A message from Gail - June 2017
For those of you who know me, you may have heard about one of my most cherished family members: my dog Jake. This photo of Jake and me was taken a few summers ago at a friend’s cottage, and if you come visit me at my office, you’re likely to see a few more photos and maybe even hear a couple of stories about this furry and loyal companion who makes me laugh and always thinks I’m terrific.
Jake is also one of the reasons why I am so excited about a new mental health initiative that we plan to launch at Ometz in the coming months. Thanks to the generous support of some of our most loyal Ometz donors, I am pleased to announce that we will be introducing animal-assisted therapy to our mental health clients. Animal-assisted therapy (AAT) uses trained animals as a form of treatment to improve a patient’s physical, emotional and social well-being, all the while improving self-esteem, reducing anxiety and facilitating healing.
This new Pearl and David Tobias Music and Animal-Assisted Wellness Fund will also go towards supporting our existing and very popular music-therapy program known as our Glee Club—a combination choir and performance group for adults living with mental illness (schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, depression and anxiety disorder).
And thanks to the generosity of the Henry and Berenice Kaufmann Foundation, we are excited to be re-launching our photo-therapy program, which was first developed as a successful pilot project a few years back but was put on hold due to lack of funding. All three of these programs are being used increasingly in the mental health profession, as evidence grows they can help people with depression, anxiety, autism, feelings of isolation and other conditions that affect their everyday lives.
While it’s our hardworking staff and volunteers who are on the front lines to make certain these programs get off the ground and our clients receive the care they so need and deserve, we can’t overlook some of the work that happens behind the scenes—in particular, the donors who generously step up and ensure we can continue to positively impact the lives of children, families and our community.
I hope this issue of Onews shows just how much we appreciate the loyalty and support we receive. From all of us at Ometz, thank you.
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1 Cummings Square
5151 Côte Ste-Catherine Road
Montreal, Quebec H3W 1M6