Vernon’s 100 Women Who Care showed interest in mental health.
The group, which meets four times a year with each member donating $50 to one of three nominated non-profit groups, chose Canadian Mental Health Association as the recipient of its latest donation ($8,150).
Ryan Godard, CMHA volunteer and mental health advocate, shared his story about living with bipolar disorder and struggles that led to self-medication with drugs and alcohol leading to four suicide attempts before the age of 30.
“I was very lucky to survive suicide. I was truly given a second chance,” said Godard. “I feel so grateful to be here and to share my story. It is my hope that by sharing my story I can help break down the stigma surrounding mental health and inspire those facing similar challenges to speak up and seek help. I believe that we can work together as a community to improve mental health services.”
Suicide is a real and growing threat.
Statistics show 500 British Columbians die by suicide every year. After car accidents, suicide is the second most common cause of death among young people. Men in their 40s and 50s have the highest rate of suicide.
“We were moved to hear Ryan’s story and can see the need to improve mental health education and outreach for our community,” said Judy Rose of 100 Women Who Care. “We felt it was important to support the great work of CMHA to improve mental health services for North Okanagan youth and families.”
The funds raised by the 100 Women Who Care will go towards improving mental health community education and suicide prevention services in our community.
“Each year local families lose loved ones to suicide. Many of these deaths can be prevented with education and early support,” said Julia Payson, executive director of CMHA for Vernon and District.
“We must provide more community education to those most at risk. Community support will mean we can offer workshops and engagement opportunities throughout our community. This is a gap in the services currently offered in our community and by helping to fill this gap we can not only change lives, we can save lives.”
For more information on 100 Women Who Care Vernon Chapter, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
To learn more about the Canadian Mental Health Association Vernon branch, or to make a donation to improve mental health in the community, visit www.vernon.cmha.bc.ca or call 250-542-3114.