CMHA Elgin-Middlesex is excited to celebrate Mental Health Week 2021, which runs May 3-9. This year marks the 70th annual Mental Health Week for CMHA – an exciting milestone for the organization. To celebrate and raise awareness about mental well-being, there is a week of virtual activities and events planned to connect with the community on mental health. Check out the full agenda below for details on how to get involved! You can also use the hashtags #MentalHealthWeek and #GetReal to join the conversation on social media.
For even more resources and information, check out www.mentalhealthweek.ca.
We are excited to partner with Cook it for Mental Health Week! Use the code MENTALHEALTHWEEK50 for 50% off your first Cook it order. Valid for the entire month of May!
MENTAL HEALTH WEEK 2021: AGENDA
Monday May 3:
1:30 pm – 4:00 pm: #GetReal Kick-off Concert to Mental Health Week
Let’s kick off Mental Health Week together! Our virtual Kick-off Concert will include messages from Beth Mitchell, CEO of CMHA Elgin-Middlesex, and Mayor Joe Preston of St. Thomas as well as musical performances by Jason Mercer and Josh Ross.
Tuesday May 4:
3:00 pm – 4:30 pm: Sharing Our Stories
As part of Mental Health Week, Crystal and Jenn will be hosting a virtual Sharing Our Stories Event. Please join us in listening to speakers talk about their mental health journey. By sharing, we continue to battle the stigma around mental health, help others recognize that they are not alone, and provide hope for recovery.
Wednesday May 5:
9:00 am – 10:00 am: Yoga with Shannel
Join us for an energizing yoga practice, led by Shannel (YTT-200 Internal Peace Initiative). This will be a one-hour yoga session for everyone from beginner to expert yogis!
Practice starts promptly at 9:00 am. You are encouraged to login to your Zoom account then join the meeting 10 minutes early so you have time to resolve any issues and make sure your audio and video work before we get started. Once you’ve joined the meeting, you can put yourself on mute, and find savasana until class begins.
To prepare for the practice, please have available:
- A yoga mat,
- A pair of blocks, if you have them,
- A Mexican blanket or a large bath/beach towel, and
- A Yoga strap, hand towel or bath robe belt.
Disclaimer: due to the nature of the virtual class, by way of attendance participants acknowledge and accept that the instructor does not have the visual capacity to ensure participant safety in postures. Individuals should experience ZERO pain through the yoga practice and in individual postures. It is highly recommended that you tune in and listen to your body to avoid any injuries; the instructor will offer modifications to postures and encourage you to be mindful of safety throughout the practice.
10:30 am – 11:30 am: Introduction to Recovery College
Recovery College is a unique learning opportunity where people with lived experience of mental health issues, peers, family members and mental health professionals use their knowledge and experience to work collaboratively to co-develop and co-deliver courses on a range of topics that support well-being and recovery. To learn more about recovery colleges in general, check out: https://cmha.ca/recovery-college
6:30 pm – 8:00 pm: #GetReal with your Gut Health
We all know that saying “I feel it in my gut”. Did you know that our gut is considered our second brain? Our brain and gut are very closely connected. There is a two way dialogue between the two organs – which is connected by our vagus nerve. This nerve makes it possible for our brain and gut to talk to each other. Bacteria in our gut produces 90% of the serotonin in our body. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that affects mood and feelings of happiness and pleasure. We are what we eat, and by optimizing gut health and digestion we can help reduce levels of stress and promote those feel good hormones!
Thursday May 6:
11:00 am – 12:00 pm: Mindfulness Workshop
The purpose of this group is to take time out of our busy lives and take the time to learn and practice being mindful. Mindfulness is the psychological process of purposely bringing one’s attention to experiences occurring in the present moment without judgment, which one develops through the practice of meditation and exercising mental wellness achieved by focusing one’s awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one’s feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations, used as a therapeutic technique.
1:00 pm – 4:30 pm: Mental Health First Aid, Module 2
Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) is the support provided to a person who may be experiencing a decline in their mental well-being or a mental health crisis. Course participants will learn how to recognize signs that a person may be experiencing a decline in their mental well-being or a mental health crisis and learn use MHFA actions to help. The course is delivered over three Modules:
- Module 1: Self-Directed & Online Learning (Prerequisite to Module 2 & 3)
- Module 2: Virtual Classroom (Instructor-led Learning), Duration 3.5hrs
- Module 3: Virtual Classroom (Instructor-led Learning), Duration 3.5hrs
**Our MHFA courses are currently full.**
To be added to a waitlist or to be contacted next time we offer a MHFA course, please email Jennifer at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Friday May 7:
9:00 am – 10:00 am: Understanding Stress and Anxiety Presentation
Join Michelle and Jenn for a presentation on how to better understand feelings of stress and anxiety.
1:00 pm – 4:30 pm: Mental Health First Aid, Module 3
(Please see overview on MHFA in the agenda above for Thursday May 6)
If you are interested in supporting mental health programs and services in your community, please visit our Donation page to learn more.