Canadians are being encouraged to get loud for mental health for this year’s Mental Health Week, running May 2-8.The call to get loud is to symbolize breaking the silence and stigma that can often surround mental health issues.
"We need the conversation to get very, very loud,” said Patrick Smith, national CEO at the Canadian Mental Health Association.
“The people we love, and the people we elect need to hear that mental health is an essential part of health, and of health care."
Canadians can register how they’re raising their voices for mental health at mentalhealthweek.ca where an interactive map tracks how people are getting loud from province to province. On social media, the hashtag #GetLoud can be used to unite your voice with others.
Going green is another way to show support.
Historically the colour was used to stigmatize and label people who suffered from mental health issues as insane. By donning the hue and wearing it proudly, people can show their support and understanding.
Businesses and landmarks across southern Ontario will also be going green. The CN Tower, Niagara Falls, city halls in Burlingston, Toronto, Hamilton, and Guelph are among around 50 places that will be lit up green. Visitors to the sites are encouraged to take selfies and hashtag them #Get Loud.
There are multiple events and activities being held during Mental Health Week, in hundreds of communities across Canada.
CMHA is holding activities such as seminars, open houses, film screenings, art shows, and walks to provide Canadians with information, resources, and practical ways to stay mentally healthy.
There is also special attention being paid this year to the mental health of people over 65, who suffer disproportionately from issues like depression, anxiety, dementia, and other experiences of psychosis or kinds of distress.
Although Mental Health Week runs just seven days, CMHA calls for a universal and comprehensive health care system that includes access to mental health services for Canadians all year round.
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