The awards honour successful efforts to reduce stigma, encourage recovery and strengthen programs and services in the area of mental health and addiction. People across Alberta are finding inspiring ways to address the mental health and addiction challenges faced by individuals and society as a whole. Help us celebrate their accomplishments.
2020 Recipient: Corey Wyness
Corey has been working with queer and trans youth for over 30 years across three countries. He is currently the project coordinator for the Community Health Empowerment Well (CHEW) project that runs through the University of Alberta and the Institute for sexual minority studies and services. The CHEW project provide support and sanctuary for 2SLGBTQ+ youth who are facing barriers related to mental illness, addiction, and poverty.
Corey is an unsung hero who is always working for youth, with historically very little recognition, while providing a way for them to find resilience and hope. Corey excels at meeting youth where they are at on their journey, and has created a space in Edmonton that is safe and inclusive.
The CHEW project is more than a youth drop in center; it provides a sense of family for homeless 2SLGBTQ+ youth.
Learn more: chewprojectyeg.org
2020 Recipient: Innovations in Practice Conference 2019
Approximately 450 participants gathered in Edmonton on October 9 & 10, 2019 to hear renowned author, educator and speaker Dr. Temple Grandin and Dr. Ross Greene among other experts, address the mental health challenges of those living with Developmental Disabilities, Intellectual Disabilities and Autism Spectrum Disorder in Children and Adults. This event coincided with World Mental Health Day. The Innovations in Practice 2019 Conference – held at the Edmonton Inn & Conference Centre – attracted an enthusiastic and engaged crowd of Psychiatrists, General Practitioners, frontline Addiction and Mental Health clinicians, Teachers, support workers, families and individuals with lived experiences from across Canada. “This is one of the biggest conferences in the country in the field of Developmental Disabilities and mental health. It was a wonderful forum to learn about the most innovative practices in the field and it provided a great opportunity for people to network with their peers,” said Conference Chair Dr. Yogesh Thakker, a Clinical Lecturer in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Alberta (U of A) who also serves as Lead Psychiatrist for Alberta Health Services’ (AHS’s) Community Outreach Assessment and Support Team (COAST).
The conference committee was brought together for their shared expertise, compassion and desire to improve the understanding of this population’s mental health concerns. Other members of the Innovations in Practice Conference organizing committee included Mr. Scott Phillips, Assistant Chair, Department of Psychiatry, University of Alberta (U of A); Conference Co-Chair Dr. Pierre Chue, Professor, Department of Psychiatry, U of A; Dr. Keith Goulden, Associate Professor, Department of Pediatrics, U of A; Mr. Clayton Kleparchuk, Program Manager, Tertiary & Residential Services, Alberta Hospital Edmonton; Ms. Crystal Grunling, Conference Coordinator; Ms. Jennifer Sadowski, Clinical Supervisor, COAST; and Ms. Donna Brothers-Palfrey, Behavioural Consultant, COAST.