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Stomping out mental health stigma

The Brandon Sun - 2/29/2020

Approximately 75 students from across the Brandon School Division came together on Thursday to learn about reducing the stigma around talking about mental health.

The Stomp Out Stigma summit was hosted by the Brandon & Area Suicide Prevention Implementation Network and was aimed at changing the conversation around mental illness, said organization chair Jill Brown. It was also a chance to help schools create an action plan on the issue.

“Stigma is one of the major barriers why people don’t reach out when they are having a mental health problem. For youth, only about one in six actually gets the help they need, so that means there are five other young people who are not getting help,” she said.

“It’s a good thing to go get help. That’s sign of strength, not weakness, so shifting the culture around it.”

The hope was that students come away from the event energized to go back to their schools and create change.

Students heard from various speakers on their own struggles with mental health and participated in games to give them a chance at hand on learning on the subject.

Thursday marked the fourth time the summit has been hosted. The event, which was held in the basement of the Western Manitoba Centennial Auditorium, was hosted in conjunction with the Mental Health Commission of Canada’s Headstrong initiative.

According to Brandon SPIN, one in seven youth in the province were diagnosed with a mental health disorder between 2009 and 2013, but 75 per cent of young Canadians don’t seek help.

The confidential 24/7 Manitoba Suicide Prevention & Support Line is 1-877-435-7170.

» dmay@brandonsun.com

» Twitter: @DrewMay_

 
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