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Over $15K granted to help mental health and wellness

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MUSKOKA, ON – Organizations working on mental health projects are getting a funding boost.

The Muskoka Community Foundation announced the recipients of this year’s Smart and Caring Muskoka Fund this week.

Winners are Muskoka Seniors, Muskoka Parry Sound Sexual Assault Service, Muskoka Women’s Advocacy Group and the South Muskoka Hospital Foundation.

According to a release, a total of $15,600 was awarded to help organizations with programs geared toward 2019’s theme of mental health and wellness.

“The foundation is excited to support these four organizations who are working so hard to support the Muskoka Community,” Executive Director of the Muskoka Community Foundation Lynn DeCaro said in the release.”

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DeCaro added each project is unique and will have a positive impact on the community.

The money will help provide transportation to rural clients so they can attend events with Muskoka Seniors.

“These individuals do not drive and face many barriers preventing them from attending the luncheons,” Jen Pfrimmer with Muskoka Seniors said. “This opportunity will allow them to share a meal and socialize with others.”

Pfrimmer added that between October 1st and March 31 st there are around 21 luncheons.

Muskoka Parry Sound Sexual Assault Services is using its grant to increase capacity in local clinicians so they can support men who have survived sexual abuse.

The South Muskoka Hospital Foundation will use its funding to buy a new I.V. pump for the emergency department. It will be primarily used to treat drug overdoses.

“The treatment for a number of patients is to be given fluids or possibly an IV drip with the drug to reverse a drug overdose which can only be administered through an IV pump,” Leah Walker with the foundation said in the release. “It’s an urgently needed piece of equipment as we are seeing an increase in patients experiencing a mental health crisis or drug overdose.”

The Muskoka Women’s Advocacy Group said the money will support women taking part in an outreach program, which focuses on individual mindfulness. The project also helps connect women to each other while staying physically active outdoors.

The Muskoka Community Foundation is one of 191 Community Foundations across Canada giving out over $1 million. The local foundation has granted over $480,000 directly to a variety of registered charities throughout Muskoka.

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