New outdoor space offers natural healing at Children’s Hospital

Manitoba’s Children’s Hospital Foundation (CHF) is opening a new outdoor play area for those admitted to the Child and Youth Mental Health Unit.

Today, in a press release, CHF announced the opening of a new space for children to play, exercise and enjoy the outdoors.

“Thanks to our visionary donors, we have added a creative, functional and meaningful space to aid in the mental health care and treatment of children and youth,” said Stefano Grande, President and CEO of CHF Manitoba. “This calm and nurturing outdoor environment is a testament to the many generous donors who believe, like us, that providing the best possible mental health support is key to the well-being of children.”

A number of initiatives have been launched in Manitoba to improve health services in the province. As the CBTm program and the investment of 30 new nursing chairs at Red River College Polytechnic.

The Playground is an action plan to target children who suffer from mental health issues and illnesses so they can create better outlets and coping mechanisms at a younger age. As 70% of mental illnesses occur during adolescence and childhood.

“A safe and welcoming outdoor space is essential to providing appropriate care to our patients,” says Val Mondor, Mental Health Program Manager at Health Sciences Center (HSC) Winnipeg. “This new space, which includes areas for team sports, independent workouts and yoga, will give kids a place to enjoy the outdoors.”

CHF raised $425,000 in donations with funding from the following donors: Access Credit Union, Aiden Anderson, Ella Anderson, Earl and Cheryl Barish, Bell Let’s Talk, Canada Life, Giant Tiger Stores Limited, Red River Co-op , Sports Legacy/Save the Jets Fund (1996), Gary and Gwen Steiman, in honor of Dr. Hugh Taylor, Pediatrician, The Thomas Sill Foundation Inc., and The Winnipeg Foundation.

“We really wanted to help create a space that would have a positive impact on children and teens in the Child and Youth Mental Health Program,” said Kelly Romas, director of marketing for lead donor Red River Co-op. “Hearing the stories of patients using the space for school and to spend time with family made our donation worthwhile.”

Patients and their families are grateful for the space because they believe the fresh air is much better than being in a hospital room.

“Visiting outside is comforting, more relaxing and refreshing than being in the hospital room,” says one grateful parent. “I know my child has enjoyed the fresh air and the chance to be outside in this beautiful space.”