The 71st Mental Health Week was launch today at Marina Park with an official proclamation by the Mayor of Thunder Bay. The City, local chapter of the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA), Thunder Bay Police Service, Thunder Bay Fire Rescue, Superior North EMS, and Thunder Bay Transit came together to launch the week of awareness activities that will run May 2 – 8.

“This week, green flagging tape will be tied on to many City vehicles and lights will shine green at City Hall, Transit, Superior North EMS, and some of our Fire Stations,” said Karen Bonazzo, Health & Wellness Coordinator, City of Thunder Bay. “The colour green symbolizes mental health, and we hope its visibility will start conversations about mental health and fight the stigma that is often associated with it.”

The City and partners will also share messages throughout the week on social media to promote learning, create awareness, and access resources on mental health.

“It’s a positive message to our community that the City, CMHA, Police, Fire, EMS, and Transit stand together recognizing that mental health is important and its okay to talk about mental health and seek supports when needed,” added Bonazzo.

Mental Health Week aims to shift societal beliefs and perceptions about mental health. It helps to promote behaviours and attitudes that foster well-being, support good mental health, and create a culture of understanding and acceptance. This year’s theme is empathy. Promoting empathy increases the likelihood of helping others, showing compassion and helps to understand the perspectives, needs, and intentions of others.

“Our world has had a lack of empathy,” said Jennifer Hyslop, CEO, CMHA Thunder Bay. “But as we faced the pandemic together we started to see the world through the eyes of those different from us. Empathy might be the silver lining to all of this. Let’s stop polarizing and start empathizing.”

CMHA Thunder Bay will be offering a number of initiatives throughout the week open to all.

Partners encourage citizens to #GetReal and talk about mental health. Learn more about the activities and available resources at Supports are available for anyone struggling by calling the CMHA Crisis Response Phone Line at 807-346-8282.

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Contact: Karen Bonazzo – Health & Wellness Coordinator, , 625-3586 

City representatives gather to launch Mental Health Week