In recognition of the International Day of Persons with Disabilities, on Dec. 3 community speakers with lived experience and mental health accessibility advocates gathered to celebrate the launch of CMHA Ontario’s enablingminds.ca mental health accessibility website.
Hosted by Global News network correspondent Allison Vuchnich, the free public forum began with Parapan Am medalist and advocate Joel Dembe, who demonstrated a wheelchair tennis serve and shared his experience of the mental agility involved in playing sports. Presenters from Parks and Recreation Ontario, YMCA Ontario and the Accessibility Directorate of Ontario spoke of their involvement in developing the Enabling Minds resource, and shared perspectives on the key benefits of physical activity for improved mental wellness. Ann Marie Mac Donald of the Mood Disorders Association of Ontario and Liviya Mendelsohn of the Miles Nadal JCC also shared proactive examples of how they are building supportive environments in their organizations which promote positive mental health for everyone.
Funded by the Government of Ontario, the Enabling Minds resource aims to help directors, managers and frontline staff to offer more inclusive and accessible customer service for people with mental health disabilities. The website provides a free online training module for physical activity organizations across the province, as well as a resource library. Visit the Enabling Minds website for more information.