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You don’t have to deal with mental health issues alone, says CMHA Waterloo Wellington


CTV Kitchener, May 1, 2024

Ashley Bacon, CTV News Kitchener Videographer

Around one quarter of Canadian women report they do not know where to turn to for mental health support.

The Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) Waterloo Wellington is working to break down those barriers by starting conversations around mental health without shame.

Events such as the Shopper’s Run for Women raising funds for CMHA Waterloo Wellington, bring community members together to show women that they are not alone, that together we can make a difference and support each other. Consider donating via or attending the Shoppers Drug Mart Run for Women in person on Saturday, May 11 at Conestoga College – Doon Campus.

Vanessa Dreyer sought out help for her and her daughter.

“The first thing I realized was all of that hesitation was just creating more anxiety,” says Dreyer. “And once I reached out and I got that support, I saw that I wasn’t alone and that people could actually help us, it was life changing.”

According CMHA, despite being at a higher risk for developing mental health disorders, women are three times more likely to face barriers when seeking support. Officials say women tend to not focus on their own self-care. CMHA Waterloo Wellington fund development manager Beth King says it starts with courage.

“Women are typically our caregivers. They’re the ones who take care of everyone else and so when they are in need of support themselves, it can be difficult to find the courage to ask,” King says.

For Dreyer and her daughter, turning to CMHA was a potentially life-saving decision.

“The brain is a tricky thing and it can take you places where you don’t even want to think about so without that support, I don’t really want to know where we would be,” Dreyer says.

“I had to get help and that’s why I reached out for all of us, just to live a life, worth living.”

Opening a new state of the art facility this year, CMHA Waterloo Wellington serves around 22,000 people a year across the region through 100 different programs. CEO Helen Fishbourn says there is support for everyone.

“People who need psychiatry support, nursing clinician. We have support programs for children, for youth, for their families as they understand and try to just grapple with really complicated mental health issues,” says Fishbourn.

“We really invite women to take care of their own wellness first, not last, but as a way to ensure that they’re staying well, they’re staying healthy, they’re staying grounded’.

Next week is national mental health week and the CMHA team is are encouraging anyone who may need help to reach out, whether it be through the CMHA website(opens in a new tab) or the 24/7 phone service:

Click here to watch the CTV segment.

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