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, MLA Burrows
May 27, 2013


Mr. Speaker, mental wellness is one of the most important factors in leading a healthy life. For this reason, I have the utmost respect for groups that work to help those who are struggling with mental health issues.

Self-Starting Creative Opportunities for People in Employment, or SSCOPE, is a non-profit organization based in north Winnipeg. It provides employment opportunities and other supports to individuals coping with mental illness. Operating for over two decades now, SSCOPE helps consumers of mental health services to find part-time or casual employment. Working crews are visible in the community through involvement in city-wide spring yard cleanups and through their mobile food trailer services. They also work with home and business owners, community groups and associations and non-profit agencies.

For those who are working to get their mental health back on track, securing a job is an important step forward. Integral to achievement and success, the sense of progress and personal development boosts self-worth and self-esteem. Last year over 200 people took part in SSCOPE's program, allowing participants to empower themselves by taking part in individual and group projects, contributing to their communities, renewing their social skills and developing stronger social networks. And once a month the staff at SSCOPE's Treasures Thrift Store put on a musical evening for the workers and community.

Last weekend, the fourth annual SSCOPE music festival fundraiser, ‘Rockin’ the Bridge’, took place. Because this was the city's first major music festival of the season, there was a lot of buzz surrounding this star-studded event. Each of the volunteer performers featured in a diverse lineup offered songs that fit with the theme of mental health and SSCOPE's community work. In conjunction with the musical performances, a large indoor and outdoor garage sale, breakfast specials and the official reopening of Treasures Thrift Store were other festival highlights. Educational discussions about mental health with community members were most beneficial, fostering greater awareness and compassion in the community.

On behalf of my colleagues in the Legislative Assembly, thank you to SSCOPE for supporting an integrated and inclusive society for all people. We applaud your accomplishments and wish you every success for the future.

Thank you.