The Canadian Mental Health Association, Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge (C.M.H.A. H.K.P.R.) was pleased to be joined by supporters and the Mayor of the City of Peterborough at Brant Basics on Monday (May 7), to launch Mental Health Week.
Through the Charitable Organization Support Program, Brant Basics allowed C.M.H.A. H.K.P.R. use of their storefront window for the month of May, where we are delighted to showcase details about upcoming events as well as information about our programs and services. As such, Brant Basics was the ideal location for Monday’s launch.
“2018 marks the 67th annual CMHA Mental Health Week. Mental Health Week is led by the Canadian Mental Health Association, which is also celebrating its 100th anniversary this year. This year we want to make sure Canadians know that mental health is about more than mental illness,” said Kerri Davies, Manager of Community Engagement for C.M.H.A. H.K.P.R. at the event.
“One in five Canadians live with mental health concerns, mental illness or addiction. However, the reality is five in five of us have mental health; just like we all have physical health.”
Daryl Bennett, Mayor of the City of Peterborough, was at Monday’s event to officially proclaim May 7 to 13, 2018, Mental Health Week in the city.
“The Canadian Mental Health Association and other community organizations call attention to the importance of mental health and how each of us can support individuals with mental health concerns,” said Mayor Bennett.
“The goal of Mental Health Week is to engage communities and individuals across Ontario to increase understanding of mental health concerns; to encourage people to speak openly about mental health, to decrease any stigma around mental health illnesses, and to spread the message that help is available. Therefore, be it resolved, that I, Daryl Bennett, Mayor of the City of Peterborough, do hereby proclaim May 7 to 13, 2018 as Mental Health Week. I encourage all citizens to learn more about mental health and to increase awareness of wellness and mental health illnesses.”
This year, inspired by local mental health advocate Michael Post, C.M.H.A. H.K.P.R. is holding our first ever green ribbon campaign.
At Monday’s launch, Post asked the crowd to consider their own actions with respect to speaking about mental health and illness.
“Have you ever lied about being sick, because you know people understand a cold, but not mental illness? People ask how you are and you say ‘I’m just tired’, instead of telling them what is really wrong. How many times have you said ‘I’m fine’ when you are anything but fine? Why are we afraid to speak up about mental illness? Stigma causes us to be ashamed of something that is out of our control. The only way this is ever going to change is to talk openly about mental health issues. Education is the key to ending the stigma. People need to understand that mental illness is an illness, like diabetes or heart disease,” said Post.
“My reasons for wanting to have a green ribbon campaign in Peterborough were quite simple. I want to do my part to help end the stigma surrounding mental illness. The idea behind the green ribbon is to help promote conversation about mental health… When we wear a green ribbon, we are advertising that we would like to talk about this cause and educate or spread the word to others…When more people share their stories of recovery, struggle or hope, it lets all of us know that we’re not alone.”
For details about our green ribbon campaign and other mental health week events, visit our website (http://cmhahkpr.ca/news/mental-health-week-may-7-to-may-13/).
“At each event, every time we hang our C.M.H.A. banner, lay out a few info pamphlets, and now offer green ribbons to the community – something amazing happens. People open up, ask questions, share stories and a conversation about mental health takes place. These opportunities create inclusion, and those who may be struggling or are supporting family member, begin to feel less alone,” said Davies.
With the provincial election one month away, now is a crucial time to add your voice to the conversation and demand funding parity, erasing the gap in funding for mental health care. The burden of mental illness in Ontario is 1.5 times that of all cancers combined and more than seven times of all infectious diseases. Over 4,000 Canadians per year die by suicide – an average of almost 11 suicides a day.
We ask you to join more than 10,000 Ontarians and sign the online petition urging political parties to fund mental health and addictions care like physical health care. Simply visit erasethedifference.ca and sign the petition.
Locally, to support the funding of mental health, you can join us at two amazing events, Ride Don’t Hide – presented by Leon’s Peterborough – supporting our Four County Crisis Safe Beds program, and the Herod Financial Services Golf Tournament, supporting Journeying Together.
We invite you to join us Thursday at 11 a.m. at Harold Town Conservation Area where we will share further details on the 2018 Dirty Enduro, presented by Ben and Ashley Logan of Fontaine Source for Sports.
Let’s remember that we can all benefit from celebrating, promoting and acknowledging the role that good mental health plays in living a full and meaningful life. Mental health is worth protecting, celebrating and promoting. Everyone has mental health, just as everyone has physical health. Together, we can create a thriving and inclusive community free from stigma.
For further information about Mental Health Week, please contact Kerri Davies, Manager of Community Engagement at 705-748-6687 extension 1048 or email firstname.lastname@example.org