Local Mental Health Week events focus on stories, faces and voices of mental health
The Canadian Mental Health Association, North Bay and District is gearing up to host a series of local events as part of the 72nd annual CMHA Mental Health Week.
This year’s theme is My Story and the campaign, which runs from May 1-7, also aims to draw attention to the urgent need for universal mental health care.
In a recent national survey conducted for CMHA, 87 per cent of the people polled agreed that Canadians should have access to free, publicly funded mental health care. Regionally, 37 per cent of survey participants from Ontario reported having experienced a mental health concern in the past year, yet 45 per cent said they did not reach out for help because it was too expensive.
“We hear stories from people across the country every day that services are hard to find and not available to everyone,” said Margaret Eaton, CEO of CMHA National.
In the context of healthcare, mental health should be given the same level of priority as physical health, said Mary Davis, CEO of CMHA North Bay and District.
At its core, Mental Health Week is about advocacy and social change, Davis added.
“By reducing stigma, shifting attitudes and perceptions, and showing support for universal mental health care, we can create communities where everyone has access to the care they need to thrive.”
Locally, events for CMHA Mental Health Week 2023 will spotlight the voices, faces and spaces within which mental health care exists. Highlights include:
TUESDAY, MAY 2
– A flag-raising and official proclamation of CMHA Mental Health Week at North Bay City Hall (10:30-11 a.m.)
– A FREE community barbecue in City Hall’s Leger Square with live entertainment, games, and giveaways (11:30-1 p.m.)
WEDNESDAY, MAY 3
– A professional development day for those working in the health and social services sector, presented in partnership with the North Bay Parry Sound District Health Unit and the Community Counselling Centre of Nipissing. (Registration is now closed.)
THURSDAY, May 4
– A FREE community BBQ at the Mattawa drop-in centre, 150 Water St.
FRIDAY, MAY 5
– A by-invitation open house at CMHA North Bay and District’s new location, 147 McIntyre St. West, for clients and the professional community.
THROUGHOUT THE WEEK:
– In-person and online workshops focusing on creative forms of storytelling:
o A presentation and photo expedition called My Story Through the Lens that teaches how photography can benefit mental health and mindfulness (Monday, May 1)
o A special Mental Health Week-themed edition of the VOX Choir drop-in singing group where participants will learn and perform Time after Time (Tuesday, May 2)
o A Healthy Journaling workshop hosted by Métis Nation of Ontario (Thursday, May 4)
For full details and registration information, see the events calendar.