Mental Health Week is just around the corner, running from May 6, until May 12, and Journey to Hope is hosting a series of events to bring awareness to the importance of supporting others, and yourself in all facets of mental health. 

“The theme for this year is ‘A Call to be Kind,” said Donna Atsu-Bowyer, trainer and executive with Journey to Hope. “If you can be compassionate to the people around you, that connects us, and there’s never too much compassion.” 

Journey to Hope will be bringing in author Ruby Remenda Swanson to speak about her book ‘A Family Outing’. Swanson will speak in the Moose Jaw Public Library Theatre on May 9, from 7:00 to 8:30 p.m. 

“Our concern is that we want our LGBTQ2S community to know they are supported, and with the loss of Moose Jaw Pride in our community, that service isn’t there for them right now,” said Della Ferguson, Co-Founder of A Journey to Hope Moose Jaw.  

“So, we asked her, as a mom, author, advocate, and activist, to come and speak, to share her story, her inspiration, and her thoughts for us as a community on how we can serve each other better.” 

Journey to Hope is also putting on several training sessions as part of their Mental Health Week Programming, the first being called ‘Mental Health First Aid’ which will take place on May 8, and 9 from 8:30 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. at the Moose Jaw Family Services building.  

The course aims to teach participants how to engage with someone with an emerging mental health problem or is in a mental health crisis, while also decreasing the stigma surrounding such issues. 

The course will cover five modules, ranging from Mood Disorders and Psychosis to Substances and Anxiety, with the completion of all five resulting in a certificate in Mental Health First Aid.  

The course is subsidized by Journey to Hope, with a registration fee of $25.  

“Some of the people that have mental health issues say that as soon as they disclose that they’re struggling with anxiety, depression, or any other mental health issues people seem to back away. Almost as if they’re afraid they’re going to catch it,” said Donna Atsu-Bowyer. 

“What we need is people that are trained to know how to respond in a way that they feel confident that they can give that additional support to someone who may be struggling.” 

They will also be holding a seminar on safeTALK on May 11, at the St. Andrew’s Church Lounge from 1:00 p.m. until 4:00 p.m. safeTALK is a training program designed to prepare participants over the age of 15 to identify people with thoughts of suicide and direct them towards suicide prevention resources. 

“It also breaks down a lot of the myths and misinformation that’s out there about someone who may be having thoughts of suicide,” said Donna Atsu-Bowyer. 

“It’s very interactive, people will have an opportunity to ask the questions that they want, to break down some of the language that we have around suicide ... the type of language that can be very destructive to somebody who may be having thoughts of suicide.” 

There is a 25-person limit to attend the safeTALK program, and attendees must call and register in advance. 

To register for these programs or get more information contact Donna at or call or text 306-631-4315.