National Mental Health Week – Mental Health for All

By Megan Watson, Volunteer Writer

May 6-12 is National Mental Health Week, which helps to bring awareness to mental illness and mental well-being.

There is often a stigma associated with mental illness that causes people to hide difficulties they may be having, or prevents them from pursuing activities that could increase their well-being. This is a significant problem within our society. Mental Health Week aims to bring awareness and opportunities to talk, learn, and reflect about mental health, and to do so daily. By increasing mental well-being, everyone can increase their quality of life.

A good state of mental well-being allows you to:

  • Feel confident by valuing and accepting yourself

  • Express emotions in a healthy way
  • Positively engage in society
  • Be productive in life and work
  • Cope with stress
  • Some ways to promote your own mental health include:

    • Being open and honest about your feelings
    • Building healthy relationships
    • Eating well, exercising and getting adequate sleep
    • Making sure you take time to relax and participate in activities you enjoy
    • Learning to accept yourself and setting challenges to achieve goals that are important to you
    • Seeking help when struggling and actively participating in treatment

    Community events promoting Mental Health Week:

    Mental Health Week Launch, May 6
    7:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m.
    Downtown C-Train Stations

    Watch for us in key commuter areas during the busy morning rush – we will be handing out feel-good postcards and other goodies!

    Happy is the New Black, May 8
    6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.
    National Music Centre

    Come for the fun and be happy! It’s a movement. Put on your happy pants and your dancing shoes and come get groovy with the power of music!
    •    Happy Chic Fashion Show
    •    Kevin Arsenault, Musician and advocate for mental health
    •    Brad Muise, Comedian
    •    Wine, music, dancing, laughter and lots of other fun surprises!
    Proceeds go to Canadian Mental Health Association – Calgary
    Learn more and buy tickets

    #MyMentalHealth 2013: Live Twitter Chat Series, May 6-10
    Various times

    Calgary Association of Self Help Art Show, May 5-26
    Kensington Second Cup (338 – 10 Street NW)

    Join Calgary Association of Self Help art program participants as they paint live on May 5 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.. Artwork will be on display from May 5-26. All proceeds from each piece will go directly to the artist. For more information contact Marlene at 403 266 8711 or visit

    Wellness, Addictions and Mental Health Awareness, May 7
    9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
    Golden Age Club Auditorium (610 – 8 Avenue SE)

    Join the Organization for Bipolar Affective Disorder (OBAD) and The Alex to hear from keynote speakers Sherry Harris, Director of Shared Mental Health Care at The Alex; Dr. Veronica Malhotra, General Practitioner, The Alex; Kaj Korvela, Executive Director of OBAD; and John Bodman, a long-term recovering addict who shares his lived experiences. Presentations, a Q&A session, and a luncheon will follow.
    Click here for more information