Above: Minister Hoffman is joined by MLA Carson, staff and students at Jasper Place High School and the Chair of the Edmonton Public School Board to announce funding for additional mental health programs in Alberta’s schools. – GOA Photo
by Morinville News Staff
Mental Health Week runs May 7-13, and the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) is encouraging Canadians to talk and tweet about mental health issues with its #GetLoud for mental health.
The organization says mental health is about more than mental illness and more than being happy all the time. Rather, CMHA argues mental health is about “feeling good about who you are, having balance in your life, and managing life’s highs and lows.”
“Mental health is a state of well-being,” said clinical psychologist and CMHA National CEO Dr. Patrick Smith in a release. “When you have mental health you can realize your own potential, cope with the normal stresses of life, work productively and make a contribution to your community.”
CMHA reminds Canadians that mental health is a component of everyone’s wellbeing just as physical health is. As such, everyone is affected by their mental health.
Feds and province offer funding for mental health
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau issued a media release Monday, encouraging Canadians to take part in the campaign.
“Mental Health Week calls on all of us to share our stories and listen to others, and make sure those struggling with mental health issues know they are not alone,” the prime minister said, adding that too often mental health is treated differently than other forms of health. “Shame and discrimination lead many people to suffer in silence, and to not speak up and seek help. We all share a responsibility to encourage open and honest conversations, while looking out for signs of psychological and emotional distress – at home, in classrooms, and in our workplaces.”
The 2018 federal budget includes $5 million to develop and enhance preventative bullying and cyberbullying initiatives.
Provincially, the Government of Alberta announced Monday a new $5-million provincial grant to hire staff and build new school-based community mental health programs. The programs will be available to more than 100,000 students across Alberta.
Minister of Health Sarah Hoffman said the government heard from concerned parents and educators of a growing need for counselling and other mental health programming.
“Making sure kids receive these supports is key to setting them up for future success,” Hoffman said.