The Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) kicks off its 62nd annual Mental Health Week - May 6-12, 2013

Local events and activities planned in hundreds of CMHA community locations across Canada

TORONTO, May 6, 2013 /CNW/ - With all the stress and challenges of life today, it's important to pause and reflect on our mental health and well-being. That's what Canadians are being encouraged to do as the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) launches its 62nd annual Mental Health Week (MHW) today. CMHA locations coast to coast started MHW by greeting morning commuters with mental health tips and facts, handing out mental health information at local malls and coffee shops, hosting free yoga classes and holding mental health walks in various communities.

CMHA introduced Mental Health Week (MHW) in 1951 to raise awareness of mental illness in Canada. MHW today offers people practical ways to maintain and improve their mental health and support their recovery from mental illness. People from all walks of life are encouraged to learn, talk, reflect and engage with others on all issues relating to mental health and mental illness during MHW.

"We all have mental health. Mental health is more than the absence of mental illness. It's a state of overall mental and physical health and well-being. But maintaining good mental health in today's hectic and stress-filled society is a challenge," says Peter Coleridge, National CEO, CMHA.

"CMHA actively supports and encourages mental health for all Canadians, in all aspects of their daily lives, not only during its Mental Health Week but also through the programs and tools provided by hundreds of CMHA locations across the country throughout the year," adds Coleridge.

It is estimated that at least 1 in 3 Canadians experience mental health problems each year. And mental health issues indirectly affect us all at some time through a family member, friend or colleague. The fact is, we are all touched in some way by mental health issues.

This year, CMHA is focusing on increasing awareness of youth mental health and mental illness by providing information, resources and the practical strategies and advice required by young people and their parents, caregivers and teachers to address youth mental health issues.

A list of CMHA's youth mental health programs, services and supports across Canada can be found on CMHA's Mental Health Week website at www.mentalhealthweek.ca.

Every year, CMHA's community locations host local Mental Health Week events and activities that offer Canadians information, resources and practical ways to stay mentally and physically healthy. Community events and activities listings can be found on CMHA's Mental Health Week website.

This year's Mental Health Week is generously supported by Medicine Shoppe Canada and Janssen Inc.

For the second year in a row, CMHA is Medicine Shoppe Canada's charity of choice. In addition to supporting Mental Health Week, Medicine Shoppe Canada has launched an in-store fundraising campaign in 164 of its locations across the country to further support CMHA.

"We came up with a concept for an in-store fundraising fixture that is big, bold, and challenges each pharmacy's customers to raise $1,000 for their community CMHA location," says Murray Whitby, President, Medicine Shoppe Canada. "This fundraising campaign supports MSC's continuing commitment to its community-based partnership with CMHA while continuing to foster meaningful ties to our customers."

CMHA is also pleased to have Janssen Inc. on board for the first time as a valued supporter of Mental Health Week.

For more information on how to maintain your mental health, to find Mental Health Week events and activities in your community or to donate to CMHA, go to CMHA's Mental Health Week website at www.mentalhealthweek.ca.

About the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA)
Founded in 1918, the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) is one of Canada's oldest not-for-profit organizations. With more than 10,000 staff and volunteers in hundreds of communities across Canada, CMHA provides vital services and support to well over half a million Canadians every year. As the nation-wide leader and champion for mental health, CMHA facilitates access to the resources people require to maintain and improve mental health and community integration, build resilience and support recovery from mental illness.
Please visit cmha.ca.

SOURCE: Canadian Mental Health Association

For further information:

Carolyn Lovas
Senior Communications and Media Advisor, CMHA National
clovas@cmha.ca
(416) 979-7948

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Canadian Mental Health Association

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