Local mental health advocates are aiming to change how mental illness is perceived, experienced and treated in the city with the inaugural Winnipeg March for Mental Health taking place during the 65th annual Mental Health Week on May 7, 2016, from 1 to 4 p.m. at St. Vital Park.
The march is designed to raise awareness and to encourage all members of the community to celebrate themselves and their own experiences with mental illness.
Winnipeggers will be walking alongside their loved ones, in memory of loved ones and for the betterment of the community.
One in five Canadians will develop a mental illness at some time in their lives. Many more individuals such as family, friends and colleagues are also affected. Mental illness affects people of all ages, educational and income levels, and cultures.
Approximately 8% of adults will experience major depression at some time in their lives and about 1% of Canadians will experience bipolar disorder (or ‘manic depression’).
Suicide is among the leading causes of death in 15-24 year-old Canadians, second only to accidents; 4,000 people die prematurely each year by suicide.
Mental illness is increasingly threatening the lives of children, with Canada’s youth suicide rate the third highest in the industrialized world. Surpassed only by injuries, mental disorders in youth are ranked as the second highest hospital care expenditure in Canada. Only one out of five children who need mental health services receives them.
Mental health organizations will be present at the Winnipeg March for Mental Health and resources will be freely available along with children’s entertainment, local musicians, the Transcona and District Pipe Band, the Bear Clan patrol, food vendors, and exhibitors.
All proceeds from the event will be donated to Inspire Community Outreach, supporting free mental health programming for children, at-risk youth and families.
Event organizers hope the publicity and reach generated from the event will be a catalyst in the mental health community; to motivate support in existing programs; and to encourage the development of new programs.
The event is geared to initiate real change for the city and province.
Members of the organizing committee include but are not limited to – Angela Taylor, Aly Raposo and Ben Sabic – three passionate mental health advocates and CBC Manitoba Future 40 nominees.
For more information and to register, visit marchformentalhealth.eventbrite.com