Clarenville to raise awareness for mental health with CMHA
Local groups coordinate events with Canadian Mental Health Association in 100th year
Groups in the Clarenville and Sunnyside areas are looking to coordinate events coinciding with the Canadian Mental Health Association’s (CMHA) 100th anniversary this year.
Donna Hancock is one of the community members who wants to participate in CMHA’s events this year, to raise awareness about mental health.
“It’s an overall picture of mental health issues in Clarenville that we need more awareness,” Hancock told The Packet.
Hancock has previously organized the “Mile in his Shoes” walk in Clarenville in memory of Cpl. Trevor O’Keefe who died last year. The walk recognizes first responders and post-traumatic stress disorder. She’ll continuing with an annual walk this fall, and hopes to add a new community to the walk event each year.
She says the experience with O’Keefe and organizing last year’s walk makes her want to keep going and help further.
As for working with CMHA, Hancock says they need to do what they can to stand together as a community to start a discussion and change the opinion of mental illness.
“I know we’re not going to help everybody, I know that. But one person helped, one person’s opinion changed, the goal is accomplished.”
CMHA Newfoundland and Labrador CEO Dan Goodyear met with community members last week to talk about some of the various provincial and national events during the 100th anniversary year, that towns can participate in.
He says he sees Clarenville as a “model community” with lots of participation and involvement. He’s delighted by the response in places like this.
The first event is Mental Health week on May 7-13. Communities can light up areas in green, the official colour for CMHA, or tie ribbons with messages written on them.
June 24 is a “Ride Don’t Hide” community bike ride.
The group agreed to begin planning to be involved in one and maybe more of the provincial and national events for CMHA.
If you are interested in getting involved, email: donnahancock@ hotmail.ca or ajwcitytire@gmail. com for more information.
Another meeting is planned for April 11 to continue the organization and planning.
Front row (left to right) are: Rosalind Blackwood, Adam Wiseman and Andrea Sharpe; and back: Dan Goodyear, Donna Hancock and Chris Sheppard.