Now GET LOUD for mental health
TORONTO, May 2, 2016 /CNW/ - It's the Canadian Mental Health Association's 65th annual Mental Health Week! And it will be the loudest one yet. Canadians are hearing CMHA's call to GET LOUD for mental health and they are raising their voices to end discrimination, stigma and shame. They're getting loud for someone at work, for someone at home, and for themselves.
"I think of 'getting loud' as a giant megaphone for mental health. Whether you're shouting it from the rooftops, or talking quietly with someone at home or at work, getting loud means breaking the silence that can surround mental health issues," says Dr. Patrick Smith, National CEO, CMHA. "We need the conversation to get very, very loud. The people we love, and the people we elect need to hear that mental health is an essential part of health, and of health care."
CMHA introduced Mental Health Week (MHW) in 1951 and it has become a Canadian tradition. MHW offers Canadians practical ways to maintain and improve their mental health and support their recovery from mental illness. It also provides Canadians a forum to speak up about how mental health affects them and the people they care about. About Mental Health Week, Dr. Smith says: "At CMHA, we're proud to be the organization that started this tradition and we're proud that Canadians have embraced it."
Dr. Smith adds, "There's no doubt that great progress has been made in reducing the stigma associated with mental illness, but on the service front, there is still so much to do. Our health care system must provide universal and comprehensive access to mental health services, just like any other medically-necessary service. And we need sustained funding to make this happen."
This year, we are paying special attention to the mental health of older Canadians, who are affected disproportionately by mental illness. Depression and other forms of mental health issues s are common mental health problems for older adults.
This year's MHW is generously supported by Presenting Sponsor: Dialog Design; Major Sponsors: CEDA, The Medicine Shoppe, Salesforce, Home Trust; and Supporting Sponsors: Bell Let's Talk, Echo Foundation, Beauty of Giving, Pearson, Tokii Wearable Therapy, and CGI.
Website tracks how Canadians are getting loud
Canadians are encouraged to register all the ways they're getting loud by visiting mentalhealthweek.ca. This GETLOUD website, with its interactive map, will track – in real time – how Canadians are getting loud from province to province. With the support of Canadians on social media, the hashtag #GetLoud will be trending.
Wear green loud and proud!
One of the ways Canadians are getting loud is by going green. The colour green, formerly used to stigmatize and label people as "insane," will be worn loud and proud this Mental Health Week. In addition to donning green ribbons, buttons and t-shirts (and maybe even a few green 'hair-dos'), communities all across the country are lighting up buildings and landmarks in green to signal their support.
MHW events and activities in communities across Canada
CMHAs, in hundreds of communities across Canada, are hosting MHW events and activities. Partner organizations – and individual Canadians, are also chiming in to GET LOUD, and they are sharing the GET LOUD message far and wide. CMHA held activities such as seminars, open houses, film screenings, art shows and walks will provide Canadians with information, resources and practical ways to stay mentally healthy this week. For a listing of Mental Health Week events and activities sponsored by CMHAs across Canada, visit CMHA's MHW website.
It's Mental Health Week. It's time for all of us to GET LOUD, all week long.
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About the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA)
Founded in 1918, The Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) is a national charity that helps maintain and improve mental health for all Canadians. As the nationwide leader and champion for mental health, CMHA helps people access the community resources they need to build resilience and recover from mental illness and addictions.
Visit the CMHA website at www.cmha.ca today.
SOURCE Canadian Mental Health Association
For further information: Carolyn Lovas, Senior Communications and Media Advisor, CMHA National, [email protected], (416) 979-7948