Individuals with lived experience of mental illness, their families, friends, and community members now have access to the Ontario Shore’s Mental Health Lending Library: From Our Door to Your Door service. Clients may borrow materials in-person or online or by telephone and request delivery to their doorsteps. Items are mailed using a prepaid Canada Post Library book rate postal service and there are no costs to the borrowers. Access to resources following discharge from any institution may help support self management and consumer/patient activation and empowerment which are important to prevent re-admission and promote well-being and recovery. Improved understanding of mental health disorders may help to decrease the stigma that is often associated with a mental illness. Funds to operate the service were obtained through a community development grant, so there is no cost to the client or hospital. The library supports the information needs of patients and families and this service helps to address the stigma associated with mental illness and helps navigate consumers through the mental health care system which can sometimes be difficult to access. The lending library provides individuals with access to quality, credible, authoritative information about mental disorders. Frontline emergency health personnel, paramedics, police, community hospital emergency crisis team members and high school guidance counsellors are helping to alert patients and/or families in crisis about the service by distributing information about this free service.
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