That’s the message spreading across the country this week for the Canadian Mental Health Association’s Mental Health Week in a continued effort to stop the discrimination and stigma that all too often go hand in hand with mental illness.
This week, Canadians are writing their MPs, speaking out on social media, and donating time and money, all in the name of getting loud for mental health.
Sandie Sidsworth, Executive Director of the local branch says it’s about creating awareness by learning, talking, reflecting and engaging with others on all issues relating to mental health.
She added that sometimes the road to recovery gets lost during the acute stages of the trauma around an illness.
When it comes to recovery, Sidsworth says one answer doesn’t fit all and everyone needs to be aware of what supports them. She said what might have worked for someone’s sister or brother might not work for them.
Sandie Sidsworth 3
She invited friends, family members and the community as a whole to rally around someone and offer support if you see that they are going through a rough time or are showing the signs of suffering from a mental illness.
She encouraged everyone to develop healthy living techniques to boost their own mood. Things like going for a walk and being in nature can ease feelings of depression. More positive mental health tips include: talking to your doctor if you are experiencing problems with your mental health; contact your local CMHA branch at cmha.ca; check with your employer: many Employee Assistance Plans (EAPs) and benefit plans will provide access to counselling services and reach out to people you trust: personal connections are some of the most powerful healing tools for combating depression.
On Thursday, the local CMHA will honour 13 champions of mental health at a special ceremony at the Maurice Rollins Centre of Hope in Belleville following a tour of The Hub at 41 Octavia Street.
This year’s recipients are: Hastings-Quinte Paramedic Services; Belleville Police Services; Lisa Kemp; Luke Hendry; Nicole Kleinsteuber; Julie Sweeny; Steve Forbes; Anne-Marie Murphy; Janet Howson; Jen and Rob Dafoe; Mary Woodman and Dee Leroy.
The ceremony gets underway at 5:30 p.m.