Balance Beam

The Offical Blog of Salus

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A successful 2014 Health Odyssey “ Let’s get moving”!

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Salus Community Mental Health Services is one of the leaders in Ottawa
providing mental Health services, guided by a holistic recovery model.

We don’t just talk about it – we do it at Salus.

2014 realized the exciting launch of our Health Odyssey Initiative:
“ Let’s get moving!”. In addition to the weekly running groups and other
activities something new and exciting was also added to this Get Moving program.
Each Thursday afternoon you could find a dedicated group of clients and staff
practicing weekly Qi Gong exercises. Qi Gong is a series of gentle movements
which generate good healthy energy within oneself and to others. This energy
and enthusiasm filled the spacious , sunny activity room with 10 weekly sessions.
The glow on the participant’s faces attested to the benefits of this powerful series
of movements.

Our year ended with a final offering, The Taking Care series. In this series
Play Therapy was the method used . Clients and staff exercised to release
stress appreciating their playful child – within.

There is a saying, “If it’s physical it’s therapy.”

Tuning into the body’s intelligence is an important part of recovery. Play and expression
through the body is healing. The Taking Care group through its playful discussion and
technique honoured our “ Let’s get moving “ initiative using mini-sports, brain exercises,
breathing exercises , smile balloon toss, and other fun activities which kept staff and
clients moving in an ongoing perpetual motion.

The three principles that guided the sessions were 1) Presencing : sensitive caring
attitude to self 2) Connecting: Sensitive caring attitude to others and 3) Playing:
nourishing and an always FUN engagement with one another! This series demonstrated
that play is definitely not just for children!

Salus is proud to have ended the year having met our goal – keeping true to holistic recovery.
Stay tuned for more new and exciting offerings for 2015.

Lou Ann Barei
Salus Case Management


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100 Women Who Care Ottawa

              100 Women - Copy

100 Women Who Care recently hosted a fundraising event for which Ottawa Salus was one of the  proud recipients of a generous donation.

100 Women Lisa - Copy

Lisa our hard working Executive Director

delivered a talk about our client services

which would make us all proud. See  pictures

of this special fundraising event below.

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“Many thanks for the tremendous support

that Ottawa Salus received as a result of your amazing initiative!

 The generous contributions will be used for a very

important program here at Salus: the Irene Despard

Healthy Lifestyles Fund. This Fund assists with costs

related to an academic or general interest course or

a recreational activity benefiting someone’s health.

100WWCO’s support for this fund is critical for our

clients and your donations allow us to support more

clients in reaching their goals.”

~ Lisa Ker, Executive Director

Ottawa Salus

Written by Lou-Ann Barei, Ottawa Salus Case Manager

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Balance Beam: More Than Just A Name.

Welcome to The Balance Beam, the official blog of Ottawa Salus.

There is a lot to the name ‘Balance Beam’. Concealed within these simple words is a deeper meaning that represents all the wonderful community work that Salus does.

Balance is essential to recovery. Through our many services, Salus helps people find balance in their lives as they learn to manage their goals, dreams, expectations and illness. The great balancing act of life becomes manageable with this added support.

Salus owns and operates 172 supportive homes and is currently in the initial stages of designing a brand new building. Beams support the Salus buildings while Salus’ diverse and talented employees support those who live within them.

While a beam can literally represent a construction beam in one of our buildings, it can also metaphorically represent the hope, in the form of a beam of light that Salus shines into the lives of those who benefit from our many services.

Our vision for The Balance Beam is to create a space where our clients, our staff and the greater community can share stories, art, poetry, creative writing, and news of Salus with our readers.

Call for submissions: If you or anyone you know has something to share on the Balance Beam, please send it to:

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A big thank you from Ottawa Salus:

Dan, un grand merci à Fortis et toute ton équipe! What an incredible day! When I walked into the gym today I was literally amazed by the sight of so many athletes competing. Comme on dit: “intense, pis pas à peu près”. C’était inspirant!

As I was on my way to Orleans, I was thinking about how someone becomes an elite Crossfit competitor: The hours of work and energy that are required, the discipline and dedication and, of course, the support that people draw on to reach the point where they compete in events like WODktoberfest.

In many ways, that is how I would describe Salus. Our clients are involved daily in a journey that takes energy, hard work and dedication because they are living with a serious mental illness. On pourrait même comparer ça à une compétition, sauf que c’est contre une maladie.

The amazing staff at Salus are like their team. Our Rehab staff, our Community Developers, Case Managers, the staff of our Housing department, our Recreologists, Occupational therapist and psycho-educator are working daily to support people just as Personal Trainers, coaches, teammates, Nutritionists, RMTs all work with athletes to become like the people I watched today. C’est un travail de groupe avec un objectif: la santé mentale.

Nos clients n’ont pas nécessairement besoin de tous les services que nous offrons à Salus car chaque personne est différente. Ultimately, the goal is mental health, and our clients know that we are all there, each day, to support them. And today, your support of Salus just made the group cheering our clients on to health and wellness that much bigger.

Au nom de tout notre personnel and de nos clients, un grand merci pour votre précieuse collaboration et votre appui de nos efforts. On behalf of the staff and clients of Salus our thanks to you, the incredible sponsors and the truly inspirational athletes I saw today.

Lisa Ker
Executive Director
Ottawa Salus


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You are invited to Celebrate Salus – Recovery through the Arts

Join us for our 1st annual event “Celebrate Salus” to recognize the life changing work that is done in support of mental health through the Arts.

Be part of a magical and intimate evening will showcase visual and performance art that has transformed the lives of people living with mental illness. Salus’ theatre troupe will perform two exciting spontaneous performances and the ‘Salus Studio’ will be open for tours featuring our Artists in Residence Program.

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