Health and wellness agency workers and advocates gathered to officially kick off Child, Youth and Adult Mental Health week activities (to be held from May 6 to May 11) on the Sault Ste.
As we mark the start of its 68th annual Mental Health Week, the Canadian Mental Health Association is calling for a national awareness strategy.
Farmers' suicide rates are double the rate of the general population, said Jenna Gibbs, the Great Plains coordinator, and individuals living in rural communities have a hard time seeking help.
"Whether healthcare is for physical or mental health conditions, "care is care" and people with mental health conditions and addiction issues aren't getting what they need to achieve and maintain good health", said Eunice Collette, president of the local NAMI affiliate.
"Mental illness occurs across all socio-demographic categories, across all races, across all economic backgrounds, and we are here to help people". When developing online materials and resources, she said, she looked at mental-health resources nationwide and found the ways they specifically target farmers to compile the materials in one location.
"Our main goal is to try to bring light to on-farm stresses that farmers may face, to let everyone know that many face similar financial and personal hardships, to let everyone know they are not alone", Anthony said.
"Early intervention is really important, prevention is really important", Hannon said.
"What we've known from a long time of record keeping and stats keeping is that children and adolescents are more at risk than any other age group when it comes to experiencing mental health concerns", said Michael Kreutzweiser, Nogdawindamin children's mental health services manager.
The CMHA believes efforts to promote mental health in these settings, including at work and in communities, has fallen short. The theme for the week is #GetLoud, encouraging people to talk about mental health and what it means to them. "... We wanted to do something to try to give people resources to turn to".
I feel like I'm reaching my potential.