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Campaign to speak up about mental health struggles

Red Deer Advocate - 9/30/2023

Mental Illness Awareness Week is Oct. 1 to 7 and a Red Deer mental health counsellor wants to remind people to reach out when they need help.

The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health says about one in five Canadians experience mental illness each year, and more than one in two struggling Canadians are not getting the mental health help they need.

Helena Green, Master Practitioner in Clinical Counselling and Registered Professional Counsellor, said a lot more people are dealing with mental health issues because of the complexities of the world we live in today.

"Modern society is such that it's much more complex, and with that comes a level of stress," said Green who wrote the book Anxiety Therapy at Home: Dancing with Your Shadow.

"People are not only dealing with the obvious stressors, but there's an accumulation, like a stacking effect that happens internally."

She said a lot of people think they need to go it alone, but there is help available.

"People just need to centre for a moment to realize their best is good enough, and reaching out for help is wise."

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She said when people are stressed out they have a fight/flight/freeze response.

"Everything seems bigger than it really needs to be. But when you're grounded and clear and balanced, you can sort through things and come out feeling okay regardless of what the circumstances are.

"It's all about being present. Things don't affect you the same way when you come from a place of balance and completeness."

Green said when people are not stuck in the past, or fearful of the future, they can better face their problems which makes it easier to explore options and not be encumbered by the stories that are happening in their head.

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Mental Illness Awareness Week is an annual, national public education campaign designed to help open the eyes of Canadians to the reality of mental illness.

Established by the Canadian Psychiatric Association, it is now coordinated by the Canadian Alliance on Mental Illness and Mental Health in cooperation with all its member organizations and many other supporters across Canada.

To find out more about mental health services contact 211 Alberta by calling 211, texting INFO to 211, or live chat at