The Brandon Niwa Legacy Fund

The Beej Project

Committed to building a stronger, more resilient community through enhanced mental health education and research, a local Medicine Hat family has created a lasting legacy in memory of their son, brother, and husband, Brandon Niwa, affectionately known as Beej.

Through a generous donation to the Medicine Hat College Foundation from the Niwa family, the Brandon Niwa Legacy Fund – The Beej Project was created. Ongoing legacy funding is provided through the Niwa Family Fund with the Community Foundation of Southeast Alberta.

Led by Medicine Hat College, a community advisory panel including Medicine Hat Public School Division No. 76, Prairie Rose Public Schools, Medicine Hat Catholic Board of Education, and Medicine Hat Police Service, oversees the direction of funds aimed at providing a variety of educational and research opportunities around mental health to our community.


The Beej Project Initiatives

This grassroots initiative invites local professionals to share their expertise on a broad range of topics around mental health, creating compassion and a better understanding of individual experiences through personal stories and research-based knowledge, while providing insight into available tools and resources to build strength, resiliency, and overcome challenging experiences.


MENTAL HEALTH IN SPORTS

Willie Desjardins, head coach and general manager of the Medicine Hat Tigers

Watch here

UNDERSTANDING BODY IMAGE AND EATING DISORDERS pt. 1

Patti Wagman, Patti Wagman Counselling & Consultation

Watch here

UNDERSTANDING BODY IMAGE AND EATING DISORDERS pt. 2

Patti Wagman, Patti Wagman Counselling & Consultation

Watch here

PARENTING A CHILD WITH A MENTAL ILLNESS

Dr. Nicoelle Wanner, Health Matters Medical Clinic

Watch here

MENTAL HEALTH AND CRISIS SITUATIONS

Inspector Brent Secondiak, Medicine Hat Police Service

Watch here

WHAT THE HEALTH?

Ana Schlosser, Registered Provisional Psychologist

Watch here

ADHD

Dr. Angela Irvine, Registered Provisional Psychologist

Watch here

Mental Health and Family Violence

Natasha Carvalho, Executive Director of the Medicine Hat Women’s Shelter

Watch here

Types of Trauma, Trauma Informed Care & Post Traumatic Care

Mark Wade, Health Care Aide Program Coordinator at Medicine Hat College

Watch here

Crafting Hope and Resilience in our Children

Greg Godard, Registered Psychologist

Watch here

In partnership with Medicine Hat College, the team of mental health professionals and advocates at I Got Mind hosted a two-part webinar series to engage our region in important conversations around trauma, grief and loss.

Joined by former professional athletes and prominent community members, I Got Mind led the discussion by providing science-based insight as to what happens to us physiologically, emotionally, mentally, and physically when we experience trauma, grief and loss, ways to overcome and cope with our experiences, and shared personal stories of healing and resiliency.  

Let's Talk about Trauma, Grief and Loss | Webinar # 1 Trauma

Bob Wilke, I Got Mind

Watch here

Let's Talk about Trauma, Grief and Loss | Webinar # 2 Grief & Loss

Bob Wilke, I Got Mind

Watch here

Questions or comments? Contact us at communityconnection@mhc.ab.ca.

On May 6, 2021, the Government of Alberta announced provincial funding for HealthIM, a digital, subscription-based system that connects emergency responders with critical data on individuals suffering from unmanaged mental health challenges and/or substance use issues.

Among one of the first police agencies in the province to implement the app, officers with the Medicine Hat Police Service (MHPS) now have access to valuable information such as an individual’s mental health history, possible triggers, and de-escalation strategies while they’re out in the field. This empathetic and evidence-based approach to emergency mental health crisis response has proven to increase safety of law enforcement personnel, improve crisis outcomes, promote more effective oversight, and reduce the impact on policing resources.

Through the Medicine Hat College Foundation, the Brandon Niwa Legacy Fund – The Beej Project proudly provided funding to cover the costs of technology required for the MHPS to launch HealthIM, including cell phones connected to the app for each officer. This partnership further created a unique opportunity for learning and applied research around mental health at Medicine Hat College, fulfilling a commitment set out by the Beej Project in providing enhanced mental health education and research in our community.

To learn more about this innovative mental health app and research opportunity, visit www.mhc.ab.ca/NewsandEvents/Stories/2021/May/HealthIM.

The Brandon Niwa Legacy Fund – The Beej Project is proud to present Wisdom & Wellness: A look at how far we’ve come, what we’ve learned, and how we’re doing now led by J. Kevin Cameron, Executive Director, North American Center for Threat Assessment and Trauma Response Inc.

In his presentation, Mr. Cameron guides us to reflect on our personal and societal experiences over the past year and a half, sharing his professional knowledge and understanding into the lessons we’ve learned, the insights we’ve gained, and the perspectives we need to emerge on the other side of the pandemic as a healthy and resilient community. Lastly, he shares valuable insight as to what post-pandemic mental health and functioning may look like on an individual and societal level in the months ahead.

Wisdom & Wellness: A look at how far we’ve come, what we’ve learned, and how we’re doing now

J. Kevin Cameron, Executive Director, North American Center for Threat Assessment and Trauma Response Inc.

Watch on Youtube

Questions or comments? Contact us at communityconnection@mhc.ab.ca