Enabling Minds is a new resource that provides mental health accessibility training for anyone who works in the field of sports, fitness or recreation. The Enabling Minds Training Module is an interactive 45-minute self-study course that shows how to remove barriers to physical activity programs for people living with mental health disabilities, and how to create a supportive and inclusive environment that promotes positive mental health for everyone. Enabling Minds was developed by the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) Ontario, in partnership with Parks and Recreation Ontario and YMCA Ontario, with support from the Accessibility Directorate of Ontario. The launch of this free resource coincides with the tenth anniversary of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA). The training module is designed to support organizations in the recreation and physical activity sector to meet the requirements of the AODA customer service standard.
“People living with mental health disabilities are entitled to certain rights, protections and accommodations under law,” said Camille Quenneville, CEO of CMHA Ontario. “We’re pleased to offer this resource to help make it easier for the sport and recreation sector to create an inclusive environment.”
“The Ministry of Economic Development, Employment and Infrastructure is proud to have partnered with CMHA Ontario to create this important and practical resource,” says Alf Spencer, Director of the Outreach and Strategic Initiatives Branch. “As the province prepares to celebrate the start of the TORONTO 2015 Pan Am Games, this tool will be a great support to sport leaders as they encourage people of all abilities to participate in sport and fitness as we move towards our goal of an accessible Ontario by 2025.”
“The YMCA has a proud tradition of accommodating a wide variety of needs,” notes Mary Kloosterman, CEO of the Kingston Family YMCA. “We are excited to have a great online tool that will help our staff provide even better services to those people using physical fitness to enhance their quality of life.”
“The Enabling Minds online training will be a valuable tool for recreation and sport leaders,” says Diane English, Director of Research, Policy and Communications at Parks and Recreation Ontario. “The benefits of participating in recreation and sport go well beyond the physical. Recreation and sport also support mental health and resiliency. Through this training, leaders will learn about the barriers faced by people with mental health disabilities and effective strategies to help remove those barriers. With this training, we are one step closer to ensuring that everyone has access to quality recreation and sport in their community.”
The training module is offered free of charge and a certificate of completion is provided. Additional tools and learning materials are available in the online Resource Library. For more information, visit www.enablingminds.ca.