Canada’s first National AccessAbility Week
We are pleased to announce that – for the first time in Canada’s 150-year history – a national week dedicated to inclusion and accessibility for Canadians with disabilities has been established. This year, the Honourable Carla Qualtrough, Canada’s Minister of Sport and Persons with Disabilities, declared the week of May 28th to June 3rd to be Canada’s first ever National AccessAbility Week. This was a week dedicated to promoting inclusion and supporting Canadians with disabilities, about addressing the language and ideas surrounding having a disability, and discussing how to help improve accessibility to services.
Another event happening on September 10th will be the 21-hour long Mysterious Barricades concert. Founded last year by Elizabeth Turnbull, an opera singer and professor from Edmonton who lost her husband to suicide, Mysterious Barricades is a concert that will be held across Canada, with 15 performances being held in different provinces and livestreamed for those unable to attend any of the concerts held that day. People can expect music by Leopoldo Erice in Ottawa, Spencer Britten in Vancouver, Rene Andre Meshake and Glenn Marais in Kitchener-Waterloo, and many more.
Head to mysteriousbarricades.org for more details.
On November 30th, CMHA will be hosting the Glimmer Ball at Casa Loma. This will be a black tie event, and visitors will be treated to beautiful themed rooms transporting them to winter wonderlands and visions of the Roaring Twenties, live entertainers such as ballerinas and swing bands, and a variety of refreshments. There will also be a silent auction, special champagne bar, and special lights will be available to make each room brighter.
World Suicide Prevention Day
This September 10th will mark the 14th annual World Suicide Prevention Day. Each year since its inception, WSPD has strived to confront the issue of suicide while also addressing different topics related to it, such as stigma or prevention. CMHA will acknowledge World Suicide Prevention Day and promote mental health to those struggling with thoughts of suicide and to provide help for families affected by suicide.
Connecting Physical Health and Mental Health through Two Awareness Months
This September, CMHA is proud to partner with the Arthritis Society for Arthritis Awareness Month. Nearly 40% of people with Rheumatoid Arthritis are also diagnosed with depression, which can lead to more physical problems, higher disease activity, poorer health overall and an increased need for medical care, while people with psoriatic arthritis are at greater risk for depression and anxiety.
We will also proudly partner with Muscular Dystrophy Canada for Muscular Dystrophy Month. Males with Duchenne or Becker muscular dystrophy (DBMD) are prone to developing neuropsychiatric disorders such as attention-deficit hyperactivity disorders, autism spectrum disorder, and obsessive-compulsive disorder. Research suggests that Duchenne muscular dystrophy does not only affect muscles, but the brain as well.
By partnering with organizations that focus on physical health problems, we are furthering a discussion about how physical health and mental health are connected.
Healthy Workplace Month
This October, CMHA will acknowledge Healthy Workplace Month. It is important to be mentally healthy in the workplace, especially when one is faced with mounting pressures, deadlines, and other stressors. We at CMHA believe it’s important for every workplace to support employees’ mental health and well-being, and so we will bring these issues to light during Healthy Workplace Month.
Mental Illness Awareness Week
From October 1st to the 7th, Mental Illness Awareness Week will run. Not to be confused with CMHA Mental Health Week, MIAW was established in 1992 by the Canadian Psychiatric Association and is presently hosted by the Canadian Alliance on Mental Illness and Mental Health, also known as CAMIMH. MIAW aims to raise awareness around the high level of mental illness present in Canada and CAMIMH will do so with its “Faces of Mental Illness,” a campaign to highlight real-life stories of mental illness and recovery, with a goal of ending the stigma around mental illness.
Men’s Mental Health Month
In November, we will take time to acknowledge Men’s Mental Health Week. Men are more likely to die by suicide, and will experience any number of mental health problems and illnesses but often feel uncomfortable reaching out for fear of ridicule. Men of all ages should feel free to discuss and seek help for trauma and mental health problems.
CMHA wishes to acknowledge Movember, an awareness campaign held every November dedicated to promoting men’s health. Most commonly known for raising awareness for prostate and testicular cancer, Movember also seeks to raise awareness around high suicide rates and men’s overall mental health. Movember claims, “The moustache is our ribbon,” and encourages men to grow a moustache each November to raise awareness.
World Mental Health Day
This October 10th is World Mental Health Day, a day for global education on mental health and advocacy for those with mental illness. Mental illness is an issue that affects people worldwide, and World Mental Health Day aims to end the stigma around people suffering from mental illness. This year, the theme for World Mental Health Day is, “Mental health in the workplace.” The goal for this year is to create awareness around mental illness in the workplace and supply the tools needed to support the mental health of employees.