Storytelling is the focus for the Canadian Mental Health Association's (CMHA) Mental Health Week, which runs from May 1 - 7.
"CMHA feels like storytelling is a fundamental part of being human and that sharing our stories and learning how to do so well helps build up connections and stronger communities," said Dusti Hennensent, Acting Branch Director for Moose Jaw. "It helps support mental health and reduces the stigma surrounding mental health. There's lots of benefits there."
She notes part of the focus this year is providing information on how to share your story safely.
"Some of the tips that CMHA is promoting is the idea of finding the right time for you. Being purposeful about deciding to share your story and knowing if it's right for you. Making sure that you feel safe doing so, so that you're doing it in an environment where you feel supported. Giving thought to where and how you're sharing your story. Making sure there is an environment that's comfortable for you."
Hennensent says some people like to share through social media or a blog post while others prefer to share with family and friends close to them. She adds it's also important to consider others when sharing your story, as people who might be part of your story might not want their story shared.
People are starting to recognize more than ever, that mental health is something that can and does affect everyone.
"I think especially as we move into a post-pandemic time period, the effects that we have all experienced during COVID, after this period of COVID being the centre of our attention. I think it really highlighted for people that mental health affects everyone, not just a certain segment of the population," remarked Hennensent.
"That's really important because I think that the stigma is declining. I think as more people talk and recognize mental health being just as important as physical health, that stigma really starts to be less and less of an issue. It's certainly still there and it's certainly still something that people think about but I think we're heading at least on the right path."
For more information on Canadian Mental Health Week and to find other resources, go to https://www.facebook.com/CMHAMooseJaw