PEPP Program (Prevention and Early Intervention Program for Psychoses) through the London Health Sciences Centre

It is with great pleasure that I nominate The Prevention and Early Intervention Program for Psychoses (PEPP), a 20+ year program located in London, Ontario for consideration in the Lerners 90th Charitable Giveaway. PEPP is recognized for its outstanding achievements and tireless efforts in addressing, treating and raising mental health awareness about psychosis in our community.

The numbers are staggering! In any given year, 1 in 5 people in Canada will personally experience a mental health problem or illness. By age 40, about 50% of the population will have or have had a mental illness. It affects people regardless of age, education, income levels, and cultures. Approximately 8% of adults will experience major depression at some time in their lives. Suicide accounts for 24% of all deaths among 15-24 year olds and 16% among 25-44 year olds. It is among the leading causes of death in 15-24 year old Canadians, second only to accidents; 4,000 people die prematurely each year by suicide. Surpassed only by injuries, mental disorders in youth are ranked as the second highest hospital care expenditure in Canada. What is also staggering is how the efforts of one not-for-profit organization such as PEPP can truly make a difference in addressing and tackling stigma.

PEPP is a world renowned interdisciplinary team consisting of psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, nurse case managers, teachers, employment counsellors, therapeutic recreation and researchers. Their mandate is to provide individuals in early stages of psychosis with intensive treatment for the first three years. None of these treatment styles are exclusive, in fact, they work best when used together to support the client's needs. Treatment at PEPP is determined by the client’s goals, with emphasis on reducing stigma, collaborative partnerships and community reintegration.

In addition, the team at PEPP has provided community support in multiple ways. By engaging clients with simple, low stress activities that aid and support recovery from a wide array of mental health issues. Thus, enhancing social, emotional, and cognitive functioning. In this capacity, PEPP has managed the successful betterment of thousands of clients in their mental health recovery.

Due to these efforts, the Canadian Mental Health Association has recognized our PEPP volunteers—Sue McLeish, Brenda Wentzell and the Family Support Group as the winners of the “2019 Champion of Mental Health Awards” at the sold out Breakfast of Champions event, held annually at the London Convention Centre—for their unwavering support shown to families, caregivers and clients living with mental illness. Through their actions, they have also won the respect and gratitude of those who have been inspired and motivated to service—it is a message of recovery and hope!

It has been a privilege and honour to have the loving support of the PEPP team throughout my recovery. I strongly urge you to award PEPP as one of the winners in the Lerners 90th Charitable Giveaway!

Sincerely yours,

Steve (suicide survivor, PEPP client and volunteer)

Learn more about PEPP Program