A Halifax business aimed at breaking employment barriers for people with mental health issues and a Halifax clinician with a long history of supporting and researching mental health have each won national awards.
The Canadian Alliance on Mental Illness and Mental Health announced Monday morning that Stone Hearth Bakery has won its annual community organization award, and Dr. Philip Tibbo the researcher/clinician award.
The award winners will attend a gala event in Ottawa on May 3.
"It's neat every now and then to look up and realize what we are doing is pretty special," said Dave Rideout, CEO of MetroWorks Employment Association, the company that operates the bakery. "We just got recognized for a national award, so that's pretty incredible."
Stone Hearth Bakery opened in Halifax in 1982 with the goal of providing meaningful training and employment opportunities to people living with mental illness. Each year approximately 65 people go through the bakery program, gaining valuable work skills and self-confidence.
"It's just incredible to see the transition of people from when they start the program to when they end the program," said Rideout. "The growth in their own confidence and their own self-esteem and they realize they can do something and go out there and be successful."
Earlier this year, Stone Hearth Bakery took home gold in the small business of the year category and silver in the innovative business of the year category at the 2017 Halifax Business Awards, hosted by the Halifax Chamber of Commerce.
Another accolade for Tibbo
In winning the top researcher/clinician award, Tibbo adds another accolade to his long list of accomplishments.
Throughout his career he has studied psychosis, particularly in youth, and early intervention services.
"It's an honour to be recognized for the work we do in respect to mental health," said Tibbo. "It's important for me that we have adequate access to care and making sure that we have the right care for everybody."
Tibbo was named the first Dr. Paul Janssen Chair in Psychotic Disorders at Dalhousie University in 2008.