The Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) Vernon and District Branch has launched a fundraising campaign to raise $20,000 this holiday season.

“While the size of the campaign may seem moderate, the scope is monumental,” said Julia Payson, Executive Director. “Donations from our community members will help those with mental health challenges, from youth to seniors across the mental health spectrum.”

“The past year has been one of growth and strengthening of our programs and services to provide vital support to vulnerable individuals with urgent mental health challenges,” Payson said.

From grief support sessions for families who have lost children and loved ones to suicide, to weekly peer support for the mom with depression; to the dad, the teen and the grandmother who needed early morning, late night and afternoon words of support from Crisis Line workers, CMHA is here for the many needs within our community. All funds raised stay here in the North Okanagan.”

CMHA Vernon also provides programs for nearly 600 participants each month, with early intervention and suicide prevention for youth, recreation and wellness, workplace training and reintegration through social enterprises, food preparation and nutrition education, meal subsidies, and low-income and supportive housing.

Community donations help support the Crisis Line, which CMHA Vernon operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week, all year round. Youth early intervention and suicide prevention programs are 100% dependent on community support and donations, and community education programs are offered to youth and non-profits thanks to donations and fundraising.

“For those who are able to help financially, we want them to know their donations go a long way,” said Payson.

• $25 sponsors a mental health education course for low income parents.
• $50 sponsors a youth or senior to join a mental health fitness course for a month.
• $100 sponsors a local teen to attend Friday Night Live youth early intervention and suicide prevention program for 2 months.

“Any amount that people are able to give is greatly appreciated and put to valuable use for youth, families and adults in our community facing mental health challenges.
Many of our program participants at CMHA have never had the opportunity to receive support and take part in activities that most of us take for granted,” said Payson.

Donations to CMHA Vernon & District can be made securely online at, by calling 250.542.3114 ext. 224, and in-person at 3100 28 Avenue, Vernon, BC V1T 1W3 Monday to Friday between 8:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. or by mail.

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