CMHA Champlain East raises $25,000 during Mental Illness Awareness Week

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The Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) Champlain East hosted a one-day event on October 5, marking Mental Illness Awareness Week.

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In partnership with major sponsors At Old Duluth Cornwall, Devcore Group and Astro Printing Service, ACSM representatives announced Tuesday that their efforts had raised $25,706 in donations.

“We did very well on the day of the event. We were a little nervous, I’m not going to lie. It was the first fundraiser after a pandemic, but people walked out. I would say Cornwall has always been a very giving community and that day was almost the same…we served about 400 people,” said Angele D’Alessio, CMHA Champlain East Mental Health Promoter.

“Now more than ever, I think people realize how important mental health is and have been really supportive of the cause.”

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The event featured a photo booth for the first time, D’Alessio said, with encouraging and educational messages such as “be strong” and “1 out of 5.” A live and silent auction also included a variety of locally donated goods, and an iPad was raffled off. A month before the event, a wellness package was raffled off, including gym membership, massage gift certificate and more.

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This is the fourth partnership between CMHA and Au Vieux Duluth hosts the event, with proceeds supporting the free delivery of mental health programs.

“The pandemic has brought new challenges and highlighted existing struggles that Canadians face,” reads a statement from CMHA. “A CMHA Ontario poll found that almost half (48%) of Ontarians say their mental health has deteriorated over the past two years. Substance use among Ontarians has also increased, with one in four people (24 per cent) seeking help for their mental health issues since the start of the pandemic. Access to community services and supports plays an important role in how people experience mental illness.

To learn more about CMHA’s local programs, visit the organization’s website www.cmha-east.on.ca.

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