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Emergency Department

A day in the life of a Respiratory Therapist

A day in the life of… Taylor. Taylor has an important, life-saving job, but their profession is one that most people would not be able to describe. They are a registered respiratory therapist (RRT). Here is a snapshot of how Taylor spends their day.

Their shift starts in the hospital report room at 7:30 AM – coffee in hand, they are prepared for the 12-hour shift ahead of them. With their ever-present stethoscope around their neck and a pen in their pocket, Taylor learns from their co-worker, who is finishing the night shift, about the patient requirements for the day – six ventilated patients in ICU need assessments; two patients with tracheostomy tubes need care; three patients on the ward are on heated high flow oxygen devices; a breathing test has been ordered for a patient; and arterial blood gas needs to be drawn before a patient is sent home on oxygen.

At 7:45 AM, just as the report is finished, a “Code Blue” is called in the emergency department. Taylor rushes to the ED. They proceed to intubate and ventilate the patient to keep her airway open. They help the team administer life-saving respirations during the resuscitation. After 40 minutes of constant efforts to resuscitate the patient, the team is unsuccessful. Her grieving family arrives and as Taylor holds back tears they say “thank you for trying to save her”.

It’s now 8:35 AM. Taylor heads off to begin assessments of their patients and attend interdisciplinary rounds with the team in ICU. As they are about to enter the ICU, their pager goes off. They are needed in the NICU for a premature infant. The baby is born at just 32 weeks but is moaning and grunting and showing signs of increased work of breathing. Taylor starts the baby on nasal CPAP to open up his tiny lungs. Although the baby is small, he is in good health and his lungs begin working well. Mom, Dad and Grandparents cry with joy at this tiny miracle.

Throughout the rest of Taylor’s shift, they educate a patient with COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease) about his inhaled medications and discusses smoking cessation options. They take an arterial blood gas and set up a woman for oxygen at home to improve her shortness of breath with activities of daily living. Taylor assesses and manages patients in the intensive care unit on mechanical ventilators. Taylor discusses a plan for the tracheostomy patients with the physician to downsize or decannulate as part of the weaning process. They educate patients and other health care professionals about oxygen delivery devices.

You may wonder what type of health care professional gets to work in a variety of settings like Taylor. Taylor is a registered respiratory therapist. Not every respiratory therapist has a shift like Taylor’s. Among others, some work in the operating room as anesthesia assistants, others perform pulmonary function testing, research, work in home care or educate students. Respiratory therapists are important members of teams that provide care in hospitals, in clinics, in the community and in patients’ homes. The cycle of life and death is one of the profound and amazing things that a respiratory therapist gets to impact in the course of a day’s work. Whether it is in acute care, health prevention and promotion or diagnostic testing, the message is the same – respiratory therapists are dedicated to better breathing.

How does someone become a Respiratory Therapist?

Respiratory therapists graduate from three- or four-year programs (or equivalent) that include theory, lab and clinical components. In most jurisdictions, passing a credentialling exam and/or a license to practice is required following graduation.  Learn more about the Respiratory Therapy (BRT) program offered at the University of Manitoba.

Data from the federal government and the Canadian Society of Respiratory Therapists indicate a strong need for RTs in the next few years!  RTs can move from one province and work in another, but a provincial license to practice is required in most provinces.

For more information, contact the Canadian Society of Respiratory Therapists:

October 22-28, 2023 is Respiratory Therapist Week

See some of the Respiratory Therapists from around Prairie Mountain Health.

Hi, my name is Tina Szewczyk and my colleague is Erin Forsyth. We are the Registered Respiratory Therapists at the Dauphin Regional Health Centre. I have been an RRT for 27 years, and worked with PMH at the DRHC in acute care for 18 years. I was born and raised in McCreary. Erin Forsyth is standing with the ventilator. Erin has been an RRT since 2002. Previously working in the OR at Seven Oaks in Winnipeg, she relocated with her children and spouse, who also works at DRHC. She began here at DRHC in the Respiratory Clinic in Nov 2020, and has recently begun a permanent position at the DRHC in acute care. We are thrilled to have her join our Team at DRHC. Working to support the Respiratory Health of our friends, family and the north PMH  communities at large brings great satisfaction to us both.

Happy RT Week from the Respiratory Therapists at Brandon Rregional Health Centre!

Pictured L-R: Teresa Chapin, Kelley Fingas, Jennifer Sambrook, Alyssa Elliott and Kortney Blosha
Missing from Photo: Stephanie Nicholls, Teagan Kinsley, Rachel Veitch, Makenzie Riess, Lana Minuk, and Leah Sumner

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National Breastfeeding Week 2023

In Canada we celebrate National Breastfeeding Week from October 1-8.**  National Breastfeeding Week is a time to celebrate the role breastfeeding plays in providing children with the healthiest start in life.

Breast milk has just the right amount of fat, vitamins, protein, carbohydrates and minerals for optimal growth of the infant.  Breast milk also contains antibodies and other immune factors to help protect against infections and disease.  Breastfeeding benefits mothers short- and long-term health and will strengthen the special relationship between mother and baby.

This year’s theme is “Enabling Breastfeeding: Making a difference for working parents”.   This theme shines a light on how parents should not have to choose between breastfeeding their children and their work.  Making breastfeeding at work, work makes societies work!  Here in Canada families are blessed with paid maternity leave.  This is not the case in many countries. 

Breastfeeding support is possible regardless of workplace, sector or contract type.  Effective maternity policies improve children’s and women’s health and protect breastfeeding.  Despite this, currently more than half a billion working women lack access to vital maternity policies; many more find themselves unsupported when they return to work.  All women everywhere no matter their work should have at least 18 weeks, preferably more than 6 months, paid maternity leave; paid time off for breastfeeding or expressing milk upon returning to work; and flexible return to work options. (World Health Organization)

Ways to make a difference for working parents:

  1. Encourage parents to learn about national maternity leave benefits.
  2. Advocate in your workplace for flexible back to work schedules for breastfeeding parents.
  3. Advocate in your workplace to provide a place to breastfeed or express breastmilk while at work.
  4. Lobby local governments to improve maternity benefits/access to breastfeeding support.
  5. Encourage and support families on maternity leave.

Brandon Manitoba has many resources to help families during their breastfeeding journey.  These include the following:

  1. La Leche League Canada This is an international organization that is dedicated to helping mothers reach their breastfeeding goals.
  2. Local Public Health Nurse.  Find your local area nurse at Public Health – Prairie Mountain Health
  3. Western  Medical Clinic Family Physicians can assist with breastfeeding concerns.
  4. The Wellness Clinic Family Physician can assist with breastfeeding concerns.
  5.  The Baby Bump for prenatal classes.
  6. Lactation Consultant at Brandon Regional Health Centre – 204-578-4268.

Find additional resources at

**Canada celebrates World Breastfeeding Week in October.

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What You Can Do Heading into Respiratory Virus Season

Respiratory viruses are common, and they tend to spread more easily during cooler weather when Manitobans spend more time indoors with others. Viruses including Influenza (Flu) and Covid are contagious, and can have similar and overlapping symptoms.

People who have a respiratory virus often feel some or all of these symptoms:

  • Fever or feeling feverish/chills
  • Cough
  • Sore throat
  • Runny or stuffy nose
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headaches
  • Fatigue (tiredness)
  • Some may have vomiting and diarrhea (though more common in children)

Respiratory viruses can infect the nose, throat and lungs and cause mild to severe, and sometimes fatal illness. Most viruses are spread when people cough, sneeze or talk, and droplets land in the mouth or nose of nearby people. A person may also become infected by touching an object that has a virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose or eyes. Young children, seniors, and people with certain health conditions are at a higher risk of respiratory illness complications.

The BEST ways to reduce your risk and potential complications:

  • Get vaccinated, stay home when sick, wash hands frequently, cover your cough/sneeze, and wear a mask in high-risk situations

This respiratory virus season, updated Covid and Flu vaccine doses are recommended for all Manitobans 6 months of age and older. It is especially important for individuals who are considered high risk, those over the age of 65, and children under 5 years of age.

Manitoba Health continues to offer Pneumococcal 23 and High-Dose (HD) Flu vaccines to people 65 years of age and older. Most adults over 65, without underlying health conditions, only require one lifetime dose of pneumococcal vaccine. The High Dose Flu vaccine contains more antigen that older adults need to build a strong immune response resulting in better protection against the Flu virus.

You can get your Flu, Covid and Pneumococcal vaccines at a local community clinic, pharmacy, or your Primary Care Provider. All vaccines can be given safely at the same visit. It is recommended to receive your Covid vaccine 6 months since your last dose. Talk to your health care provider to determine the best time for you to be vaccinated.

Prairie Mountain Health (PMH) Flu and Covid Vaccine Clinics will be starting October 23rd.  For clinic dates and locations continue to check the PMH website and our Social Media pages (FacebookInstagramTwitter). 

Once again, this year you will be able to book your vaccine appointment online or call toll free 1-844-626-8222.

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Mental Illness Awareness Week is October 1-7th 2023

Each Year the first week of October is Canada’s National Campaign to enhance the awareness of mental Illness. The Canadian Alliance on Mental Illness and Mental Health set out the theme this year as Awareness, Access and Parity for Mental Health and Substance use Care in Canada. It is important to take time this week to educate yourself on mental illness. With greater understanding we strive to reduce stigma related to mental illness and substance use, along with breaking down barriers to seeking support around these issues. We want to encourage individuals with lived experiences or for those who have been affected to share their stories to break down barriers so people don’t feel alone in their struggles and to identify gaps in the need for services.

A mental illness is characterized by a clinically significant disturbance in an individual’s cognition, emotional regulation or behavior. It is usually associated with distress or impairment in important areas of functioning. It should be stated that because you have a mental illness does not mean you have poor mental health, and vice versa, you may not have a mental illness but you can still have poor mental health. It is important for each one of us to look after our mental health as we would care for our physical health.

At any one time many factors such as stress, family, community, or environmental factors can combine to protect or undermines one’s mental health. The World Who Organization states that although many people are resilient to life’s adversities, there are circumstances that could put individuals at higher risk such as poverty, violence, disability and inequality. Protective factors and risk factors can include individual psychological and biological factors such as emotional skills and coping and as well as genetics.  Many of the risk and protective factors are influence through changes in brain structure or function.


  • Each year 1 out of 5 Canadians experience a mental Health illness each year. – Mental Health Commission of Canada
  • More than 1 in 2 of struggling Canadians are not getting the mental health help they need. – Mental Health Research Canada
  • Untreated mental illness costs the Canadian economy around $50 billion every year. – Canadian Mental Health Association
  • Over 20% of Canadians in any given year will experience mental health concerns, only a third of those people will seek help or treatment. – Statistics Canada
  • In Canada, an average of 20 deaths per day are because of opioid overdose. – Statistics Canada

Please take time to educate yourself on mental health/illness. It is important we are all working together to raise awareness, fight stigma and provide support to those in need.

Should you or a loved one need support please do not hesitate to reach out for help. You can contact the Manitoba Suicide Prevention and Support Line at 1-877-435-7170, a crisis line available 24 hours per day. A trained crisis worker will listen to you and direct you to the resources you need. Locally you can contact Westman Crisis Services at 204-725-4411 or 1-888-379-7699 in Brandon Area, or 1-866-332-3030 for PMH-North- In an emergency call 911 or contact a local hospital or health office.

COMING SOON:   On Nov. 30 2023 the 988-suicide crisis line will be available to all Canadians in English and French, 24 hours a day and seven days a week. It will offer trauma-informed and culturally appropriate services by trained crisis responders by phone or text.

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Malnutrition Week October 2-6, 2023

Stronger together. The 1 in 3 older adults in the community at nutrition risk  and the 2 in 3 people in long term care with malnutrition are counting on their health care teams to work together to address malnutrition. This year, Malnutrition Week from October 2-6th is focused on making team based care even better for those at risk of and those living with malnutrition. Take a look at the ideas below to see how to help prevent and treat malnutrition.

Patients and residents

  • Tell your healthcare team if you have lost weight without trying or are eating less than usual or don’t feel like eating.

Health care aides

  • Help with meal set up and assist the person to eat as needed.
  • Measure patient/resident weights and talk with the team if you notice poor food intake or weight loss.


  • Avoid cleaning rooms on the unit when meals are being served.
  • Help patients and families keep beside tables clear for meals and uneaten food properly stored.

Food Services

  • Serve nutrient dense, appealing food that considers culture, likes and dislikes.
  • Ensure food is available during the day and after food service hours too.

Allied Health

  • Identify patients at nutrition risk such as those living with food insecurity or unable to do their own shopping or cooking.
  • Suggest least restrictive diets that are still safe for the patient or resident.
  • Use medications to help when intake is poor (to reduce nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, constipation, pain, etc.)
  • Develop plans that support best seating, position, support and tools at meal times.


  • Screen patients and residents for nutrition risk and work as a team to create a plan.
  • Encourage family and friends to bring in food and stay for meal time visit if patient/resident is not eating well.
  • Decrease mealtime interruptions.


  • Diagnose, document and treat malnutrition. Don’t forget nutrition as part of discharge plans.
  • Order diets with few restrictions and Medpass (high energy drink to take with medications) when appropriate.
  • Say No to NPO (nothing by mouth)

Family, friends and volunteers

  • Talk to the care team if you have concerns about your family member/friend’s weight loss or decreased food intake.
  • Assist your family member/friend with setting up at meals and help them to eat as much as possible from what is served.
  • Provide company during meals

For more ideas in how we can be Stronger Together against malnutrition, check out: Involving Everyone in Nutrition Care or


Public Health Agency of Canada PHAC. (2010). The chief public health officer’s report on the state of public health in Canada 2010 – Growing older: adding life to years. 

Keller H, Vucea V, Slaughter SE, Jager-Wittenaar H, Lengyel C, Ottery FD, Carrier N. Prevalence of Malnutrition or Risk in Residents in Long Term Care: Comparison of Four Tools. J Nutr Gerontol Geriatr. 2019 Oct-Dec;38(4):329-344. doi: 10.1080/21551197.2019.1640165. Epub 2019 Jul 23. PMID: 31335280.
Ramage-Morin et al. Health Reports 2013
Schuetz et al. Lancet 2019;
Howatson et al. J Prim Health Care 2015

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September 2023 Donations for PMH

6th Annual Memorial Ride raises funds for DRHC

Pictured from left: Tony Shewchuk (Tony’s Auto Electric), Chandel Bailey-Morrison (DRHC Care Team Manager) and John Dulewich (JDS Laundromat).

Nearly 50 motorcyclists took part in the 6th Annual Memorial Ride in late August 2023 and through their support, helped contribute towards identified needs at the Dauphin Regional Health Centre (DRHC). This year, the Memorial Ride, spearheaded by Tony’s Auto Electric and JDS Laundromat in Dauphin, made its way through Parkland-area communities along Highway 5 and Mountain Road and reached its final destination in Erickson. The 300 kilometre return trip raised a total of $2,200 that was donated to the health centre, through the Dauphin Hospital Foundation.

The Memorial Ride is held in loving memory for those lost over the past year. It aims to bring people together in celebrating and recognizing the lives of those lost and doesn’t matter if people rode a motorcycle or just purchased tickets. The goal was to enjoy the day, visit with people, share memories and contribute to a worthy cause!

Organizers were very pleased with the support of communities and individuals along the way. The Dauphin Hospital Foundation and Dauphin Regional Health Centre sincerely thank the organizers, participants and all who contributed to this worthy cause.

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National Day for Truth and Reconciliation | September 30

Click on image to enlarge

Prairie Mountain Health is located on the original lands of Anishinaabeg, Cree, Oji-Cree, and Dakota peoples and the homeland of the Métis Nation.

Prairie Mountain Health has committed to begin the work of reconciliation with the Indigenous people and communities in our region.

Many generations of First Nations, Métis and Inuit children were forcibly placed in more than 130 residential schools in a calculated effort to eradicate Indigenous languages and cultures from the 1870s to 1996.

On the northwest side of Brandon was the Brandon Residential School, which operated from 1895 to 1972. The legacy of the residential school era continues today and impacts us all.

In June 2021, the Government of Canada passed Bill C-5 to name September 30 the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation to recognize the past harms and wrongs inflicted on Indigenous children in residential schools by making it a federal statutory holiday.

September 30, also known as Orange Shirt Day, acknowledges Phyllis Webstad’s story that started the movement.

To commemorate the children who never returned home, survivors of residential schools, and those impacted by this legacy, WEAR ORANGE to show your commitment to reconciliation. 

Take a moment to reflect on what reconciliation means to you and how you can advance reconciliation in the workplace and in your community. 

Reconciliation is inevitable, though it is how we choose to make the relationship with Indigenous people that matters.  

Nellie KopitzRegional Manager of Indigenous Health, Prairie Mountain Health

Events Throughout Our Region

This is a small list of many events happening within within our region. We encourage you to participate in events in your community. If you are an event organizer, please email to have your event added to this list.

  • Birdtail Sioux Dakota Nation – The 2023 Reconciliation Run will take place on September 30th. The run will start at 8:00am at the ruins of the original former Birtle Residential School, and conclude on Birdtail Sioux Dakota Nation. Once all participants have made it back to Birdtail Sioux Dakota Nation, community members, volunteers, and participants are invited to a community gathering/feast.  Learn more.
  • Brandon Urban Aboriginal Peoples’ Council – Tuesday, September 26 to Sunday, October 1.  All events will take place on the grounds of the Riverbank Discovery Centre in Brandon, except the flag raising ceremony will be held Tuesday morning at City Hall.  Visit the BUAPC Facebook page to stay up to date and see the full schedule.
  • Dauphin – September 30, 220 Whitmore Ave (Parkland Crossing) at 11:00 am.  Please join us as we take time on this day to commemorate the tragic and painful history as well as the ongoing impacts of residential schools. Cultural entertainment will follow. 
  • Swan River – Join in on September 30th for the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation walk.  Beginning at 11am, Elbert Chartrand Friendship Centre (1413 Main Street E)  Free lunch to follow.


National Day for Truth and Reconciliation – Government of

National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation

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Do you say to-MAH-to or to-MAY-to?

Whichever way you pronounce the name of this heat-loving plant, summer is their time to shine! This flavorful ingredient is chalked full of vitamins and minerals, such as vitamin C & K, potassium and folate; as well as antioxidants like lycopene and beta-carotene. Not only are they a great source of nutrition, but tomatoes are extremely versatile, ranging in size, color and flavor profile. While there exist many different varietals of tomatoes in this article we’ll cover some of the more popular ones as well as some delicious recipe ideas.

Starting out with one of the smallest varieties, we have cherry tomatoes. Like the name indicates, these little guys are the size of cherries, are typically sweet, have a thicker skin than larger tomatoes and come in a variety of colors: orange, yellow, bright red and slightly mauve.  Although their size makes them perfect for snacking on their own, they are also great for adding a pop of color and a touch of sweetness to any dish. Try chopping them up with cucumbers, red onion, feta, olives and bell pepper to create a fiber rich salad that stores well in the fridge (Greek Salad Recipe – Love and Lemons). Pair it with some quinoa and chickpeas to create a balanced meal or have it as a side to your next BBQ.

Next, we have a popular tomato, well-known to Italian cuisine: the roma tomato. These medium-sized, oval shaped fruits are bursting with a rich tangy tomato flavor. Due to their strong taste, they work great in any dish to which you want to impart a slightly acidic and sweet tomato taste. For that reason, they are typically used in sauces, stews and even concentrated into tomato paste.  To intensify the tomato flavor and bring out it’s natural sweetness, try roasting the tomatoes beforehand. This recipe: Roasted Roma Tomato Sauce | The Frayed Apron is perfect for your next pasta night, if you’re looking for a sweet and zippy tomato sauce!

Lastly, one of the largest tomatoes are called beefsteak tomatoes; big, round, and mild in flavor. Compared to their smaller counterparts, they are a lot meatier and juicier; making them ideal for fresh sauces and salsas.  Try making this quick and simple salsa (Homemade salsa with fresh tomatoes – Chatelaine) for your next ‘Taco Tuesday’. Or make a show-stopping appetizer to impress your guest with these ‘Burrata stuffed tomatoes’ (Creamy Burrata Cheese-Stuffed Tomatoes Recipe – La Cucina Italiana). Both recipes are no-cook dishes, ideal for any hot night where you simply don’t want to turn on the oven! 

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World Suicide Prevention Day | September 10

World Suicide Prevention Day is September 10. Across the Prairie Mountain Health region, numerous activities are planned for the week of September 10 to recognize the importance of suicide prevention strategies and remember those lost by suicide. The theme for this year’s World Suicide Prevention Day is Creating Hope Through Action, as outlined by the International Association for Suicide Prevention.1

One in every 100 deaths worldwide is a result of suicide, and the impact of a person’s death by suicide can be devastating and felt deeply by their support network. World Suicide Prevention Day is a chance to talk about suicide and realize that each of us can play a valuable part in preventing suicide, whether our actions are big or small. 2. Suicide prevention is everyone’s business.

The power of coming together and reaching out is immeasurable. Often, we fear that intervening when someone else is struggling and asking about suicide will put the idea of suicide in someone’s head. This is a myth.

Talking about suicide is difficult, but there are things you can do. You can listen to people with a non-judgmental ear and remind the person you care for them. You can check in with people regularly to see how they are doing and listen supportively. You do not need to have all the answers. You can let others know they are not alone. You can be aware of resources in your area and introduce people to those resources.

Some activities you can participate in:

  • Light a candle in your window to remember someone lost by suicide at 8 pm on September 10.
  • Chalk your sidewalk with hopeful messages, walk down these sidewalks with someone, and talk about mental wellness.
  • Take part in an awareness walk in your area.
  • Attend mental wellness education that could help you learn more about preventing suicide.

Events happening in some PMH rural and northern communities:

  • Chalk the Walk– happening in Ste. Rose, Swan River, Dauphin, and Roblin. Community members or businesses interested in participating can pick chalk up from their local HERO Club or Community Health office in Swan River, Roblin and Dauphin, and the Community Health office in Ste. Rose. Chalk the Walk does not have a set date and will run from September 4 to 11th in these communities.
  • Awareness Walks– happening in Swan River and Roblin. The Walk in Swan River will start and end at Co-op and occur between Noon – 1 pm on September 8. Roblin’s Awareness Walk will start and end at the Roblin HERO Club (146 Main Street West) and run from 1 pm – 2 pm on September 11.
  • SafeTalk-workshops – happening in Roblin, Ste. Rose and Swan River on September 11. SafeTalk workshops in Swan River and Ste. Rose are from 1 pm – 5 pm and in Roblin from 9 am – Noon. If you are interested in registering, contact Lana Parker at or phone 204-638-2118 ext. 1713. The cost to participate is $20.

Events happening in the Brandon Area:

The Suicide Prevention Implementation Network (SPIN) will host several initiatives from September 4 to 11th. SPIN will acknowledge World Suicide Prevention Day on September 8, 2023. Please follow SPIN on social media for event updates.

  • Chalk the Walk – SPIN hopes businesses and support services around Brandon will partner with SPIN in this campaign. If interested in participating, SPIN will provide chalk and corresponding marketing materials. SPIN asks that each organization start the initiative on their sidewalk with their message of hope, tagging @spin_brandon and encouraging clients/individuals within your business to participate. SPIN will re-share your posts to recognize your support. Please contact  to make arrangements to pick up chalk. 
  • Clothing fundraiser – new SPIN signature sweaters and a special World Suicide Prevention Day t-shirt will be available. Funds raised will go towards providing Suicide Alertness training for the community. Please email for more information or check SPIN social media for details.
  • FREE 3-hour safeTALK training – Thursday, September 7, from 5 pm -8 pm. This educational opportunity will help you to be ready to reach out to someone thinking about suicide, overcome attitudes that act as barriers to help, talk openly about suicide and identify and connect people to resources in your area. SPACE is limited; register by emailing
  • Community lunch/recognition event – Friday, September 8 at Princess Park, Brandon, from Noon- 1 pm. Tables and displays will be set up to acknowledge individuals and organizations working towards suicide prevention and life promotion in our community. You can also pick up chalk at this event.
  • Candlelight vigil – SPIN encourages people to participate in a candlelight vigil on Sunday, September 10, at 8 pm to honor loved ones who have died by suicide or been impacted by suicide. Pick up a candle and care package on September 8 at Princess Park between Noon-1 pm.

For more information on these or other regional events, please contact SPIN at 204-578-2599 or email

If you are struggling or concerned about someone else’s suicidal thoughts, do not hesitate to reach out for help.

Contact the Manitoba Suicide Prevention and Support Line at 1-877-435-7170, a crisis line available 24 hours per day. A trained crisis worker will listen to you and direct you to the needed resources.

PMH Resources contact Westman Crisis Services at 204-725-4411 or 1-888-379-7699 in the Brandon Area or 1-866-332-3030 for PMH-North- Call 911 or contact a local hospital or health office.

COMING SOON:   On November 30, 2023, the 988-suicide crisis line will be available to all Canadians in English and French, 24 hours a day and seven days a week. It will offer trauma-informed and culturally appropriate services by trained crisis responders by phone or text.

Prairie Mountain Health- North Mental Wellness and Crisis Resources


Manitoba Suicide Line1-877-435-7170
Sexual Assault Crisis Line1-888-292-7565
Klinic Crisis Line1-866-367-3276
Manitoba Farm & Rural Stress Line1-888-322-3019
Manitoba Addictions Help Line1-855-662-6605
Kids Help Phone1-800-668-6868 or text CONNECT to 686868
First Nations & Inuit Hope for Wellness Help Line1-855-242-3310
Reason to

1 International Association for Suicide Prevention. (2023). World suicide prevention day 2023.

2 International Association for Suicide Prevention. (2023). Resources: World suicide prevention day banners.

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Back to School

The one chore many parents/caregivers hate about back to school is packing lunches. Its so easy to get into the habit of the same old same old. If you have sent the same apple to school multiple times a week and ended up just bringing it to work in your lunch on Friday, you are not alone.

Here are some tips for great lunches

  • Get help from your child. Children who help make lunches are more likely to eat it. Younger children can help choose between a couple fruit, veggies, or crackers that they would prefer. If you are running out of ideas they might have an idea for something different.
  • Stock up. Have easy to pack items on hand for those extra busy days. Keep stocked pantry items such as canned fruit, granola bars, canned fish, canned beans/chickpeas, whole grain crackers, and dried fruit and fridge items such as cheese cubes, hard boiled eggs, cut up veggies and fruit, yogurt etc. It helps to have a designated area in the cupboard and fridge for lunch items.
  • Keep lunch bags and containers in one area. Make packing quick and easy by designating a portion of a cupboard and or drawer for lunch items such as containers, lunch kits, thermos’ and water bottles.
  • If your children don’t have access to a microwave or time to reheat leftovers at school ,consider investing in a thermos. Heat it up by adding boiling water, cover and let stand for 2 minutes, dump out the water then put the hot food in. It stays warm until lunchtime. This is great for curries, soups, and stews.

Try these quick and healthy ideas

  • Cold cereal, milk or soy drink and berries
  • Freeze leftover burritos in single servings all ready to pack. Try different fillings such as scrambled egg, veggie, beef or chicken. 
  • Make a power bowl. All you need is a grain, protein, veggies and sauce/flavour (try – rice, beans, and peppers with salsa, or leftover chicken, pasta, tomatoes and pesto)
  • Boiled egg, snap peas and carrots, crackers, yogurt.
  • Muffin, cheese stick, cucumber and an orange.

Broccoli Cheese Muffins (from Guelph Family Health Study, Snack Healthy, Snack Happy Cookbook)

  • 2 cups (500 mL) flour
  • 1 teaspoon (5 mL) baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon (5 mL) baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon (5 mL) onion powder
  • Pinch salt
  • ¼ (60 mL) cup bell pepper, finely chopped
  • 1 ¼ cup (310 mL) cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ cup (125 mL) butter or margarine melted
  • 1 cup (250 mL) milk
  • 2 green onions, sliced
  • 1 cup (250 mL) broccoli, finely chopped


  1. Preheat oven to 350F and line muffin tins with paper cups
  2. In a large bowl, mix together flour, baking soda, baking powder, onion powder, salt, bell pepper and cheddar cheese.
  3. In separate bowl, whisk egg, butter, milk and green onions together.
  4. Stir in broccoli and fold in dry ingredients.
  5. Scoop into muffin tin and bake for 25 minutes until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
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