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Lutherwood school program to benefit from $100K grant

A $100,000 grant from The Cowan Foundation will allow for Lutherwood’s Children’s Mental Health Centre to reduce wait times, improve treatment and academic outcomes by restructuring its mental health treatment and academic program delivery.

Lutherwood, a not-for-profit health and social service organization, supports youth with mental health issues, workers looking for employment and people at risk of being homeless. Currently, they offer intensive mental health treatment for youths 12 to  18 years of age at Lutherwood’s Children’s Mental Health Centre, which is staffed by Lutherwood counsellors and Waterloo Region District School Board teachers.

Originally, youth were organized into program-specific classrooms. With this approach, some program desks sat empty while there was a wait list for others. The new model will see the youth attend the class that best meets their literacy, learning and developmental abilities and is flexible enough to accommodate fluctuations in demand – shortening wait times, mixing residential and day treatment to more closely parallel life in the community, accommodate plans outside of traditional school year timing and ultimately better prepare for re-integration into community schools.

“We have a model that really mimics the community school setting a lot more closely, and that’s really valuable because it is preparing the kids to return to their community schools,” explained Emily Cullen, lead teacher from the Waterloo Region District School Board.  “That is our ultimate goal for the clients that we serve here at Lutherwood, is seeing them go back home, going to their community school, use the skills they learn in our setting and be successful.”

With the $100,000 Lutherwood will be able to fit together all of the pieces to make sure this plan is implemented and successful.

Having had an ongoing relationship with Lutherwood over the past number of years, the goal of their application fit well into the foundation’s mandate.

“Lutherwood is the leader in youth mental health programs and initiatives in the region. The opportunity to support the restructuring of Lutherwood’s mental health treatment and academic program deliver at its Children’s Mental Health Centre is in perfect alignment with one of The Cowan Foundation’s mandates – to invest in Canadian charitable organizations with a special focus on transformational programs for children and youth that teach valuable life skills and expand leadership capabilities – specifically assisting at-risk children and youth,” said Terry Reidel, executive director of The Cowan Foundation, which was launched in 1995.

“The Cowan Foundation invests in programs and charities that align with the businesses within the Princeton Holdings group of companies and reflect our business philosophies and values of innovation, collaboration, commitment and integrity. They will also be client-focused and results-driven,” said Reidel.  “This approach enables The Foundation to work with business partners and clients on mutually aligned causes and charities, which allows us to increase the overall contributions and investments to the recipient organization.”

Having invested more than $22.5 million in Canadian charitable organizations, past recipients include Homewood Research Institute, Kidsability and Big Brothers Big Sisters of Canada among the many.

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