New mental health and gambling support kits coming to P.E.I. libraries

New mental health and gambling support kits coming to P.E.I. libraries

Island libraries will soon have resource kits aimed at helping people with mental health and gambling problems. The kits will contain items to help educate people as well as provide guidance and support for those struggling.

"We are so excited to see more information about mental health and mental illness available for free for individuals across the Island," said Canadian Mental Health Association of P.E.I. community development manager Tayte Willows in a written news release.

Anyone with a library card will be able to check out the kits from public libraries across the province and they can be requested through the library loan program. The kits will be available in the next month.

"We know that sharing information helps to reduce stigma and increase understanding, which in turn builds healthier and stronger communities," Willows said.

Each mental-health kit is contains children's books, biographies and self-help books for a range of ages. There's also a sheet of contact information for individuals who are looking for mental-health support.

Mental-health care is also offered in hospitals and in community health centres across the province, including mental health walk-in clinics or via the Island Helpline 1-800-218-2885.

The mental-health kit project received $5,000 in funding from the government's wellness grant program.

The gambling support kits were put together by Department of Health gambling specialists with a budget of about $1,000.

"The prevalence of problem gambling in P.E.I. is two per cent of the adult population. However, we know that gambling doesn't just affect the gambler — it can affect their entire family," said Lalana Paul, community relations specialist with the Department of Health and Wellness, in the release.

The gambling kits contain booklets self-help books, a gambling screening notepad and handouts about community addictions services.

"These new support kits will provide resources to help a person overcome a gambling addiction, as well as information for their families and loved ones," Paul said.

Islanders struggling with gambling are encouraged to talk to a health-care professional or call the P.E.I. Gambling Support Line at 1-855-255-4255.

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