CARS Mental Health Capacity Building Team invites residents to virtual events during Mental Health Week

This year, the Canadian Mental Health Association’s theme for Mental Health Awareness Week is ‘social connection’

Clearview Public Schools CARS (Caring and Resilient Youth) Mental Health Capacity Building Team is inviting residents to participate in their virtual events during Mental Health Week.

This year, the Canadian Mental Health Association’s theme for Mental Health Awareness Week is ‘social connection’ and its importance for mental health. The campaign this year calls for us to #GetReal about how we really feel.

Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, loneliness and social isolation were already of major concern in our society, noted a release.

“Social connection is important in a time of social distancing. Phone calls, video calls and other digital technologies offer excellent opportunities for connecting face-to-face, even when we can’t be in the same room,” said Penny Warford, CARS program manager.

“The pandemic can bring us together in unexpected ways. Canada has seen members of the community helping one another during these difficult times.”

Warford said that while May 4th to 10th is Mental Health Awareness Week, “We encourage everyone to take care of their mental health 365 days a year.

“During this pandemic, we recognize that our emotional and physical health may be at the forefront of our thoughts. We encourage adults and children to pay attention to your needs and feelings, and engage in healthy activities that you enjoy and find relaxing.

“As spring is upon us, we hope you are able to enjoy some excellent and free sources of self care – fresh air and physical activity as we #GetReal for Mental Health Week 2020.”

CARS Mental Health Week Virtual Events & Initiatives:

– Art Contest

– Virtual Wellness Sessions

– Cupcake Decorating Contest

– Let’s Chalk About It.

Meanwhile, the Mental Health Capacity Building in Schools Initiative (MHCB) is a health program that works to promote positive mental health in children, youth, and families in the communities where they live.

Since 2008, CARS has been offering programs focused on mental health promotion and well-being to students in the Clearview area.

“We also provide mental health screenings, supports, and referrals as needed.”

• Improving mental health and wellness at a time like this is particularly important, officials point out.

“To stay connected with families in Clearview during the pandemic, we are trying to continue offering programming in an online format. Our web site has a variety of resources including activities and pre-recorded lessons for people to join. These resources are optional to families and can be accessed at their convenience.”

• While we are all practicing physical distancing to help stop the spread of COVID-19, it is important to find new ways to stay connected with family and friends. CARS helps young people build strong resiliency skills to help them cope with a crisis, which are more important now more than ever.

For Warford, connecting with students provides the most joy and fulfillment.

“This change to online programming has been challenging, (but) it’s great to see when students are using or modelling skills that we teach in our classroom and group programs,” she said.

“We believe in the power of prevention. I hope the work we have been doing in Clearview Public Schools over the past several years is helping students deal with the stress that they may be experiencing right now.”

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