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History

The Canadian Mental Health Association is one of the oldest continuing voluntary health organizations in Canada.

It was founded in 1918 by Dr. Clarence M. Hincks and Clifford W. Beers and called the Canadian National Committee for Mental Hygiene (CNCMH). Dr. Hincks was from St.Marys, Ontario and experienced mental illness himself.

Today, there are 31 CMHA branches across Ontario.

The CMHA Perth County Branch opened in 1967 with a budget of just $4,500. When the Bluewater Mental Hospital in Goderich closed in 1975, funds were redirected to inpatient psychiatric services in Stratford and Goderich.

CMHA Perth County began providing housing and support services in the early 1980s and in 1997 extended its services to Huron County. In 2000, it was renamed CMHA Huron Perth. The branch now has three offices; Stratford, Seaforth and Goderich.

Today, the local organization provides a wide range of support services to people with mental illness, while continuing to place an emphasis on educating the public and eliminating the stigma of mental illness. Its annual operating budget is now more than $3 million.

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