The province announced the campaign called There is Help, There is Hope that focuses on changing attitudes, behaviours and beliefs that contribute to the stigma.
“It’s important to know in these challenging times, we’re all facing more mental health challenges,” said Everett Hindley, Saskatchewan’s minister of mental health and addictions. “We want people to know there is help out there and there is hope for people.”
The public awareness campaign features Saskatchewan people who have experienced addictions, mental health issues, or have counselled people with those experiences.
The campaign will be featured through various channels such as television, cinema, radio, billboard, transit buses, and social media. To reach the Cree and Dene communities, translations will be provided for the radio spots.
“It’s important to break down the stigma, because we are not that label,” stated Tommy LaPlante, an addictions counsellor featured in the campaign. “We are so much more, we are people. If we can get rid of the labels, and get to know and love people, they’ll feel supported. The important thing to know is there is help, and there is hope.”
With the launch of the campaign, it ties in with the recently released Angus Reid study focused on pandemic fatigue.
According to the study, one in three Canadians are struggling with their mental health.
“Those in Saskatchewan and Manitoba, 39 per cent are the most likely in the country to have been dealing with poor pandemic-related mental health in recent weeks,” according to the study. “But at least three in 10 in all regions report feeling not good or terrible.”
In response, Minister Hindley says January is a difficult month as it is in the best of times, and given the times that we’ve faced, it’s more important now than ever.
“Do some basic things like increase human interaction and do what’s necessary. Pull back a little bit and take time for yourself,” he said.
“Take care of your own mental health because if your mental health isn’t in good shape then it’s hard for you to help other people.”
World Mental Health Day raising awareness and ending stigma
The province says this year’s provincial budget included an increase of $7.2 million for targeted mental health and addictions initiatives. The public awareness campaign is part of that targeted initiative.
The province is also investing a record $458 million in mental health and addictions supports and services.
To learn more about what supports are available and how you can help reduce the stigma of mental health and addictions, visit: saskatchewan.ca/mental-health-awareness.
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