Region of Durham declares October as Mental Illness Awareness Month

September 26, 2014
(Whitby, ON) Sept. 26 -- One in four Canadians will face a mental health issue in their lifetime. In Durham, that is approximately 150,000 people.

Despite its prevalence, many people with a mental illness do not get the help they need and face a number of barriers in their recovery such as stigma and discrimination.

Ontario Shores Centre for Mental Health Sciences, Durham Mental Health Services and the Canadian Mental Health Association – Durham, as well as other area partners, are committed to removing those barriers so people can get access to the care and support they need without the burden of shame.

Durham Regional Chairman Roger Anderson signed the proclamation declaring October as Mental Illness Awareness Month.

“The Region of Durham values all our citizens and welcomes the opportunity to improve mental health awareness to not only ensure people get the help they need but can do so without shame or stigma,” says Chairman Anderson. “This Region shares the same vision as our mental health service partners that everyone should be respected, valued and supported in their community.”

All three organizations have events planned to help promote mental health awareness and education and will cover a number of important topics including suicide, head trauma and mental health and justice.

Some upcoming events include:

Ontario Shores Centre for Mental Health Sciences
Screening of The Crash Reel and presentation by snowboarder Kevin Pearce at the Abilities Centre in Whitby (Thursday, October 2, 9:00 a.m.)

Whitby Chamber of Commerce/Bell Let’s Talk Mental Health Breakfast featuring Dr. Ian Dawe, Physician-in-Chief, Ontario Shores (Thursday, October 9 from 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m.)

Imagine Festival Concert featuring Colin James and Alan Cross – Regent Theatre (Friday, October 17, 8:00 p.m.)
(Ontario Shores also offers Mental Health First Aid Training. For more information on Ontario Shores events contact 905.430.4055 ext.6574)

CMHA Durham
Mental Health First Aid certificate training (September 30 – October 1)
Stress in the Workplace presentation at the Clarington Board of Trade “Ask the Expert” luncheon series (Thursday, October 23)
Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training and Living Life to the Full certificate courses (ongoing)
(for more information on CMHA events contact 905.430.8760 ext. 137)

Durham Mental Health Services
DMHS New Branding Launch (Thursday, October 9 Noon to 2:00 p.m.) 519 Brock Street South, Whitby)
Presents Wellness Related OTN Webinars daily (October 6-10)
(DMHS also offers, Applied Suicide Intervention Skills (ASIST), safeTALK suicide awareness training, Mental Health First Aid, Mental Illness 101 and Combined Crisis and Suicide Intervention). For more information on DMHS events contact 905.666.0831 ext. 3242)

Joint event (in conjunction with Lakeridge Health Corporation)
Recovery Awareness Breakfast (Tuesday October 7 from 8:30 a.m. to 10:15 a.m.) at the Oshawa and District Shrine Club, 1625 Simcoe St., N, Oshawa). RSVP: Rehana Suleman at (905)-576-8711 ext. 6213 rsuleman@lakeridgehealth.on.ca