Mental Health Week 2016 was a HUGE Success! Stay Tuned for Highlights and Photos!
Go to www.OKGETLOUD.com to take the pledge to talk, show, and share about mental health.
This weekend, the city of Swift Current will welcome home hockey star and former NHLer Sheldon Kennedy while also celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Western Hockey League.
Earlier this week, Swift Current Mayor Jerrod Schafer issued a public apology to Kennedy and other junior hockey players who had been sexually assaulted by their coach in the 1980s.
Events in Swift Current highlight the need for communities — including Kelowna — to keep children safe and to make the appropriate services accessible after trauma has occurred.
But in order for more people to get help, we have to first create an environment where asking for help is OK. One of the most important ways we can do this is by eliminating the culture of shame and blame that we have built around trauma and mental health issues. Brené Brown, a brilliant scholar, author and public speaker, suggests “empathy is the antidote to shame.” I wholeheartedly agree.
One of the biggest barriers faced by youth living with mental health issues is the stigma or shame that comes from silence and misunderstanding. On Thursday, November 5th, student leaders from throughout School District 23 gathered at the Hollywood Road Education Centre for a student Summit on mental health they called, “The Fire Within Us.” Overall, the message was clear: having open and honest conversations with friends and classmates is an important way of reducing that stigma.
Guest speakers, student presenters, and community organizations facilitated learning on themes of love, interconnectedness, empathy, and individuality. This year, the School District’s “Got Health?” campaigns are focused on mental health and student leaders are being challenged to create a plan to help their schools become mentally healthy. “We are so inspired by these student leaders. They understand the importance of promoting mental health through connection and, in many ways, are the best ones to tackle this critical focus area for our schools,” says Vianne Kintzinger, Director of Instruction with School District 23.
The Canadian Mental Health Association, Kelowna and District Branch, knew that this was the perfect venue to launch their #GETLOUD Pledge for schools. “The #GETLOUD Pledge is an initiative where individuals make the commitment to talk openly about mental health, show empathy and support, and share the pledge with friends and family, all to help break the silence that keeps many people from getting the help they need,” says Candace Giesbrecht, Director of Community Engagement at CMHA Kelowna. In addition to signing the #GETLOUD Pledge at the summit, students were given resources on how to create a plan to foster a mentally healthy environment at their schools. To support students, CMHA Kelowna is offering grants of up to $250 for each school to make those plans a reality, through the generous support of The Thomas Alan Budd Foundation.
Supporting change at the school level is an important step in fostering a mentally healthy Kelowna.
More information about this exciting project is coming soon!
In the meantime, please feel free to email CMHA Kelowna if your school would like to get involved.
You can also download our School Pledge Booklet here:
CMHA Kelowna Charitable #: 10686 3392 RR0001
The Standards Program Trustmark is a mark of Imagine Canada used under licence by Canadian Mental Health Association - Kelowna Branch.