Mental health focus of week

Residents urged to consider importance of mental health

North Okanagan residents are encouraged to consider the importance of mental health.

Mental Health Week, which runs until Sunday, is used by the Canadian Mental Health Association to promote awareness and education.

“During Mental Health Week 2013, British Columbians have the opportunity to take the time to learn how to maintain their personal mental wellness,” said Sandy Rysen, executive director of the Vernon branch of CMHA.

“We all know what it means to be physically fit but we often don’t understand what it means to be mentally fit in order to cope with the challenges life brings us.”

The Canadian Mental Health Association was formed in 1918 and it has played a role in improving people’s understanding of mental health and mental illness.

CMHA introduced Mental Health Week in 1951 to raise awareness of mental illness in Canada. MHW today offers people practical ways to maintain and improve their mental health and support their recovery from mental illness.

“Whether it’s at work, at home, at school or in the community, there are things we all can do to improve mental health for ourselves and those around us,” say Bev Gutray, chief executive officer of CMHA’s B.C. division.

Each year, through 19 B.C. branches, CMHA helps more than 82,000 British Columbians.

To get involved or donate, visit