For the Townsman
Melodie Hull has spent most of her life working to not only better understand but educate others about mental health, mental illness, substance use, and addictions. She is a Registered Psychiatric Nurse who has worked extensively with marginalized people on the front lines in communities and care facilities, as well as in forensic psychiatry and correctional services.
Hull has witnessed the ongoing struggle faced by people with mental health challenges and addictions and is frustrated by the lack of support for them; for this reason, she established the Melodie Hull Fund for Mental Health through the Cranbrook and District Community Foundation (CDCF).
“There is a deficit in funding for people with chronic and persistent mental health challenges as well as for people struggling with sobriety; and a deficit in resources and facilities that aid them in their goal of maintaining wellness,” says Hull, an accomplished nurse, academic, international lecturer, researcher, and author. “These are two groups I have worked with extensively and that I am very passionate about. I want to support them in their pursuit of quality of life and staying well.”
Hull spent part of her childhood in Cranbrook, then returned to the community as a Registered Psychiatric Nurse to work in nursing at the East Kootenay Regional Hospital. During that time she initiated numerous fundraising events for the psychiatric unit at the hospital. She was also actively involved in community theatre. After a few years she moved away to pursue academic and career opportunities. In 2007, Hull returned to Cranbrook with her husband and began working as a nursing instructor at the College of the Rockies.
Hull joined the Board of Directors of the CDCF shortly after her return to Cranbrook and served in that role for more than two years. In 2008 she created the Melodie Hull Fund for Mental Health because, she says, the CDCF provided her an opportunity to start her fund at $500 and grow it for up to 10 years or until it reached endowment. Hull recently added a $10,000 lump sum contribution to her fund.
“I wanted to put my money in a place where I could grow it over time and where I knew it would be distributed as I have intended — helping people with chronic and persistent mental health and/or addiction challenges,” says Hull.
Including the Melodie Hull Fund for Mental Health, the CDCF now has 16 funds in endowment. Thanks to generous community support, the CDCF granted back more than $34,000 last year to non-profit organizations within Cranbrook and district, and is looking forward to surpassing that number in 2015. The CDCF has given more than $330,000 to the community over the past decade. Endowment funds are held in perpetuity, which means the CDCF’s ability to support local non-profits is not only secure and permanent, but will grow stronger every year.
Melodie Is a Registered Psychiatric Nurse with two graduate degrees. She has been a Nurse-Educator in psychiatric nursing (BPN/RPN), general nursing (BSN/RN) and practical nursing (PN/LPN) for many years at both the college and university level. She is currently a member of the Nursing Faculty at the College of the Rockies, works as Open Learning Faculty in mental health nursing, as well as Medical English, at Thompson Rivers University, and is working on curriculum development for a special mental health education project via Kwantlen Polytechnic University. Her second specialty is Medical English and she has achieved international recognition for this.
Melodie is published in peer-reviewed journals in both the health disciplines and in language/linguistics. She is the first Canadian Registered Psychiatric Nurse to have been the sole author of major textbooks through a health publisher in the United States. She has two different textbooks. Melodie has also written chapters in a number of Canadian nursing textbooks.
She has experiencing teaching and volunteering internationally and speaks quite frequently at professional conferences worldwide.