Clarenville to raise aware­ness for men­tal health with CMHA

Lo­cal groups co­or­di­nate events with Cana­dian Men­tal Health As­so­ci­a­tion in 100th year

The Packet (Clarenville) - - Front page - BY JONATHAN PAR­SONS Jonathan.par­sons@thep­acket.ca Twit­ter: @je­j­par­sons

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.

JONATHAN PAR­SONS PHOTO

Front row (left to right) are: Ros­alind Black­wood, Adam Wise­man and Andrea Sharpe; and back: Dan Goodyear, Donna Han­cock and Chris Shep­pard.

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