How to Participate in This Year's Mental Illness Awareness Week

Krystine Therriault - Seaway News
How to Participate in This Year's Mental Illness Awareness Week
(Photo : Canadian Alliance on Mental Illness and Mental Health)

Starting on October 2nd until the 8th, the Canadian Alliance on Mental Illness and Mental Health is putting on a national campaign for Mental Illness Awareness Week (MIAW) to educate Canadians on the realities of mental illness. If you would like to participate, there will be three events going on in Cornwall next week that are open to the public.

In the past you may have heard the statistic that 1 in 5 Canadians experiences a mental illness in any given year. Unfortunately, those numbers have risen since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. According to a recent study by the Angus Reid Institute, 1 in 3 Canadians now report struggling with their mental health.

“This is why we need to be paying attention and learning about resources to protect our mental health,” explained Angele D'Alessio, Mental Health Promoter for CMHA Champlain East.

CMHA Champlain East, in partnership with Au Vieux Duluth restaurant, will be hosting an awareness event and fundraiser on Wednesday, October 5th. From 11am to 9pm, anyone is invited to come to Au Vieux Duluth and choose from one of three meal options. That day, in lieu of a bill you donate, and all proceeds go to CMHA Champlain East. There will also be a silent auction and live entertainment at the event.

“This will be the fourth year that we partner with Au Vieux Duluth for this fundraiser, and we are happy to be back, safely,” said D'Alessio, “We didn’t do it during the pandemic, so it’s been a while. I think that’s what people need right now is social connection, and it also supports mental health.”

All the proceeds from this event go back into educating our community about mental health and mental illness. Generous donations will allow CMHA Champlain East continue to provide free mental health programs to non-profits, community groups, and schools in the area.

In addition to the fundraising event, CMHA will be co-hosting fall themed Mood Walks throughout the month of October, with the first two starting during Mental Illness Awareness Week. The Mood Walks are hosted in partnership with local community health organizations (Seaway Valley Community Health Centre for English and Centre de santé communautaire de l'Estrie for French), because mental and physical health go hand in hand.

Mood Walks are slow walks where you connect with nature and practice wellness strategies like meditation and journaling. People of all ages are welcome to attend these free events, which will be hosted in both French and English.

The English program starts on Tuesday, October 4th at 8:45am. Participants will meet at the stairs of the Civic Complex. To register for the English Mood Walk, please call 1-888-936-0306 x 229.

The French program starts on Friday, October 7th at 1:30pm. The first walk will take place at Lamoureux Park, and at different parks each week after. To register for the French Mood Walk, please call 613-937-3132 x 234.

For more information, visit the CMHA Champlain East website at https://cmha-east.on.ca/index.php/en/.

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