September 15, 2009 12:00 ET

One Small Step for the Canada Post Foundation for Mental Health, One Giant Cheque for the Elizabeth Fry Society!

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Sept. 15, 2009) - The Elizabeth Fry Society of Ottawa is pleased to announce that it has been chosen from among 200 applicants to receive a grant from the Canada Post Foundation for Mental Health. The grant will be used to provide counselling and support services for women and youth coming through Adult and Youth Mental Health Court.

"We are thrilled to be a recipient of this grant, not only because we have the honour of receiving the first cheque of this new Foundation, but also because funding for services to individuals coming through Mental Health Court is so needed and very difficult to source," said Bryonie Baxter, Executive Director of The Elizabeth Fry Society of Ottawa. "We fully support the efforts of all who have made Adult and Youth Mental Health Court so successful in recognizing and responding to the different needs of individuals with mental health issues in the criminal justice system. We have been providing services to these courts with no funding, but the clock was ticking on our ability to provide these services for free. This Canada Post Foundation for Mental Health money will ensure that we can continue to offer counselling and support services." Services provided from the program include housing support, trauma counselling, anger programming, theft prevention programming, reintegration support and relapse prevention, in a way that responds to individual client need and is sensitive to the challenges they face as a result of mental illness.

Since 1951, the Elizabeth Fry Society of Ottawa has been providing assistance to women and female youth involved in the criminal justice system and those at risk of coming into conflict with the law. The organization offers a variety of different programs and services to provide women with confidential and supportive living and learning environments. Women of all ages are referred to Elizabeth Fry Society of Ottawa by the officials working in the criminal justice system, by lawyers, medical professionals, social workers, social assistance workers, and by staff of community-based organizations and agencies. Women also seek out services through word-of-mouth referrals and self-referrals. Through its programs and services, Elizabeth Fry helps women and their families make changes... one step at a time; and they have been successful in doing so for almost 60 years.

The Canada Post Foundation for Mental Health is giving out more than $1 million in grants this year to fund projects of 20 non-profit community-based groups in all regions. The groups received grants ranging from $10,000 to $75,000 each.

The grants, which come from money raised in 2008 through the collective efforts of Canada Post, its employees and the public, were allocated by the Foundation to projects that directly benefit people affected by mental illness. Canada Post employees rallied to raise funds for the fledgling Foundation after it was formed in June 2008 to increase awareness and money for mental health, the corporation's cause of choice.

"Canada Post is proud to assist in being able to provide this kind of practical, direct support to people who are struggling to cope with mental illness and to the organizations across the country that deliver services to help them," said Canada Post President and CEO Moya Greene "We are pleased to see that almost every dollar donated is going right to the front line where it can do the most good. The need is great, particularly in these times, and only a small share of healthcare spending is devoted to mental illness."

James Roche, Chairman of the Canada Post Foundation for Mental Health added, "Trustees were deeply impressed with the quality and worthiness of applications received. With only $1 million available for disbursement, the Grants Advisory Committee did an excellent job assessing the applications received and in making recommendations to ensure the Foundation's money will have the greatest positive impact possible on patients and their families. The Elizabeth Fry Society's program certainly fits that bill."

This October, to coincide with Mental Illness Awareness Week, employees at post offices will again ask customers to donate to the Foundation. On September 14, Canada Post also issued its second fund-raising domestic-rate Mental Health stamp following on the highly successful Mental Health stamp it issued last October. One dollar from the sale of each booklet of 10 stamps goes to the Foundation.

To learn more about the Elizabeth Fry Society, visit

To learn more about the Canada Post Foundation for Mental Health, visit

Contact Information

  • For media requiring images from the
    cheque presentation event or of the new Mental Health stamp:
    Elizabeth Fry Society
    Bryonie Baxter
    Executive Director
    Cause of Choice
    Cindy Daoust