reduces waitlists and makes care more accessible. Strongest Families Institute provides bilingual evidence-based mental health services to children, youth, adults and families using telephone coaching coupled with online or printed support materials.

Mary Ugyuk – Nunavut

Mary Ugyuk has been employed as Wellness Coordinator for Hamlet of Taloyoak since 2010. Initially mentoring youth and pre-natal health groups, Mary has worked to expand existing programs and to create new ones that benefit her community, including: Adult Drop In (a safe and sober meeting place seven evenings a week), Elder’s Cabin, mobility scooters, a soup kitchen, an Elder and youth centre, a summer on-the-land culture camp, an annual shoreline and community clean-up, a community volunteer annual Christmas dinner, “The Turkey Has Landed” Christmas frozen turkey and food voucher program, Lily Love and Elder Love programs, weekly Elder’s tea and weekly Elder’s Culture Day, Elder’s driver program, and Elder’s radio show. Mary has been instrumental in creating and driving community wellness programs from a local perspective, rather than a territorial or regional focus, with the unique onsite ability to adapt if adjustments are needed to ensure effective and functional program delivery.

The Path Home – LOFT (Leap of Faith Together) Community Service – Ontario

LOFT (Leap of Faith Together) Community Services’ “The Path Home” is a supportive housing model specializing in transitioning patients with complex needs back to their community. Piloted, tested, and expanded across the populations and geographies served by LOFT, this model is guided by two goals: addressing unmet needs and system gaps through working collaboratively with health system partners, and providing exceptional and specialized need-driven care that enables people to stay safely in the community. This innovative model of care is designed to support individuals facing complex mental health challenges, addiction, dementia and responsive behaviours along with physical health and care needs who no longer need to be in the hospital but continue to require ongoing care. The Path Home provides an opportunity for vulnerable individuals to live with dignity and is successful in reducing the number of Alternate Level of Care (ALC) rates in hospital.

Peer Support Program, Canadian Mental Health Association, PEI Division – Prince Edward Island

The Peer Support Program, operated by CMHA PEI, assists individuals experiencing mental health and addictions issues by providing a trained mentor with lived experience and recovery history to lend support, guidance and inspire hope for others experiencing similar situations. This program currently employs peer support specialists who host peer support groups and one-on-one sessions, and accompany clients to appointments. The peer support specialists empathize with the struggle and emotional pain that may accompany mental illness and share their thoughts and insight on the path to recovery. They provide support to clients via advocacy, housing resources, suicide prevention, coping strategies, support groups and help to bridge the gap between the client and the available mental health services on PEI. The overall benefit to Islanders and Canadians is evident. While there are similar programs elsewhere in Canada, the success of the Peer Support Program on PEI serves as an example model for other provinces and territories.

Équipe-toi : accompagne un proche en santé mentale – Québec

The Association québécoise des parents et amis de la personne atteinte de maladie mentale (AQPAMM) supports families and friends of people living with a mental health disorder. The Association quickly reacted to the conditions imposed by the pandemic to continue offering services and reach those affected, in particular those young people who were especially hard hit in this context. With the support of partners (Bell Let's Talk and the Foundation of Greater Montreal), AQPAMM has developed interactive online training tools available on mobile phones for young people aged 13 to 25, called “Équipe-toi: accompagne un proche en santé mentale” as well as training for youth workers, “Équipe-toi: accompagne un jeune en santé mentale.” By focusing on young people’s preferred means of communication and relying on innovative strategies such as peer-help and self-care, AQPAMM contributes to the development of knowledge in the field of mental health and offers tools to young people to help them cope with complex situations related to mental health.

Chris Spencer – Yukon

Chris Spencer is a passionate Whitehorse resident who cares about the mental health and wellness of their community. Chris founded the Yukon Disc-versity Guild, a disc golf club designed to be a safe space for women and the 2SLGBTQQIA+ community and youth. Chris chose to centre the club around disc golf for the sport’s benefits of being out in nature, providing activity and socialisation for people who struggle with their mental wellness, and because of the low barriers of cost and fitness level to participate. Additional benefits from the creation of the club have been the development of new community role models who provide inspiration and hope for young people, safer outdoor spaces, and representation of healthy lifestyles for women and 2SLGBTQQIA+ people. Chris also founded the “Feed your inner light” peer support group for people with diagnosed and undiagnosed eating disorders. Chris sits on Queer Yukon’s advisory committee for non-binary and trans people and is also involved in the CMHA Reach Out Support Line.

We need your feedback to improve Help us improve