A Word From Our Executive Director
It’s not an easy time right now. It feels as if our world is turning upside down and we see and experience so much suffering. The increasing unrest that is unfolding in the US, and even closer to home, as a result of the death of George Floyd and too many others has been occupying much of my thoughts. I’m sure yours too. It’s hard to know what to say and how to respond but I am compelled to reach out to you today to speak about the world in which we now live. I feel that to be silent is to be complicit.
At CMHA Kelowna, we believe in “Mental health for all”. That means all people, no matter their age, skin colour, sexual preference, gender, culture or beliefs, deserve good mental health. We are champions of the very things that “eliminate the barriers that can prevent people from thriving.” Injustice and inequality do not eliminate those barriers – they build them up. They are not agents of good mental health. Neither is racism.
It seems unthinkable that in the midst of COVID-19 and the overdose pandemics, we are facing a third pandemic filled with the toxins of intolerance and discrimination. Yet here we are. As an organization, it is our responsibility to stand up against racism, inequality and injustice and we are committed to doing so. Now more than ever we must try to be an ally.
There is so much to be hopeful about because of what change can bring. I encourage every one of us to reflect on our relative privilege and take steps to act with love and compassion.
Join us as we try to be agents of a mentally healthy community. One that stands together with common attitudes, beliefs, and goals so that everyone feels that they belong, that they are not alone, and that they matter. When we stand together in that community, we will feel better about ourselves and the world we’ve helped create.
Together in wellness,
Executive Director, CMHA Kelowna