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

Krystine Therriault – Seaway News

Beginning October 2ndnd until the 8thth, the Canadian Alliance on Mental Illness and Mental Health is conducting a national campaign for Mental Illness Awareness Week (MIAW) to educate Canadians about the realities of mental illness. If you’re interested in attending, there are three events taking place in Cornwall next week that are open to the public.

In the past you may have heard the statistic that 1 in 5 Canadians suffer from a mental illness in any given year. Unfortunately, these numbers have increased since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. According to a recent study by the Angus Reid Institute, one in three Canadians say they struggle with their mental health.

“That’s why we need to be vigilant and educate ourselves about resources to protect our mental health,” said Angele D’Alessio, mental health promoter at CMHA Champlain East.

CMHA Champlain East will be hosting an awareness event and fundraiser in partnership with Restaurant Au Vieux Duluth on Wednesday, October 5thth. From 11am to 9pm everyone is invited to come to Au Vieux Duluth and choose from three menu options. On that day, you make a donation in lieu of a bill and all proceeds go to CMHA Champlain East. There will also be a silent auction and live entertainment at the event.

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

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All proceeds from this event go back to educating our community about mental health and mental illness. Generous donations will allow CMHA Champlain East to continue to provide free mental health programs to nonprofits, 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 beginning during Mental Illness Awareness Week. The Mood Walks are held in partnership with local health organizations (Seaway Valley Community Health Center for English and Center de santé communautaire de l’Estrie for French) as mental and physical health go hand in hand.

Mood walks are slow strolls that allow you to connect with nature and use wellness strategies like meditation and journaling. People of all ages are welcome to attend these free events, which are held in both French and English.

The English program starts on Tuesday 4th Octoberth at 8:45 a.m. Participants 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 7 Octoberth at 1:30 p.m. The first walk takes place in Lamoureux Park and every week thereafter in different parks. 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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