MENTAL HEALTH MATTERS: CMHA hosting fundraiser for Okanagan branches

Once again, Global Okanagan and the Canadian Mental Health Association, have come together to bring you a week of Mental Health Matters daily features on Global Okanagan newscasts.

“It’s no secret. Canadians are really struggling with their mental health right now,” said Shelagh Turner, executive director at CMHA Kelowna.

A recent study by UBC and the Canadian Mental Health Association revealed some staggering statistics from across B.C. when it comes to the well-being of provincial residents.

“Thirty-seven percent of British Columbians reported a decline in their mental health since the start of the pandemic,” said Pamela Finding, senior communications manager for CMHA BC.

According to Finding, that same study showed that eight percent of Canadians are experiencing suicidal thoughts — an increase from six per cent last March.

“The last 18 months have had a profound impact on people’s mental health and well-being,” Finding said.

“You’ve got the pandemic, which has had a great impact, but then there’s the wildfires and the impact of climate change.”

That decrease in mental health is reflected in an increased need for services at Okanagan CMHA branches,  and that’s why Global News is encouraging people to donate to the fundraiser.

“When you invest in the Canadian Mental Health Association, you’re investing in your community,” Turner explained.

“We provide smart programs that really make a difference to people’s lives and in fact it helps them live their best lives possible.”

For more information about the fundraiser, visit the CMHA  Kelowna website.