Photo: Discover Moose Jaw

Moose Javians will more easily be able to access mental health services, thanks to a new initiative announced on January 27. The Mental Health Initiative, run by Alliance Health and the Moose Jaw YMCA, will offer group counselling to people with mild to moderate depression. Group sessions involving cognitive therapy and mindfulness-based stress reduction will be held at the Alliance Health Medical Clinic and exercise therapy sessions will take place at the YMCA.

According to Alliance Health CEO Dr. Mark Lemstra, only about six people out of 100 with mental health issues get the full care they need. He hopes that this multi-pronged approach will encourage people to complete the program. As a further boost, the free, eight-week program is being piloted by members of the Moose Jaw Police Service, who were chosen in an effort to destigmatize seeking help for mental health.

At a press conference to announce the new plan, community leaders and health professionals gathered to show their support. "The triangle in the logo represents spirit, mind and body," said YMCA CEO Jeff Fox. "So our program is very strategic in terms of partnering with various people in our community to build the connection between them."