With efforts to create public awareness about mental health and addictions, a campaign aimed at addressing the stigma has been launched.
The province announced the campaign There is help, there is hope which focuses on changing attitudes, behaviors and beliefs that contribute to the stigma.
“It’s important to know that we are all facing more mental health challenges in these challenging times,” 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.”
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The public awareness campaign includes Saskatchewan people who have experienced addictions, mental health issues, or counseled people with those experiences.
The campaign will be shown through various channels such as television, cinema, radio, billboard, transit buses and social media. To reach the Cree and Dene communities, translations for the radio spots will be provided.
“It’s important to break the stigma because we are not that label,” says Tommy LaPlante, an addiction counselor who appears 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 will feel supported. The most important thing to know is that there is help, and there is hope. ”
With the launch of the campaign, it joins the recently released Angus Reid study focusing on pandemic fatigue.
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According to the study, one in three Canadians struggles with their mental health.
“Those in Saskatchewan and Manitoba, 39 percent, are the most likely in the country to have had to deal with poor pandemic-related mental health in recent weeks,” according to the study. “But at least three out of 10 in all regions report that they do not feel well or terrible.”
In response, Minister Hindley says January is a difficult month as it is in the best of times, and given the times we have faced, it is more important now than ever before.
“Do some basic things like increase human interaction and do what is necessary. “Pull back a little and take time for yourself,” he said.
“Take care of your own mental health, because if your mental health is not in good condition, it is difficult for you to help other people.”
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The province says this year’s provincial budget included a $ 7.2 million increase for targeted mental health and addiction initiatives. The public awareness campaign is part of that targeted initiative.
The province is also investing a record $ 458 million in mental health and addiction support 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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