SSCOPE’s Yvette Chartand Nominated for Hero of Mental Health Award

Yvette delivering a talk to mental health professionals on how she successfully quite smoking herself .

Yvette has been a member of SSCOPE since 2010 and

she was nominated for the Heroes of Mental Health

Award specifically for her efforts to assist other SSCOPE

members to stop smoking.

This from her nomination:

Heros of Mental Health Nomination, September 7, 2012


I am pleased to nominate Yvette Chartrand in the Individual category as a Hero of Mental Health. 

Yvette was diagnosed in 1982 with a mental health disability and has lived and coped most of her adult life with a mental health problem. 

She has been a SSCOPE Employee Member since.2009. Since 2010 she has been a valuable member of SSCOPE’s office team serving as SSCOPE’s part-time receptionist for all customers and in member liaison duties such as employment shift bookings and Winnipeg Harvest co-ordination. 

She demonstrates her care and concern about other employee-members and the overall SSCOPE program with her empathy and her efforts to explain to all who will listen about why the program is beneficial. Her work attendance, her punctuality, her committment and positive attitude make her a model employee-member.

SSCOPE has always focused only on providing casual and part-time employment. 

In late 2011, SSCOPE Board and Senior Staff decided to add life improvement program options for its employee members so that the organization would become more involved of the whole life of its growing membership employee group.

In February 2012, Yvette was instrumental in helping SSCOPE senior staff in organizing  SSCOPE’s first member employee self-Improvement program., Smoking Reduction and Cessation, in conjunction with MANTRA.

As we all know, the incidence of smoking among those with mental health problems is higher than the population norm and it seems particularly so at SSCOPE.  She was both a leader in securing employmee members to participate, which was no easy task, given the direct tie noted earlier, and in inspiring others with her personal story of how she had stopped smoking herself five years ago.

As a result of her work and the program, in the first year, at least 5 specific individuals quit or cut back on the daily nicotine intake and a number of others were influenced to act in some way.

Yvette now serves as the in house support and resource person for those attempt to stop or reduce smoking.  She is co-ordinating the second year of the program at SSCOPE, which has become ongoing.

Her province wide impact will be felt when a  DVD video*** of a talk she gave in front of 300 mental health workers in Vancouver, BC, where she lived before returning to Winnipeg, will be  distributed to mental health resource centres all around the province.

In the talk, the normally shy and reserved Yvette, spoke with conviction and asked mental workers to make that extra effort to help those they were already helping to help others to stop or reduce smoking.

The video tells the story about her experiences in quitting smoking.  “I didn’t want to die because of a stupid cigarette”, she said.  Social Assistance provided the patch and gum through the (in B.C.) organization.

She relates how her mother supported her long distance by phoning and encouraging her on a regular basis when she was quitting, plus the QuitNow counsellors helped frequently when she needed support.

Her father and mother had stopped smoking years before, which was an encouragement and motivation for her to do the same.

Yvette wants to help all others, especially people with mental health disabilities to quit, as it seems to her that almost everyone that she sees at SSCOPE or elsewhere with a mental health problem, also smokes.

“I don’t know if there is a  proven direct connection, she says, but I want to help others like me to quit. We have enough health related issues already then to create more for ourselves by smoking, let alone the money it costs us to smoke when we are already on a fixed income.”

***Note: Clip from DVD video (or actual DVD) will be submitted under separate cover/delivery, as additional information related to this nomination.

prepared by: Bob Rempel, Exec. Dir. SSCOPE Inc.1466 Arlington St. Winnipeg R2X 1T8

Yvette’s a Hero in our eyes always. The actual award winners selected by the CMHA internal committee and announced on October 5 is here.