VITA/Mens Sana

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VITA Community Living Services/Mens Sana Families for Mental Health

In 1978, VITA Community Living Services began as a pilot project at Villa Colombo Home for the Aged for children with disabilities. The program moved in the mid-1980s to Columbus Centre and offered after school and weekend activities providing much needed respite for parents. In response to the growing success of the program within the community and to the need for additional services, the Ministry of Community and Social Services requested that Villa Charities assist adults with intellectual disabilities. During the mid-1980s, the government announced the closure of several large institutions and the expansion of community services for individuals with intellectual disabilities.

In 1986, VITA Community Living Services opened its first homes and day programs for adults. All programs provide opportunities for community integration, the development of socialization and functional life skills, and promote independent living.

Today, VITA continues to grow and hundreds benefit from the wide range of services offered in both Toronto and York Region, including: Residential Adult Programs, Day Services, Respite, Crisis and Clinical Supports.

In 2004, VITA welcomed Mens Sana Families for Mental Health into the family. Mens Sana was an agency that was started and operated by families for their adult children with mental health needs. Having only one home and a small day program, the cost of management and supervision was a challenge. They approached Villa Charities for assistance, and, after an operational review, it was found that the predominately Italian organization operated similarly to, and shared the same cultural values, as VITA. Moreover, the need to help our community and families who struggle with mental health needs was an area that Villa Charities had not formally responded to in the past, and was something to be embraced.

Click here to visit the official VITA Community Living Services web site.