Join the conversation with MenTALK on Jan. 29

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By Nick Seebruch
Join the conversation with MenTALK on Jan. 29
Pictured from left-to-right are Stephen Douris, Facilitator for the MenTALK/ K'hommuniqe support group, Angele D'Alessio, Mental Health Promoter with CMHA, and Ivan Labelle, another MenTALK/ K'hommuniqe Facilitator (Nick Seebruch/ Seaway News).

CORNWALL, Ontario – Wednesday, Jan. 29 is the 10th annual Bell Let’s Talk Day in support of mental health awareness and suicide prevention. In celebration of Bell Let’s Talk Day, the local office of the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA), in partnership with le Centre de santé communautaire de l’Estrie will be holding an open house to help promote their men’s open support group, MenTALK/ K’hommuniqe.

On the same day as the 10 year anniversary of Bell Let’s Talk Day, the MenTALK/ K’hommuniqe support group at the Centre de santé communautaire de l’Estrie will be celebrating its first year since its founding.

As a part of the celebration, there will be several guest speakers who will share their life experiences with attendees of the open house.

“If the stigma is guys don’t talk, we will be having at least four guys come and talk honestly about their experiences,” said Ivan Labelle, one of the MenTALK/ K’hommuniqe facilitators.

MenTALK/ K’hommuniqe meets twice a week on Tuesday mornings from 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. and Wednesday nights from 5:40 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. The support group is billingual and only requirement to join the group is to be over the age of 18 and to identify as a man.

Angele D’Alessio, Mental Health Promoter with the CMHA said that this support group provides an important service to the men of the region.

“There was no opportunity for men to talk before this group,” she said.

Labelle went on to explain that there is no restrictions on what can be discussed within the support group.

“Our goal is for them to become prouder and more honourable men,” he said.

The open house will be at the Centre de santé communautaire de l’Estrie and will start at 5:30 p.m. Light refreshments and food will be served and addition to the guest speakers, there will also be door prizes.

D’Alessio said that all are welcomed to attend.

“We want wives, mothers, sisters, and daughters to be welcome so that they are aware of this group too,” she said.

Stephen Douris, another Facilitator of the MenTALK/ K’hommuniqe group hopes that this event will encourage other men to join the conversation and get support when and where they need it.

“I want to get the group moving more and let people know that we are here,” he said.

Guests can register for the open house on Event Brite by searching for Bell Let’s Talk in Cornwall. They can also email or call Ivan Labelle at 613-937-3132 ext. 232 for more information.

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