The staff here at CMHA York Region and South Simcoe believe in our mission and work so much, that many participate in Mental Health In Motion every year. Learn why Carol, Senior Director, Services, Quality and Innovation, has participated in this event for many years.
What is your position at CMHA York Region and South Simcoe?
Senior Director, Services, Quality & Innovation
Why are you participating in Mental Health in Motion?
I have been participating in MHIM since CMHA-YRSS first brought it to Ontario. CMHA is fortunate to receive program funding from the Province, the Municipality, and United Way; however, MHIM provides us the opportunity to develop new and innovative programs in the community. For example, our Gender Affirming Clinic, and MOBYSS. These services would not exist if it were not for community donors. The other reason I participate in MHIM is to get the word out to the general public about the good work that we are doing at CMHA. If walking the trails in my community, wearing my CMHA MHIM t-shirt helps one person recognize that there is support out there for them, for their family member, colleague or neighbour, it’s worth it.
What value do you think teams provide to Mental Health in Motion?
They say there is safety in numbers, but there is also fun in numbers, and results in numbers. Our team is made up of self-defined “leaders”. Those are people who guide or inspire others. We are hoping that by working as a team, we will be able to inspire others to champion mental health. To stand beside people with lived experience to break the stigma, and make it cool to talk to others openly when you are not feeling okay. By working as a team, we can reach more people, and raise more funds. We can also encourage one another.
What would be your advice to someone who is interested in starting a team?
The trick during COVID is how to create a sense of “team”. I’m still working on that myself. I was hoping that we would be able to find a time to walk together, but unless the lockdown lifts and our group is all vaccinated, that may not be possible. My advice to starting a team is to shout out to a group of people that you know will want to support you in this endeavour, and who appreciate the outdoors. Because of COVID, start with your bubble. This is about raising awareness, raising money, and getting physical exercise to support your personal mental wellness and others. If you can, don your MHIM t-shirts, and walk together in a public place. People will notice the matching t-shirts and take a second look. Feel free to let people know what you’re doing (from a two-meter distance .. of course).
Join us for our Virtual Kick-Off Sunday, June 13, 2021 at 9 A.M. on Facebook and YouTube. Get the details HERE.
If you haven’t registered for Mental Health in Motion, join us. It’s FREE. REGISTER HERE.