Registed Nurses' Association of Ontario

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Interest Group of the Year: Mental Health Nursing Interest Group

This award honours an interest group that demonstrates teamwork and leadership, influences decision-makers, and involves members in RNAO initiatives.

With more than 1,000 members across Ontario working hard to advocate for mental health, Kamini Kalia, president of the Mental Health Nursing Interest Group (MHNIG), says a lot of the group’s success has come from actively engaging members. Whether it’s hosting their annual general meeting (AGM) in different locations across the province, revitalizing their newsletter, or awarding bursaries to provide financial support to their membership, the group has steadily grown to a strong, united force. With the goal to promote mental health education, MHNIG has also helped launch numerous initiatives. Between 2014-2015, in partnership with RNAO and the Diabetes Nursing Interest Group, MHNIG provided webinars for care providers to manage chronic illness, diabetes and mental health issues. In addition, MHNIG executive members have assisted RNAO with the development of an educator's toolkit for undergraduate faculty who are teaching mental health. The interest group has also worked with the association’s policy team in a letter-writing campaign to call for changes to the Psychotherapy Act. When Kalia thinks back to the accomplishments of the group, she says “it's been a pleasure to be a part of a group of passionate advocates for persons with mental illness."