International Day for People Impacted by Suicide Loss | Nov 18
International Day for People Impacted by Suicide Loss | Nov 18
International Day for People Impacted by Suicide Loss (November 18th) is a day where people impacted by suicide loss, no matter where they live, can come together as communities to find and offer comfort and to remember their loved ones as they share stories of loss, healing, and hope.
For Brandon and the surrounding area, the Brandon Suicide Prevention Implementation Network (SPIN) has observed this day by collecting cards and having them on display. The cards hold messages commemorating a loved one who has died by suicide, and/or a message of hope to those that have been impacted by suicide loss.
This year, SPIN has attached a fillable card for members of our community to complete.
Once you have filled out your card and sent it back to [email protected], your message will be transferred onto a physical card and will join the display of cards that have been collected in the past.
The physical cards will be on display in the Health Studies Building at Brandon University the week of November 13th.
Also watch our social media platforms for a video where the facilitators of the Brandon and Area Suicide Bereavement Support Group will share the completed board and read a few of the messages from the community.
You can find additional resources and virtual events on the Canadian Association for Suicide Prevention (CASP) website.
Prairie Mountain Health would like to thank the following people and businesses for helping make our Spread the Warmth campaign a success at the November 17th Brandon Wheat Kings game!
Thank you to all attendees who brought donations! We collected new mitts, gloves, toques, socks and underwear to help our more vulnerable population during the cold winter months. The items collected will be given out to our various programs and services, such as our Emergency Departments, 7th Street Health Access Centre and Public and Mental Health offices.
Thank you to everyone who purchased pucks for the Chuck-A-Puck event; we raised $760 that will be used to purchase hygiene products and other necessities to help people in the community.
Thank you to the following businesses for their generous donations toward the Spread the Warmth prize pack that was given to lucky winner Emmy!
Brandon Regional Health Centre Gift Shop
Brandon Home Hardware Building Centre
Komfort Kitchen Brandon
Shoppers Mall Brandon
Victoria Inn Brandon
Thank you to our volunteers for helping at the game!
Prairie Mountain Health (PMH) continues to move forward on several major construction and renovation projects in partnership with Manitoba Health and Shared Health. The following is a brief update as of November 1, 2023.
Brandon Regional Health Centre (BRHC)
Construction to expand and renovate clinical spaces within the BRHC campus is going well with work on the new Critical Care bed tower addition underway. Once completed the entire project will feature:
a new 16-bed Intensive Care Unit – main level.
approximately 30 additional medical beds on – the 2nd floor.
3rd floor – mechanical space.
4th floor – shell space for potential future expansion.
The anticipated substantial completion for the Critical Care bed tower project is early 2026. As well, there is a planned renovation to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.
Western Manitoba Cancer Centre
Work continues on the expanded and renovated WMCC, which will serve as a regional cancer hub, providing enhanced cancer services for patients across western Manitoba. The project includes:
7,000-sq.-ft. expansion and renovation of existing space, including additional exam rooms and treatment spaces.
space for a ‘Centre of Hope’ for counselling and recovery patients to have additional support and resources.
second medical linear accelerator, used for delivering external beam radiation treatments to patients with cancer.
The anticipated substantial project completion is the spring of 2024.
Neepawa Health Centre
The new hospital is being built east of Neepawa on the north side of the Yellowhead highway near the Lions Campground.
It will be nearly double the size of the existing hospital, and will better serve patients from this broader western Manitoba geographic area. Features of the new health centre will include:
60 acute care inpatient beds, up from 35 at the current Neepawa site.
an expanded emergency department designed to best practice standards that include treatment and assessment rooms, trauma rooms and an ambulance bay.
adding a hemodialysis suite with nine dialysis stations.
enhanced space for a number of other programs, such as surgery, diagnostics, and palliative care, as well as outpatient services like chemotherapy (6 treatment stations).
The anticipated substantial completion right now is sometime in 2026.
Dauphin Regional Health Centre
Renovations to the Dauphin Regional Health Centre (DRHC) are converting temporary Emergency Department space to enhanced patient care areas and a further increase in hospital inpatient capacity. This includes:
a new Endoscopy suite will relocate all endoscopy procedures out of the existing operating room, further free up operating space, and increase surgical capacity.
a new Chemotherapy unit, relocating the existing unit on the hospital’s third floor to the main floor.
adding nine additional inpatient beds (seven on medicine, two on surgery).
Phase 1 anticipated completion (Endoscopy/Chemotherapy) is expected in December 2023.
Phase 2 completion (hospital in-patient renovations) is anticipated in the summer of 2024.
Killarney, Virden and Souris Health Centres
Three additional Emergency Department (ED) renovations in Virden, Killarney and Souris are complete. We are currently preparing to enter the new space. This involved:
dedicated space for registration and triage for those attending the ED. This will provide greater privacy but also better sight lines for staff to view patients and the waiting area.
refreshed treatment spaces (e.g.: new paint, flooring, etc.).
improved wayfinding for those arriving at the Emergency Department and for those coming to visit inpatients.
The new ED spaces will officially open in November 2023.
Russell Health Centre
Construction is well underway on the building addition to expand the cancer care unit at Russell Health Centre. Work on the $2.5 million project began in late spring and is anticipated to be completed in the spring of 2024.
Once complete, the project will add another 3,300 sq.-ft. to the health centre’s existing CancerCare Manitoba chemotherapy treatment space and include:
replacement of the existing nursing station and medication storage area;
creation of a dedicated patient washroom, nourishment area, and a small waiting area;
improved patient privacy.
PMH has collaborated with health partners and stakeholders for the necessary building planning, construction costs and associated timelines for this important capital project. The regional health authority will contribute annual operating costs for the expansion, including staffing and supplies.
Manitoba Substance Use and Addictions Awareness Week
Manitoba Substance Use and Addictions Awareness Week
In conjunction with National Addictions Awareness Week (NAAW), Manitoba Substance Use and Addictions Awareness Week (MSUAAW) focuses on promoting awareness around the effects of alcohol and other drugs, check out some of the events happening. This year, MSUAAW runs from November 19th to 25th, and the theme is Inspiration, Innovation, and Inclusion. The theme highlights the drive to create new research, best practices and emerging trends and issues, treatment and prevention initiatives and other innovations that affect the health and safety of people. The MSUAAW committees consist of members in multiple areas throughout the province that focus on providing resource information, community events, lunch and learns, and campaigns promoting the week. This opens opportunities for conversation, questions, information, and community involvement. Within the Prairie Mountain Health region, the MSUAAW Committee is in the process of planning events specific to the region, so please stay tuned for more information. The Committee is always looking for additions to the team, so if interested, you can contact your local members for more information.
As a part of the MSUAAW Committee, the Addictions Services (formerly Addictions Foundation of Manitoba) Team offers their knowledge and expertise in the addictions field. The Addictions Services Team includes Community Addictions Workers, Rehabilitation Counsellors, Youth Workers, Residential Care Workers, Cooks, Building Service Workers, Prevention and Education Consultants, Nurses, Admin Assistants, Supervisors and Director.
Some of the services the Addictions Services Team offer include Community-based Counselling, Family Programs, School Based Services, Youth Services, Education and Training, Non-Residential Treatment Programs, RE/ACT Program, In House Treatment Programs, MOST Clinic, RAAM Clinics, Impaired Driver’s Program, and Aricular Acupuncture. Addictions Services has 8 Community Office locations within Prairie Mountain Health and 2 In-House Treatment Centres.
How to Access our Services:
Individuals wanting to attend community based or in-house treatment programs must first meet with a Community Addictions Worker to do the intake and assessment process. Information is gathered to determine level of involvement with alcohol, substance use and/or gambling and information is provided for services available and/or recommended.
Currently in the Brandon-Parkwood Community Office, intake services are available by phone appointments only during the following times: Monday and Wednesday 9am to 4pm and Friday 9am to noon. In person intake appointments are available upon request. The drop-in in person intake group will be offered soon. In all other locations (including, Dauphin, Swan River, Virden, Rossburn, Minnedosa, and Boissevain) intake services are assigned to next available counsellor and are scheduled appointments.
Should the client decide they are interested in accessing one of the in-house treatment programs the community addictions worker will make the referral to the program.
Transgender week was established in 2017 to recognize the issues faced by individual’s whom are transgender and the allies that support them. This week is a time for people to come together and to support the transgender communities by encouraging education, protection from discrimination or hate, and ensuring we are honouring their choices. The week is followed by Trans Day of Remembrance and Resilience (TDoRR) which falls annually on November 20th. Which is a day of remembrance to individual’s who have lost their lives to transphobic violence.
Individual’s whom express being transgender identity that their gender does not match with the sex they were assigned as birth. There are many terms that may be used by individual’s including male, female, non-binary, gender non-conforming, he/him, she/her, or they/them. Transgender identify may be accompanied with a desire to transition to the gender that one identifies with.
ITgetsbetterCanada suggests ways of developing TransAllyShip within communities, work spaces, and personal lives through these ways:
Do your own research – learning about terminology, experiences, and issues that are impacting the transgender communities
Listening to transgender voices – find out what their experiences have been and remembering one narrative does not fit all.
Normalizing the sharing of pronouns – this helps to create environment that are inclusive and welcoming. Places to include your pronouns can be in verbal introductions, name tags, and email signatures.
Challenging negative comments or jokes that are transphobic – spreading awareness about the negative impacts on comments and jokes helps to reduce barriers and stigma for individuals.
Nurse Practitioners continue important role within PMH
Nearly a decade has passed since the Province highlighted the first-ever Nurse Practitioner Day in Manitoba (November 18, 2013). Ten years later, the important role of Nurse Practitioners (NPs) in providing primary health care services in the Province remains evident.
Prairie Mountain Health (PMH) remains committed to establishing a sustainable workforce that meets the region’s current and future needs. In terms of capacity building, one of the key areas of focus remains a dedicated effort to recruit and retain more NPs.
As of November 1, 2023, Prairie Mountain Health (PMH) employs 27 NPs who provide service to and within 31 communities. The most recent recruits were to the communities of Carberry, Erickson (with two days a week in Minnedosa), Swan River and Virden. NPs also provide service in 10 First Nation communities, including Sapotaweyak, Skownan, O-Chi-Chak-Ko-Sippi, Tootinaowaziibeeng, Ebb & Flow, Sioux Valley, Waywayseecappo, Keeseekoowenin, Birdtail Sioux, Canupawakpa as well as the Metis community of Waterhen.
NPs work in various settings and consult with physicians and other health-care providers. They provide services in primary care, long-term care, acute care, emergency, teen clinics, health centres, youth clinics, and university and community colleges. This includes shifts on the Mobile Clinic (primary care bus) and at Brandon’s 7th Street Health Access Centre.
“The importance of Nurse Practitioners within PMH cannot be overstated,” said PMH CEO Brian Schoonbaert.
“While we continue to recruit to fill our physician vacancies, we have been fortunate lately to have Nurse Practitioners provide services in some communities that have been historically short of doctors. They also provide service within some personal care homes, primary care centres and the primary care bus (mobile clinic). We fully support a proactive approach to recruiting and retaining NPs in Prairie Mountain Health.”
Schoonbaert says PMH has backed a version of ‘Grow your Own NPs’ with funding support, where possible, is provided to have Bachelor of Nursing staff upgrade their skills to become an NP. An expression of interest for paid education leave closed late last month, the second intake in the previous year and the third since PMH became a region. Upon completion of their studies, a return of service agreement is tied to service delivery in a community area.
What type of services are available from a Nurse Practitioner?
A Nurse Practitioner (NP) is a Registered Nurse (RN) who has completed advanced education at a master’s level. NPs are registered with the College of Registered Nurses of Manitoba (CRNM). They work independently and can provide many services, including:
Completing assessments and physical exams, including pap tests and pre-natal care/exams;
Diagnosing and managing common acute issues and chronic disease management like diabetes;
Prescribing medications, treatments and therapies;
Ordering diagnostic tests like blood work, x-rays, ultrasounds, CT scans and MRIs;
Performing minor procedures like suturing, biopsies, wart and mole removal, and
Referring to other health providers, including specialists.
The region anticipates being in a position to hire more NPs pending completion of successful educational and licensing requirements.
Mushrooms – a polarizing food that elicits either love or hate in most people. Personally, I am a huge mushroom advocate. They have a savory, umami flavor that adds a lot of depth and richness to a dish without breaking the bank. Neither plant or animal, this substance known as a variety of fungus, comes in multiple different shapes, sizes and color. With more than 10 000 kinds, examples include button mushrooms, cremini, enoki, portobello, porcini, chanterelle, shiitake, oyster, etc. Depending on your preferences, you can select a mushroom perfect for the dish you make. Let’s explore some common kinds you can find in your grocery store:
Button: One of the most common mushrooms and readily available in grocery stores, the white mushroom is mild in flavor; making them extremely versatile. You can often see them on pizzas, in pasta sauces, sliced on salads, added to omelets or served as a side on top of a steak.
Cremini: Creminis are button mushrooms that are harvested at a later date, making them slightly more flavorful than the latter. While they look almost identical to white mushrooms, an easy way to distinguish the two is the brown colored cap of a cremini. Try adding them to all the same dishes you would use button mushrooms for but if you want a slightly stronger earthy flavor.
Portobello: The older, larger, and more robust cremini mushroom are a fan-favorite for their strong earthy taste and meaty texture. The large caps make them ideal for grilling or stuffing for a great appetizer.
Oyster: Not as well-known as the former three, these mushrooms are a must-try for anyone looking to compliment dishes with specific flavor profiles. For example, pink oysters have hints of bacon/ham; blue oysters have seafood undertones; yellow oysters have a slight cinnamon/citrus flavor and phoenix oysters resemble star d’anise. With a “meaty” texture they are also ideal candidates for anyone looking to a plant-based dish.
Shiitake: My personal favorite, these mushrooms are for anyone looking to add strong umami flavors since they have deep, earthy and buttery qualities. They are a great sautéed and if you really want to pack a punch, try using their dried variety!
Now, if I haven’t already sold you on giving mushrooms a try, then maybe the following facts will change your mind:
Mushrooms are a source of D & B vitamins and minerals like phosphorus, selenium, copper and potassium.
Mushrooms are composed of 80-90% water, making them a low-energy and flavorful ingredient to bulk up dishes needing a savory component
Mushrooms are a great addition to vegetarian dishes as they provide an umami quality due to a substance known as glutamate, an amino acid found in cheese, meats and fish.
Looking for some tasty mushroom dishes to give a try:
Camp Bridges, Love Builds Bridges Where There Are None
Camp Bridges, Love Builds Bridges Where There Are None
November 16th is Children’s Grief Awareness Day, a day dedicated to helping people learn about the ways they can support a grieving child. In Canada, over 203,000 children will experience the death of someone in their extended family; with 1 in 14 experiencing the death of a parent or sibling. In recognition of Children’s Grief Awareness Day, the Prairie Mountain Health Palliative Care Program would like to share information about Camp Bridges.
What brought together the 40 children and youth who attended Camp Bridges 2023? It may have been sitting around the fire eating smores, staying up late into the night giggling, coming up with a cabin cheer or participating in fun activities like ziplining and horseback riding. But – more likely – it was the shared knowledge that each of them has experienced the death of someone they love.
Camp Bridges is a children’s bereavement camp organized by the Palliative Care Program at Prairie Mountain Health. It is open to any child in Manitoba, aged 7-15 years old, who is grieving the death of someone significant in their life. Camp Bridges provides a safe environment where campers have the opportunity to interact and share their feelings with other children who are in similar circumstances. While the camp is not designed to provide grief therapy, Campers learn to understand their grief as a normal experience, recognize they are not alone and have the chance to “just be a kid again”.
In 2023, Camp Bridges was hosted at Circle Square Ranch, a beautiful Western-inspired space with ample sunshine and a variety of fun activities. Upon arrival, Campers were welcomed by smiling volunteers and had the opportunity to choose from an assortment of donated comfort items, including: a hand-made blanket/stuffy from Project Linus, a knitted hug scarf from Palliative Manitoba and a bag of camping goodies from Shine Through The Rain Foundation. Campers said goodbye to parents and caregivers, who were sent home with a resource package to help them understand and support their child’s grief.
After checking in, Campers head to their cabins to unpack and get to know their cabin mates. It is astonishing how quickly the children form bonds with each other by sharing their name and the reason they have come to this special camp. Campers are invited to create a picture frame and display a photo of their person on the Wall of Memories. This activity provides children with an opportunity to talk about the person who died, share favorite memories and form connections with other grieving children. As they look upon the wall, filled with photos of parents, siblings, grandparents, friends and other important people, they know they are not alone in the experience of losing someone special.
Camp Bridges offers all the things expected from a summer camp, including: ziplining, archery, mess hall meals, horseback riding, outdoor games and lots of laughter and fun. Sprinkled in alongside are memorial activities that teach children about grief, allow them to acknowledge their loss and find support in one another and camp volunteers. Memorial activities include: creating a memory box, writing on HOPE stones and sewing a pillow made from their loved one’s clothing. As an annual Camp Bridges tradition, a memorial service was held where children could light a candle for their special person in a space of shared reflection, empathy and support. These activities help children maintain a continued connection with the person who died and lets them know that death ‘ends life, but not love’.
Campers had the opportunity participate in sessions of art therapy, with Pipestone Art Therapy and music therapy, with Satori Counselling & Expressive Arts Therapy. These activities help children connect to their emotions and express them through creative outlets and physical movement. Children learn that grief is a natural and normal response to loss, and that expressing their feelings can help. Finally, it was time to close out Camp Bridges with a butterfly release ceremony. Campers and their families gathered in a large circle to release Monarch butterflies. It was in that moment of watching the butterflies take flight, that one could grasp the profound impact Camp Bridges had on these young grievers and their families.
Camp Bridges is facilitated by a dedicated group of volunteers who give their time, energy and heart to create the warm and fun-filled atmosphere. Cabin leaders are responsible for ensuring Campers get to scheduled activities and provide care and guidance throughout the weekend. A second crew of volunteers help children sew memory pillows, a treasured keepsake that will comfort them for years to come. Volunteers are trained in recognizing and supporting the unique ways that children grieve. Finally, Camp Coordinators, made up of staff from PMH Palliative Care, provide camp oversight and nursing duties for the weekend. If you are interested in volunteering with Camp Bridges 2024 please contact Carla Mitchell at 204-578-2310 or [email protected]
Camp Bridges is thankful to all of the special people who make this camp possible! Due to the generous donations received, we are able to offer Camp Bridges free of charge for 40 campers each year. In 2023, the amount of applications received well exceeded the available spots; highlighting the continued need for children’s bereavement support services. We are grateful to the individuals, organizations, community service groups and palliative care volunteer committees who contributed financially. We would also like to thank Kuiper’s Family Bakery and Co-op for donations of food and snacks. If you would like to donate to Camp Bridges, please contact Melissa Peters at 204-578-2340 or [email protected] . Income tax receipts are issued for donations.
To learn more about Camp Bridges, or find additional resources to support grieving children, visit our website. Please note: Camp Bridges 2024 applications will be available in January 2024.
Walking Alongside Grief…. Reaching Out to a Grieving Heart
Walking Alongside Grief…. Reaching Out to a Grieving Heart
On November 21st, the Canadian Hospice Palliative Care Association acknowledges National Grief and Bereavement Day 2023. It is a day to take action, be present and support those around you who are on a grief journey.
Grief is the natural and normal response human beings have to loss, especially when someone significant dies (also referred to as bereavement). Grief is complex and can have significant impacts on all aspects of self, including physical, emotional, behavioral, intellectual and spiritual reactions. Grief does not follow a predicable timeline and every person grieves in their own unique way.
Despite the fact that grief is a universal human experience, we often don’t know how to respond when someone we love is grieving. It is difficult to bear witness to the intense feelings, thoughts and behaviors that accompany grief. In society, talking about death or grief is taboo and this can leave us feeling uncomfortable, never knowing quite what to say or uncertain about how we can be helpful.
But here’s the truth – we all have the power to make sure that people do not face their grief journey alone. For many reasons, grief can be a deeply isolating and lonely experience. Reaching out with simple gestures of kindness can make a profound impact and let the grieving person know they are not alone in navigating grief and loss.
A good place to start is understanding that grief is an important healing process, one that cannot be rushed or fixed. As a support person, it is not your job to fix the grief, but rather to walk alongside it and offer acknowledgement, compassion and support. Even when it feels like there is nothing you can say to make things better; your actions can speak volumes and provide solace to a grieving heart.
Some small, but impactful ideas, to support a grieving person:
Just reach out.
Show up and listen, listen, listen.
Bring food that is ready to eat, or easy to prepare.
Offer concrete help (mow the lawn, do laundry, grocery shop, take out garbage)
Ask about the person who died or share a favorite memory/photo
Avoid platitudes or clichés
Send a card or care package (grief journal, art supplies or book)
Go for a walk together
Offer to help sort though or pack up the loved one’s belongings
Invite them to social events (and be accepting if they decline)
Arrange to babysit or take children to activities
Offer to attend a grief support group with them
Acknowledge important dates, such as the holidays or death anniversaries
While grief is a lonely journey, it is one that we needn’t walk alone. Every member of a compassionate community can reach out with small acts of kindness and connection. There are also community resources to help grievers connect with others who are experiencing a similar circumstance. The Palliative Care Program offers a listing of grief supports available in Prairie Mountain Health. To access the available supports please visit our website.
Dauphin Hospital Foundation receives donation from Legion
Ahead of Remembrance Day, the Dauphin Hospital Foundation recently received a generous donation from the Royal Canadian Legion Dauphin Branch #20 Poppy Fund. The donation, in the amount of $8,965 will be used to purchase blood pressure monitors for the Dauphin Regional Health Centre’s Palliative Care Unit.
Pictured are Greg Thompson, Chairperson of the Dauphin Hospital Foundation and Norma Johnson, Dauphin Poppy Fund Chair.
Johnson says the donation was a result of ongoing contributions received through their collections of poppy sales and wreath rentals. Johnson urges Parkland residents to consider donating through purchases of poppies again this year.
Both the Dauphin Hospital Foundation and Prairie Mountain Health sincerely thank the Dauphin Legion Branch #20 for their heartfelt contribution.
Bell Giving Program
On September 25, 2023 the Brandon Regional Health Centre Auxiliary was honored to receive a $3000.00 donation from the “Bell Giving Program.”
Bell/MTS retirees are able to accumulate volunteer hours which they in turn can convert into grants for charities of their choice. The BRHC Auxiliary was the recipient of this years grant.