A local service that helps people with mental health issues build their occupational skills, and was once called one of Sudbury's best kept secrets, is about to expand to a larger space.
The Northern Initiative for Social Action, or NISA, will amalgamate two offices – located at 105 Elm St. and 680 Kirkwood Dr. – to a much larger location at 36 Elgin St. in downtown Sudbury.
“The way it's set up, we can only have one program running at a time, so it really limits what we can do,” said Shana Calixte, the organization's executive director. “We're bursting at the seams.”
At the new location, NISA will have 9,000 square feet at its disposal to offer programs that teach basic life skills such as cooking and nutrition, sewing and writing.
Calixte said many of NISA's members see the organization as a second family.
All employees have lived experiences with mental illness, and can relate their own experiences with members.
NISA will move to its new office on July 7. A $100,000 grant from the North East Local Health Integration Network has helped pay for renovations at the new space, but Calixte said the organization is fundraising to pay for office furniture and other necessities for the move.
On Friday, June 27, celebrated Olympian and mental health advocate Clara Hughes will speak at the Steelworkers Hall about her own experience with mental illness.
“I think her story is empowering and motivating for a number of people,” Calixte said.
The talk will be part of Clara's Big Ride cycling journey across Canada.
All funds from the event, which includes a dinner starting at 6 p.m. will help NISA cover costs associated with its move.
Tickets for the dinner and keynote address are $100 and can be purchased at nisa.on.ca, or by calling 705-222-6472.