After 100 years, the Canadian Mental Health Association is still Making Waves for Change in Nova Scotia

       Annual national conference marks important anniversary for the
                     Nova Scotia mental health movement

    HALIFAX, Aug. 22 /CNW Telbec/ - Commemorating 100 years of the mental
health movement in Canada, this year's annual national conference Making Waves
for Change will be hosted by the Nova Scotia Division of the Canadian Mental
Health Association (CMHA) in Halifax on Friday, August 22 and Saturday,
August 23, 2008. The conference celebrates the past, present and future of
mental health in Canada as it also marks the first anniversary of the
newly-created Mental Health Commission of Canada (MHCC).
    "The Nova Scotia Mental Health Movement was launched by a small group of
concerned volunteers in 1908," explained Carol Tooton, executive director of
the Nova Scotia Division CMHA. "The movement began nationally 10 years later
by Dr. Clarence Hincks from New Brunswick."
    "Over the last few years, there has been increased interest in
understanding mental health issues, in both the government and the private
sector," said Taylor Alexander, CEO CMHA, National. "This interest is critical
as research shows that people with mental health problems are still strongly
    "In the 2008 Health is Cool! survey conducted by Desjardins Financial
Security, the majority of Nova Scotians said that they were in good physical
and mental health," says Alexander. "However 39 per cent said that their daily
stress had increased since the year before. And 91 per cent agreed that
increasing numbers of Nova Scotians will suffer from burn out, depression or
anxiety. We believe that by raising awareness of these issues, we can help
more people with prevention. In large part, it comes down to removing the
embarrassment and shame."
    The Making Waves for Change Conference will attract more than 250 mental
health practitioners, policy-makers, government leaders and individuals
directly affected by mental illness from across Canada.
    Each day will include several presentations and a keynote address
starting at 9 a.m., including:

        - August 22: Dr. David Goldbloom, Senior Medical Advisor, Centre for
          Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) on Stigma and Mental Illness:
          Past Present and Future
        - August 23: Michael Howlett, President and CEO of the Mental Health
          Commission of Canada (MHCC) on The Mental Health Commission of
          Canada: One Year Later

    Also, Judith Fingard and John Rutherford will launch their Protect,
Befriend, Respect at 6 p.m. on August 22, at the Holiday Inn Harbourview in
Dartmouth. Fingard and Rutherford, with support from the Hannah Foundation,
took two years to research a century of the mental health movement in Nova
Scotia. The authors will be on hand to sign individual copies and to chat
about the work.
    Lead sponsors of the conference include Desjardins Financial Security,
Manulife Financial and the Government of Nova Scotia.
    For further information about the Making Waves for Change conference and
to register, please visit:

    About CMHA, Nova Scotia Division

    The Canadian Mental Health Association is a provincial voluntary
organization that promotes the mental health of all and supports the
resilience and recovery of people experiencing mental illness. CMHA NS
Division does this in conjunction with the eight branches located across the
province. Principled in population health and community development
approaches, the mandate of the organization is accomplished through: health
promotion/public education, policy development, consumer/family participation
and service delivery using collaboration and partnering as effective

    About CMHA, National

    The Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA), founded in 1918, is one of
the oldest voluntary organizations in Canada. Each year, it provides direct
service to more than 100,000 Canadians through the combined efforts of more
than 10,000 volunteers and staff across Canada in over 135 communities. As a
nation-wide, voluntary organization, the Canadian Mental Health Association
promotes the mental health of all Canadians and supports the resilience and
recovery of people experiencing mental illness. The CMHA accomplishes this
mission through advocacy, education, research and service delivery. For
further information, please visit

    About Desjardins Financial Security

    Desjardins Financial Security, a subsidiary of Desjardins Group, the
largest integrated cooperative financial group in Canada, specializes in
providing life insurance, health insurance and retirement savings products and
services to individuals and groups. Every day, over five million Canadians
rely on Desjardins Financial Security to ensure their financial security. The
company employs over 3,900 people and administers more than $22 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 our website at

For further information:

For further information: Sarah Twomey, Communications Advisor,
Desjardins Financial Security, (416) 926-2700, 1-877-906-5551, ext. 2015,; Carol Tooton, Executive Director, CMHA, Nova Scotia
Division, (902) 222-1622,; Kismet Baun, Senior
Communications Advisor, CMHA, National, Toronto, (416) 977-5580, ext. 4141,

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