Mental Health Week, which runs from May 6 to May 12, is being celebrated in the North Okanagan.

This year’s theme, Healing through Compassion, focuses on how compassion fosters connection among individuals and communities.

“There are so many invisible pressures that can be impacting those around us – relationship dynamics, inflation, work issues or housing uncertainty. That’s why a kind word, a hug, or simply listening can make such a difference. When we take time to connect, we are saying ‘You matter, you are important,’” said Julia Payson, CMHA Vernon & District executive director.


“It is also important to be compassionate with yourself. Take time each day to reflect on the good things you have done for yourself, your family, and your community. Meeting your needs is self-compassion. Rejecting perfectionism is self-compassion. Stay connected to yourself.”


CMHA Vernon & District advocates for mental health awareness, support, and inclusion, where kindness to self and others is essential to mental wellness.


Examples of CMHA Vernon initiatives that emphasize compassion are the Good Morning program, which connects volunteers with seniors at risk of isolation, and Care to Speak, which offers health care and social service workers a safe space to talk.


As part of Mental Health Week, CMHA Vernon will hold its annual Block Party at the Polson Park bandshell, Thursday, May 9 from 12 to 2 p.m. The event features information about local social services, a barbecue and live entertainment.

CMHA National recently conducted a survey which found that 92 per cent of Canadians consider themselves compassionate, and 4-in-10 Canadians took action to make it better for those affected by an issue or challenge over the past year.

The study also indicated that 77 per cent of British Columbians believe Canada could become a more compassionate nation by amplifying efforts to assist those in need through enhanced social support programs and improved laws and policies.

“We extend an invitation to all British Columbians to ignite conversations centered on compassion and kindness within their homes, workplaces, and communities,” said Jonny Morris, CMHA BC CEO. “Together, we can push back on stigma and pave the way for a more empathetic and supportive society.”

For more information on Mental Health Week, go to

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