Half a Million Dollars Donated For Local Mental Health Initiative

On National Philanthropy Day, November 16, the Sisters of St. Ann will be recognized for 160 years of generosity. Their support of many social services and initiatives for the most marginalized members of our community is furthered by this generous donation. Connections Place Board, Staff and future members are overjoyed to make this announcement.

The money will be used to establish a Clubhouse based on the Clubhouse International model.  It will be a place for people living with mental illness to find opportunity and hope.  A sense of belonging is created through meaningful work and relationships which arise from the members’ interests which are linked to the operation of the Clubhouse.

‘We see this as an expression of confidence’, says Connections Place Executive Director, Georgina Patko.  ‘Not only have the Sisters recognized the enormous need, but by giving so generously, they will inspire others to make similar donations enabling us to sustain this service.’

Club membership is expected to result in less pressure on social services, less time for people in hospital, less incarcerations and general improvement in the quality of life for people living with mental illness’, said Patko.

An added complication for those dealing with mental illness is that once a person reaches the age of 19, many services are no longer available.  The responsibility for their care falls to their parents resulting in high levels of stress and exhaustion for care givers.

Connections Place looks forward to addressing some of these issues.  ‘This gift means so much’, says Connections Place Chair, Jackie Powell.  “It paves the way for people to reach their full potential and live meaningful, dignified, happy lives”.

The Sisters of St. Ann have served in the Pacific Northwest for 160 years, providing quality education and health care, regardless of ability to pay.  Founded to educate children in rural areas, especially those excluded from education and whose parents suffered from exploitation.  The Sisters of St. Ann chose to educate children so that they could become agents of their own lives as adults and challenge the oppressive forces affecting their lives.  They believed that each person has the dignity of a child of God and deserves to have the opportunity to develop to her/his full potential.  These same motivations impel the Sisters of St. Ann today to provide resources to help individuals to attain the fullness of life and foster communities that support the dignity of all persons.  They are especially concerned for women, children and youth and those who experience economic and social exclusion.

Connections Place is a non-profit organization.  We work together as an inclusive group and create opportunities for members to advance their education, gain employment, connect with their families, make new friends, and create multiple successes.  We also provide mental health public education to increase awareness and decrease stigma.

The original Clubhouse model was established in 1948 and with over 330 Clubhouses successfully operating around the world including 18 in Canada, there is a wealth of proven expertise to draw from.  Opening is scheduled for February 2019.

More information from:

Georgina Patko, Executive Director



[email protected]

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