CMHA celebrated Mental Health Awareness week this past May 7-13. A number of local events and activities were held, including a pancake brunch, a fundraiser BBQ at Extra Foods, a workshop at the library on the stigma around mental illness, and a Drums Alive event in Legion Park. Promoting good mental health in the Valley for CMHA, especially during Mental Health Week, has always been a partnership with other local participants and agencies. CMHA would like to thank Prairie Mountain Health’s Community Mental Health, as well as members of the local HERO Club for their participation in many events. Also, to Extra Foods for hosting CMHA’s fundraiser barbecue on May 9th, and their generous donation of supplies for the event. Thank-you to the Crisis Centre, AFM, and Community Health for participating in the pancake brunch. Thank-you also to the Elbert Chartrand Friendship Center, the SVRSS, and the North West Regional Library (both Swan River and Benito branch) for being open to having the CMHA display and literature present at their locations for the week.
The theme for this past Mental Health Week was to “Get Loud” about mental health. While this has been the repeated theme for the past several years, this year’s focus was on what mental health really means. Rather than just focusing on the 1 in 5 Canadians who live with a diagnosis of mental illness of some kind, the emphasis this year was to remember that 5 in 5 Canadians experience, or live with, mental health, and that every one of us should give attention to our mental well-being. Just as our physical health and fitness is not something we should take for granted, there is much we can do for our own mental health and well-being. Connecting with others in meaningful relationships, pushing ourselves to learn new skills, giving our time or talents to help others, and taking time to be mindful of the present, are all things that can help us to experience better mental health. Of course, a healthy diet, regular physical exercise, and getting a proper night’s sleep will also go a long way toward keeping us mentally fit.