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CMHA-WECB Launch Sole Focus Project

CMHA-WECB Launch Sole Focus Project

CMHA-WECB Launches Sole Focus Project, the Largest Campaign in Branch History

The Canadian Mental Health Association, Windsor-Essex County Branch (CMHA-WECB) officially launched the Sole Focus Project this morning in the Crown Royal Lounge at the WFCU Centre. The campaign seeks to raise $500,000 over the next three years in support of mental health awareness, education and training, identified as a strategic priority in their Vision 2020 strategic plan.

With 1 in 5 Canadians personally affected by a mental illness or addictions issue during their lifetime, it has never been more important to take a stand for mental health. Increased demand for services coupled with limited health care dollars spurred the need for sustainable funding in an area that the community sees CMHA-WECB as a lead provider and advocate.

As with any disease, affliction or ailment, recognizing the signs and symptoms and actively seeking treatment are key to managing or curing the illness. Mental illnesses are no different. However
mental health is plagued by stigma, which presents a serious barrier, not only to diagnosis and treatment, but also acceptance. The more we talk about mental illness, the more we can and will
reduce stigma.

“CMHA-WECB’s sole focus is a mentally healthy community. This means a reduced burden on the healthcare system as fewer people visit the emergency room and with less frequency, more people knowing how to identify the signs and symptoms of a mental health issue and where to seek help, reduced stigma, and a greater acceptance of mental illness as conversations about mental health become commonplace. Ultimately it means people living more fulsome lives,” – Claudia den Boer, CEO, CMHA-WECB

The Sole Focus Project seeks to create a legacy fund to further enhance and distribute mental wellness education, awareness and training in our community. Education and training are a
significant area not fully funded by the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, yet they are key to early identification and treatment and shifting the tide of mental health stigma.

The campaign has been in a teaser phase for several weeks, with campaign ambassadors hidden behind one of the campaigns symbols, painted shoe soles. They were unveiled at the Launch and
include notable community leaders such as Arms Bumanlag, Noelle Montcalm, Ken Lewenza and the Windsor Spitfires team. Additional strategic partners include Douglas Marketing Group, Families First, From the Heart, Hotel-Dieu Grace Healthcare, the city of Windsor, St. Clair College, the Windsor Express and Windsor Police Services. Major donors were also recognized, including Caesars Windsor, The O’Neil Foundation and UNIFOR Local 444.

The community is encouraged to visit their website to learn ways to get involved in the campaign.