March – Charity Spotlight

Mercator Financial Inc. – Our Community

March 2018 Mercator Financial Inc. Charity Spotlight is on the Swift Current branch of the Canadian Mental Health.


Canadian Mental Health Association:

Nationally, the Canadian Mental Health Association celebrates 100 years as  a non-profit agency with over 200 branches across Canada. CMHA exists to forerunner in advocacy, support and research for individuals suffering with mental illness.

Swift Current Branch:

Our Swift Current Branch celebrates 40 years and supports the goals of CMHA at the community level. Our Club House provides a setting where clients can attend and meet in a safe, comfortable and supportive setting.


CMHA Swift Current facilitates access to the resources people require to maintain and improve mental health and community integration, build resilience and support recovery from mental illness.


Mentally healthy people in a healthy society.



Building Capacity – Strengthening the capacity of individuals, families, professionals, organizations and communities to address mental health needs.

Influencing Policy
– Influencing the design and implementation of policies and services related mental health.

Providing Services – Providing services and supports that maintain and improve mental health and community integration, build resilience and support recovery from mental illness.

Developing Resources – Building the financial and human resources and partnerships required to address mental health needs.

Swift Current History and Accomplishments:

      • The Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) Branch in Swift Current had it origins in the Alfred Cooper Club, which opened on August 8, 1978 in the lower level of the Recreation Centre. The goal of the Alfred Cooper Club was to occupy the idle time of the mentally and physically handicapped and of the mentally ill. The club was named after Mr. Alfred Cooper who organized the Mental Health Association Branch in Swift Current. The club was opened by Mrs. Mary Donovan, who saw the need to help fulfill the lives of the handicapped and mentally ill in Swift Current.
      • In 1984 a Drop-In Centre was opened for clients, it worked in tandem with the Alfred Cooper Club and gave clients a chance to enjoy a social setting previously unavailable to them.
      • Realizing the need to increase the amount of services for the mentally ill in the city, the South West Community Centre was established on October 30, 1986 with the help of building funding from the Kinsmen. It was closely associated to Mental Health Services, the Rehabilitation Council, and other relevant agencies (the Schizophrenic Society in Saskatchewan, the Light House Ministries, Adult children of Alcoholics and Alcoholics Anonymous).
      • In October 1989, a Vocational Program was created at the Centre (snow shoveling, housekeeping and odd jobs).
      • In Spring of 1990 the McKerracker house closed, which had a negative impact on the available services in Swift Current. In September of 1990 the Alfred Cooper Club also closed as they were unable to reach goals set out by the club.
      • In 1990 the South West Community Centre expanded its board to include more community involvement (ie: the Board of Trade, Services Clubs and City Council). Programs were altered to include a daily meal.
      • In 1991 the “Odd Job Squad” gained support with the public. In September 1991, a Day Therapy Program was initiated at the Centre to provide rehabilitation assistance to the recreational, social and activity programs.
      • In 1998 the Opportunities Funds, provided by Human Resources Development Canada, allowed the Centre to provide a wider range of services. At this time the Centre began its Pre-Vocational Program, a program in which clients were paid for their work at the Centre.
Programs and Information
CMHA Swift Current embraces the psycho-social rehabilitation (PSR) model which empowers clients by encouraging their full participation in the services they choose. Recovery is a process and possible for mental health clients. Swift Currents drop in Centre for people with long term mental illness is open Monday – Friday 9:00am – 1:00pm. The Centre offers social, recreational, educational and vocational opportunities.

Meal Program – cold breakfast and hot lunches run Monday to Friday. Donations of food are gratefully accepted to support the meal program. Total meals served in 2017 was 7740!

Educational Program – nurses, dietitians, addictions and grief councilors give presentations to clients. There is a Recovery and Stop Smoking Program.

Social and Recreational Program – by staying on top of events in our community, the program coordinator will arrange outings to events that will allow clients to visit the library, take part in weekly bowling, attend hockey and ball games as well as hitting balls at the golf course.

2018 Events
The Swift Current Branch of the Canadian Mental Health is a non-profit, non-government agency and is one of over 200 throughout Canada. To help maintain the standard of programs offered for clients the Swift Current Branch will build awarenss, host events and accepts donations of food and personal hygiene products.

Nationally the 67th CMHA Mental Health week is May 7th – May 13th, 2018 as part of the #GetLoud campaign. Canadians are encouraged to reflect on their own attitudes and take action for increased mental health. During mental health week Canadians are also ask to raise awareness and to Get Loud to end wait times, why – because it takes far too long for patients to get the health care they need, when they need it! So Get Loud for the people who suffer, the people you love and be their voice so they don’t become sicker. 

Locally Mental Health Awareness is a priority for the Swift Current CMHA Branch. The annual Mayor’s luncheon is always a great event as the community gathers to show financial support and listen to compelling stories of those whose lives have been touched by mental health. The Swift Current CMHA Walk is a fun event that is about celebrating the life of Jimmy Richardson. A former member of the Swift Current CMHA Branch, Jimmy was a dedicated participant of the CMHA walk and would collect about eight hunderd dollars a year – fifty cents at a time! To honour his memory the walk was renamed the Jimmy Richardson Walk for Wellness.

May 2, 2018 – represents the 14th Annual Mayor’s lunch at the Event Centre, Living Sky Casino with guest speaker Swift Current Fire Chief Denis Pilon who will share is presentation titled “The Vision That Was Planted in My Brain”

August 2018 – Date to be announced for a BBQ that will be held in the name of Jimmy Richardson.  The BBQ will honour Jimmy as well as celebrate the Swift Current Branch’s 40th Anniversary.

To learn more visit the Swift Current Branch of CMHA website: or call 306-778-2440.

Follow them on Facebook at Canadian Mental Health Association Swift Current Branch.

Follow us on social media for the month of March for more information about the Swift Current Branch of the Canadian Mental Health.

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