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Canadian Mental Health Association hosting Mental Health Week

By Ian McInroy, Barrie Examiner

The Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) is hosting the 66th annual CMHA Mental Health Week until Sunday. The association is urging Canadians to "Get Loud" for mental health and wear green to show their support. Getting into the spirit of the campaign are some staff from the CMHA offices on Anne Street South, including Lynne Raimondi, at right. Visit www.mentalhealthweek.ca for more information.

The Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) is hosting the 66th annual CMHA Mental Health Week until Sunday. The association is urging Canadians to "Get Loud" for mental health and wear green to show their support. Getting into the spirit of the campaign are some staff from the CMHA offices on Anne Street South, including Lynne Raimondi, at right. Visit www.mentalhealthweek.ca for more information.

Get loud about mental health.

The Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) is hosting the 66th annual CMHA Mental Health Week.  

“This year, we are getting loud in response to long wait times for mental-health care,” said the Simcoe County association’s Lynne Raimondi, adding Canadians are waiting too long for those kinds of services. 

“Some people report waiting over a year to see a mental health professional,” she said. “Children, and youth especially, will wait a year or longer for services. Sometimes people are in urgent need of mental health-care and they are still placed on very long wait lists.

“Mental-health care is underfunded as compared to other parts of the health care system. People will often wait to seek service for mental health issues due to the stigma they face,” Raimondi said.

She said the association wants Canadians to hashtag #GETLOUD about mental health this week.

“This awareness week is important because it promotes taking charge of your mental health and breaking down the stigma that is often attached to mental health issues," Raimondi said.

Events will be held throughout the week, she added.

The #GETLOUD campaign encourages family, friends and coworkers to talk about mental health.

“We want people to feel as comfortable talking about their mental health as they are about their physical health, because they go hand in hand,” Raimondi said. “They are equally as important to our overall health."

The community can get involved in a variety of ways, either through volunteering at the organization, donating to its campaigns or participating in its events,” she said.

You can also get involved by wearing green, the colour for mental health.

“The shine green campaign has landmarks and buildings lit up in Ontario such as the CN Tower and Niagara Falls. Locally, our CMHA buildings are lit green and Georgian College and Waypoint Mental Health Centre in Penetanguishene are also shining green.”

Social media is an important aspect of the CMHA Mental Health Week, she added.

To learn more, visit www.mhastarttalking.ca, go Facebook at CMHA-SimcoeCounty  StartTalking or Twitter @StartTalking1 or Instagram at CMHASimcoeCounty.

imcinroy@postmedia.com