In any given year, 1 in 5 people in Canada will personally experience a mental health problem or illness.
At this point many readers will think that this article does not apply to them, but wait, keep reading. Mental illness indirectly affects all Canadians at some time through a family member, friend or colleague.
That statistic equates to more than 6.7 million people in Canada living with a mental illness. Of these, more than 1 million are children and adolescents between the ages of 9 and 19 years of age. Approximately one in four people will know someone who has died by suicide. Each year 4000 Canadians take their own lives and many more try. Within Manitoba the incidence of suicide is 1 death occurring every other day by suicide. The highest rate of suicide across all populations is within the 15-24 years age category.
EASE Westman Inc. is a Souris group started in 2014 to bring awareness to mental health and suicide prevention. EASE stands for Educate, Advocate, Support and Empower and was founded by Cathy and Dave Williams.
Our goals are to increase understanding of mental wellness through education; advocate by being a community voice to reduce prejudice and discrimination around suicide; support by promoting wellness and recovery to those impacted by suicide and empower people to affect positive change through the discovery of personal strengths.
EASE is hosting a walk in Souris on May 11 to raise money to bring awareness to mental health and suicide prevention.
It is also held to be a place of comfort for people who have experienced, or are experiencing mental health problems or illness, either directly or indirectly. It also serves as a place of community for survivors of suicide. We walk proudly in memory of our lost loved ones. Their death is not their defining legacy.
Registration for the walk starts at 9:00 a.m. and the 5 km walk begins at 10:30 a.m. (rain or shine). There is a free BBQ lunch for participants after the walk.
For more information or pledge sheets you can contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or go to our Facebook page EASE Westman Community Group.
A safeTALK workshop sponsored by Prairie Mountain Health is being offered at 1:30 pm. The workshop is free and open to anyone 15 or older who is interested, however there is a limit of 30 participants. To register contact Kathy Smith at 204-483-2102 call ortext 204-741-1076. safeTALK is a half-day alertness training that prepares participants, regardless of prior experience or training, to become a suicide-alert helper. Most people with thoughts of suicide don’t truly want to die, but are struggling with the pain in their lives. Through their words and actions, they invite help to stay alive. safeTALK-trained helpers can recognize these invitations and take action by connecting them with life-saving intervention resources, such as caregivers trained in ASIST.
All money raised will stay in the Westman area. Communities or groups can access funds though our grant process.