Canadian Mental Health Association

The Canadian Mental Health Association was started in 1918. Each province had a divisional office (Saskatchewan is in Regina). Many programs are run here, including gambling, justice, and wellness. Each province has multiple branches,  with Regina being affectionately called "the little piece of heaven". The drop in centre is run like a members club, with social programs. One of the simplest but best features is the pool table: anyone can come in, feel welcome, meet people, and have fun. Clientele includes everyone from CEOs to homeless. Many have barriers to health: poverty, isolation, abandonment by family. Many cannot work for more than 1 hour per week, however, they want to work, and they feel great from it. The Regina branch has a vocational program to assist, including a program where members are hired and run a commercial kitchen. The program is now so good that there's not enough room in the kitchen for everyone! Additional programs include janitorial after events like football games, exhibition, etc. The best testimonial for this program is, "you saved my life".

A new community engagement program is the busiest of all, and completely not funded by the government. Outreach includes high school trips to deal with or prevent anxiety, suicide, etc.

1 in 5 people have a mental illness, and 500,000 people call in every week, yet don't say anything due to the stigma of prejudice and negative attitudes towards the illness. However, the stigma is worse than the illness. The best solution to dispel the stigma is to know the facts; after all, the person affected could be your mother or daughter. It starts with language - for example, knowing the difference between committing suicide and dying by suicide.

Take care of yourself: self care, mindful gratitude, set and achieve goals (even if it's making your bed), journal, meditate, draw boundaries,  and find the things you're good at by reaffirming it with "I am a good ..."

If you or a family member needs help, counselling is available.