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Unique mental health program for young adults officially opens in Saint John

(SAINT JOHN) June 8, 2012 - An official opening ceremony was held today for the Peers Engaged in Education and Recovery (PEER) 126, a unique young adult program that provides support to young people living with mental health issues. This community-based program located at126 Duke Streetin uptownSaint Johnis funded in part by the Medavie Health Foundation.

Glen Savoie, MLA for Saint John-Fundy, on behalf of Health Minister Madeleine Dubé, joined senior officials from Horizon Health Network and the Medavie Health Foundation to tour PEER 126 and meet staff and members involved in the program. PEER 126 is an extension of Saint John Mental Health and Addiction's Mental Health Recovery Services and is situated in a bright, renovated space that offers a comfortable, home-like setting for young adults.

"PEER 126 provides community-based services that put those living with mental illness at the centre of treatment and care which is the focus of the Action Plan for Mental Health in New Brunswick 2011-2018," said Savoie. "These are the types of services we need in our province and government is pleased to support this excellent initiative for youth."

It is anticipated up to 50 young adults and their families will benefit annually from the program, which follows the successful peer support model developed by HalifaxNova Scotia's Laing House. It offers support to youth, ages 16 to 29, through peer engagement, counselling, family support, education, employment programs, and leisure activities. Services are provided by a program coordinator, peer support specialists, and human service counsellors. Admission to the program does not require a physician referral.    

"Providing mental health support services to people in our communities is a priorityto our organization," said Donald J. Peters, Presidentand CEO of Horizon Health Network. "We sincerely thank the Medavie Health Foundation, government and community partners for supporting this important program that will help improve the quality of life for young adults living with mental health issues and their families."

The Medavie Health Foundation will provide $585,000 to the Horizon Health Network as part of a five-year partnership to support this youth mental health program inSaint John.

"Now, young adults in the Greater Saint John area living with mental health issues can receive the help they need in a community-based centre. No longer do they have to leave their homes and communities to access support outside of the clinical environment. PEER 126 ensures there is local support," said Ruth Rappini, Vice-President, Medavie Health Foundation. "We believe this program will enhance the quality of life for these youth and are proud to be a part of it."




About Horizon Health Network
Horizon Health Network is the largest health-care organization in AtlanticCanada, operating 12 hospitals and more than 100 medical facilities, clinics and offices providing medical services ranging from acute care to community-based health services toNew Brunswick, northernNova ScotiaandPrince Edward Island. With 1,000 physicians, an annual budget exceeding $1 billion and approximately 13,000 employees, Horizon Health Network's strategic vision focuses on research, innovation and education.

About Medavie Health Foundation
The Medavie Health Foundation is funded by Medavie Blue Cross and our partner, Medavie EMS, as part of a long term commitment to make a lasting impact in the communities where our employees and customers live and work. The Foundation is focused on two core causes of particular concern to Canadians - child and youth mental health and type 2 diabetes. It aims to bring organizations and communities together through collaborative multi-year partnerships and to support grassroots, community-based initiatives through an annual grants program. For more information, visit us at Follow us on Twitter: @MedavieFdn

As a not-for profit organization, Medavie Blue Cross is proud to commit an annual social dividend of 10 per cent of our net income to the Medavie Health Foundation.


  For more information contact:
Lisa Caissie
Media Relations Manager
Horizon Health Network
Tel: 1-877-499-1899

 Joanne Elliott
Community Relations Advisor
Medavie Health Foundation
Tel: 902‐496‐7189
Mobile: 902‐266‐9287



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