PLEO’s communications director, Natalie Markoff is shown here. Courtesy photo

EMBRUN – Parents Lifeline of Eastern Ontario (PLEO) has entered a partnership with Volaris of Prescott-Russell based in Embrun to support more families in the united counties facing mental health challenges.

The new program provides for PLEO to be on-site during intake hours at two Valoris locations where families meet with a peer supporter who can connect them with resources to help find their way forward, explained PLEO communications director Natalie Markoff during an announcement at the posh Valoris building Feb. 4.

Markoff said the announcement would have been made as a routine news release until Russell’s Nikki Jardine suggested it be turned into an event to give area residents and media a chance to see the eye-catching Valoris facility close to the round-about in Embrun.

A fan of PLEO services, Jardine recently directed to the agency $500 awarded to her by Russell Lions for her contributions to the community. The funds will go toward supporting client families in Russell Township who have members contending with mental challenges, Markoff stated.

Non-profit PLEO provides system navigation assistance to families trying to determine where to go for support with mental health challenges: “We’ve been there, we get it, and we can help,” said Markoff whose own daughter, now 37, suffered anxiety, depression and eating disorders. Other PLEO staff who cover the region from Hawkesbury to Pembroke also have personal experience such challenges.

PLEO delivers its bilingual, confidential services throughout the counties via a telephone helpline, parent peer support groups in Embrun and Hawkesbury, on-site availability Tuesdays alternating between Valoris in Embrun and Rockland, and mobile one-on-one meetings. The group also advocates for positive systemic change.

Its backed by Valoris which offers 24-hour single-access social services to children, teenagers, adults and their families across Prescott-Russell. Services covered relate to developmental issues, mental health, welfare and gender-based violence.

More than 80 per cent of parents who find their way to PLEO do so through primary care and front-line staff delivering mental health care in a given community.


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