Partnership Blossoms with Ontario Shores and Parkwood

December 22, 2009

Blooming Buddies, a vocational group from Ontario Shores Centre for Mental Health Sciences (Ontario Shores), hosted a seasonal celebration at Parkwood Estate on December 16 to mark this important partnership that supports mental health in the community.

Ontario Shores continues to build new partnerships to provide patients with more opportunities to learn and develop job and social skills.  Blooming Buddies took root in August and the relationship between Ontario Shores and Parkwood flourished as staff and patients realized the benefits that stemmed from working together.

“Community partnerships are an important part of our patients’ recovery,” said Sheila Neuburger, Vice-President of Clinical Services at Ontario Shores.  “Patients are proud of the work they do at Parkwood and through their accomplishments are encouraged to continue on their journey to recovery.”

Patients participating in the Blooming Buddies program plant period gardens, engage in research projects and learn about history, botany and heritage.  They develop transferrable skills, foster relationships with people in the community and learn responsibility, while building confidence and self-esteem and gaining a sense of purpose.

“The work the volunteers complete at Parkwood provides the necessary support the small museum staff desperately need to upkeep the estate to the standards of the McLaughlins,” said Samantha George, Parkwood Curator.

Parkwood provides a serene and welcoming environment, in which staff and patients work together to preserve the natural beauty of the historical site.  The staff at Parkwood support, acknowledge and showcase the work completed by the patients and sincerely appreciate the extra help.
The celebration included a traditional tea service in Parkwood Estate’s greenhouse, a tour of the building and a slideshow featuring the work done by the patients throughout the year.

Vocational Rehabilitation Services at Ontario Shores provides individuals with skills training and development, placement, workshops, clinics, mock interviews, resume writing and a job club to support their transition to competitive employment.

About Ontario Shores Centre for Mental Health Sciences:
Ontario Shores Centre for Mental Health Sciences (Ontario Shores) is a leader in mental health care, providing a spectrum of specialized assessment and treatment services for people living with complex mental illness. Patients benefit from a recovery-oriented environment of care, built on compassion, inspiration and hope. Ontario Shores engages in research, education and advocacy initiatives to advance the mental health care system. 

For more information, or to set up an interview, please contact:
Communications and Public Affairs
Ontario Shores Centre for Mental Health Sciences
905-430-4055 ext. 4001