Neuropsychiatric Patients’ Association of Newfoundland and LabradorOrganization Type: Health & Medical
Address: P.O. Box 369, St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador A0A 1C0
Contact: Heather Watkins
The Neuropsychiatric Patients’ Association of NL (NPA) is a non-profit organization founded in January 2008 by Dr. Hugh Mirolo, Neuropsychiatrist, as an offshoot of the province’s only Neuropsychiatry Clinic. This unique association offers Newfoundland’s neuropsychiatric patients an opportunity to address service deficits in the healthcare system, particularly in the area of neurocognitive rehabilitation post-brain injury. Many people are not aware that brain injuries can come from a number of different causes, including, but not limited to:
• sports injuries (e.g. body checks, falling on ice, snowboarding/skiing accidents, skateboarding accidents),
• motor-vehicle (including moose) accidents,
• neurotoxicant inhalation (including carbon monoxide poisoning),
• viruses or other infections,
• heart disease,
• genetic conditions,
• chronic use of alcohol/cigarettes/drugs,
• failed suicide attempts,
• physical abuse or fist fights,
• and many others.
Brain injuries can even come from injuries to the neck, face, chin, and even tailbone, and can occur even if one doesn’t specifically remember hitting their head! Brain injuries touch each of our lives to a much greater extent than many of us realize…autism, Huntington’s, stroke, Parkinson’s, multiple sclerosis, epilepsy/seizures, dementia/Alzheimer’s, brain tumours, and countless others. The number of people that could be helped by the NPA, with proper resources, is astronomical since Neuropsychiatry covers a surprisingly large number of conditions as alluded to above, and even extends to areas such as ADHD, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, eating disorders, sleep disorders, anxiety, depression/apathy, fibromyalgia/chronic pain, migraines, PTSD, suicide, addictions, crime, and many more. Our reach goes way beyond what’s typically referred to as ‘mental health’, and into an area we prefer to call ‘brain health’, or even more simply: health.
We do not charge our members any type of membership fee because a large proportion are unable to work due to the debilitating nature of their condition. We have no government funding nor any other source of revenue at present so the services we now offer are much more limited than we would prefer. For this reason, the NPA is seeking volunteers in a variety of areas. No prior training or experience is necessary, but these would be an asset; on the job training will be provided to successful candidates. These positions will start with minimal responsibilities and may become progressively more involved depending on the abilities, interests, and performance of the applicant.