CANADIAN MENTAL HEALTH ASSOCIATION (CMHA) LAUNCHES 60th ANNIVERSARY MENTAL HEALTH WEEK, MAY 1 - 7, 2011 WITH NATIONWIDE ACTIVITIES AND EVENTS

TORONTO, April 28 /CNW Telbec/ - It's an important year for the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA). We're celebrating 60 years of improving people's understanding of mental health through our annual Mental Health Week, May 1 - 7, 2011! Local and national events and activities are planned among many of our 140 plus locations in communities across Canada.

CMHA's Mental Health Week is an annual national event that takes place during the first week in May to encourage people from all walks of life to learn, talk, reflect and engage with others on all issues relating to mental health.

"Mental health is an important part of our overall health and well-being," says Peter Coleridge, National CEO, CMHA.  "We're very conscious of our physical health but few of us take the time to focus on our own mental health yet research has demonstrated that our physical and mental health is interconnected."

That's why this year's Mental Health Week theme is Mental Health For All. Mental Health Week 2011 will focus on key topics that will help the public have a broader understanding of mental health, including: Kids Have Stress Too!; Workplace Mental Health; Resiliency; and Mental Health Is Everyone's Concern.

"Unfortunately, there is still significant misunderstanding surrounding mental health issues," says Coleridge. "If I said, for instance, that I was fighting cancer or heart disease, you would be compassionate and supportive. But if I told you that I was depressed, many would view this as a weakness and not know how to help. We need to change society's attitudes and behaviours so that people with mental health problems can be supported in managing or recovering from their illness like any other illness."

"Desjardins Financial Security has been a proud supporter of CMHA Mental Health Week since 2006. We know that people today have stressful lives, with many competing demands from many different directions," says Richard Fortier, President and Chief Operating Officer of Desjardins Financial Security. "It's critical that we take time out to take care of ourselves and those around us, both physically and mentally. That's the message behind Mental Health Week and that's why we're proud to be involved."

Thank you to Desjardins Financial Security for their generous support of CMHA Mental Health Week 2011!

For more information about Mental Health Week please visit:
www.MentalHealthWeek.ca or follow us on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/home.php#!/CANMentalHealth

About Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA)
CMHA was founded in 1918, and is one of the oldest voluntary health organizations in Canada, each year providing direct service to more than 100,000 Canadians through the combined efforts of more than 10,000 volunteers and staff in some 140 plus communities. As a nation-wide voluntary organization, the Canadian Mental Health Association promotes mental health for all. It is a mission accomplished through advocacy, education, research, and service delivery. Please visit www.cmha.ca.

About Desjardins Financial Security
Desjardins Financial Security, a subsidiary of Desjardins Group, the leading cooperative financial group in Canada,specializes in providing life and health insurance and retirement savings products to individuals and groups. Every day, over five million Canadians rely on Desjardins Financial Security to ensure their financial security. Desjardins Financial Security employs over 3,500 people and administers $25.9 billion in assets from offices in several cities across the country, including Vancouver, Calgary, Winnipeg, Toronto, Ottawa, Montréal, Québec, Lévis, Halifax and St. John's. For more information, visit the website at www.desjardinslifeinsurance.com.

SOURCE Association canadienne pour la santé mentale

For further information:

Kismet Baun, Senior Communications Advisor
Canadian Mental Health Association
Toronto (416) 977-5580, ext. 4141 | kbaun@ontario.cmha.ca www.cmha.ca

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