CORNWALL, Ontario – Students and support organizations from Cornwall and SD&G gathered in the city’s East End on Tuesday, Oct. 8 to raise awareness for Mental Health Awareness.
“Mental illness is still very stigmatized,” said Lauren Dewar, Agent of Mental Health Promotion for the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) in Cornwall. “We want to raise awareness and get loud about it.”
The CMHA organizes this walk annually to help students get familiar with issues around mental health and connect them with local support services.
Organizations like Counselling Support Services (CSS), Big Brothers/ Big Sisters Cornwall and more attended the Army Navy Air Force Club, where the walk began, to give out information to students.
Participating schools included St. Joseph’s Catholic Secondary School, Holy Trinity Catholic Secondary School, École élémentaire catholique Sainte-Lucie and École secondaire catholique La Citadelle.
Mayor Bernadette Clement attended the event, and explained that the mental health of the youth of Cornwall was a priority for her.
“Whenever I speak to classes of students, when I ask them what they want me as Mayor to know, one of the number one issues they bring up is mental health,” she said.
Mayor Clement explained that the City had a role to play in supporting mental health.
“It is always about supporting partnerships, that is our role as a municipality,” she said.
Over 100 students took part in Tuesday’s walk, which proceeded from the Army Navy Air Force Club, along Montreal Rd., to McConnell Ave., then back along First. St. to Marlborough and back to the Club.
“One of our goals of the walk is to ensure that future generations don’t face the stigmatization of mental illness,” said Dewar.