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The BUILT Network(TM) Gains National Recognition For Its Exemplary Learning Practices From The Canadian Council on Learning

OTTAWA, June 12 /CNW/ - National Network for Mental Health is proud to announce that its BUILT Network Project has been recognized nationally for excellence in learning from the Canadian Council on Learning.

The Sharing the Flame ceremony celebrates pioneering learning programs across the country. Judged by a panel of experts, the BUILT Network Customer Service Representative Program has been assigned recognition for success in work and learning.

A recognition ceremony takes place in Ottawa at the Chateau Laurier Hotel on June 12th, 2007.

The employment program originated from North Bay, Ontario in May, 2002.

The project was created to provide individuals, with barriers to employment, the opportunity to come together as a team to increase workplace skills. The program was initially funded through the efforts of volunteers who washed cars to purchase computers and office furniture. The program ran locally for 18 months and experienced an incredible 88% employment placement and retention rate. BUILT Network now provides services to persons with mental health issues nationally. In five short years, BUILT Network has successfully grown to include six centers across Canada as well as a national online learning component.

Now recognized as a national leader in working with persons with mental health issues/ disabilities, individuals taking the BUILT Network program have been out of the workforce for longer than three years and have self-identified with mental health issues leading to/from employment barriers. Last year alone, 150 persons who graduated from the program became employed full time with a further 15 returning to school post program. To date almost 500 persons have successfully become employed full time through skills development and support gained through their involvement in this initiative.

Mental health professionals, decision and policy-makers, and the Canadian and international Consumer/Survivor community acknowledge the contribution and innovative approach of the BUILT Network project.

"The success of the BUILT Network is a wonderful example for us all. I am especially impressed by the grassroots nature of this initiative and the way in which it has developed many collaborative partnerships," said the Honourable Michael Kirby, Chair of the Mental Health Commission of Canada. "We need more programs like it, and we need to make sure that all workplaces promote good mental health - both for people just returning to work as well as for those who experience mental health challenges while in work."

The program is eight weeks in length and covers Personal Development, Customer Service, Sales, Computer Fundamentals, MS Office, Resumes, Interviews, and Professional Development.

The CCL Sharing the Flame recognition ceremony will provide the forum for successful programs to share their success stories with leaders in Canadian education, government, NGOs, business and labour organizations, and members of the media.

"It's truly inspiring to see that so many organizations have developed innovative and effective programs to address specific learning needs and challenges," said Dr. Paul Cappon, CCL President and CEO. "We look forward to giving these people the recognition they deserve and hope that other individuals and organizations will be able to learn from their successful initiatives."

CCL website: http://www.ccl-cca.ca/ccl

For further information:
Constance McKnight
CAE, National Executive Director
Phone: (905) 682-2423
Email: ed@nnmh.ca

Taken from http://www.newswire.ca/en/releases/archive/June2007/12/c3403.html

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