The White Cross Program was the very first program offered by CMHA PEI. It began in 1960 and it’s still being offered today. It was developed to support people who experienced mental health problems, especially WWII veterans with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, once they were out of the hospital.
The White Cross program is a shared program, managed and delivered by a dedicated committee with participants from Hillsborough Hospital, McGill Centre, Queens County Residential Services, TAJ Professional Care Workers and coordinated by CMHA. The program plans and provides scheduled social and recreational activities twelve months of the year in Queens County. These events help teach and encourage the use of appropriate socialization skills in an informal manner and they also serve to educate the public, in a fun-oriented environment, about mental health disorders.
The White Cross Committee invites service clubs and community groups to sponsor White Cross socials at different times of the year, providing them with opportunities to carry out their mandate. The socials have traditionally been in the form of dances, bingos and an outdoor summer event, however, they can be as varied as the sponsoring group would like them to be.
The White Cross Program also coordinates the Island-wide Christmas gift program for members and clients, distributing approximately 900 gifts across the province annually. This process is supported by a network of businesses, organizations, community groups and individuals who generously donate small gifts to the campaign each year.