Today is Blue Monday, a day to draw attention to those facing depression and Seasonal Affected Disorder.
One organization in our community bringing attention to mental health is Journey To Hope. Since 2008, Journey To Hope has been advocating for suicide awareness and prevention in Moose Jaw.
Journey To Hope has a number of programs running throughout the year, including a partnership with the Prairie South and Holy Trinity school divisions to help catch the early signs of depression and anxiety in children.
“They do a screening process in our schools for Grade 8s and some of the high schools, and right away if they see anyone that screens as being in need, they have a counsellor outside of the door ready to support that student. So, that's just one of a number of things that we have going on,” said Della Ferguson, chairperson of Journey to Hope.
Ferguson said the pandemic has been particularly hard to connect with people and get the training out there to help those who may be in a crisis.
Recently, Journey To Hope has been working with the Suicide Prevention Centre in Calgary and they have bought the license for the “Start” virtual training program. The training takes about 1.5 to 2 hours, giving insight on how to respond to someone in crisis. Journey to Hope is offering this course for free.
Journey To Hope is also partnering up with Square One to offer lunch and learn programs once per month on topics from suicide prevention to addictions.
The next lunch and learn is taking place on Jan. 20 with a presentation from the Regina Sexual Assault Centre.
“So their representatives are going to speak on the fact that we have a counsellor that comes here to Moose Jaw from their centre to speak with people, to support them when they've experienced sexual violence,” Ferguson said.
Ferguson added that, while Journey To Hope has many programs running, there is a lot a person can do daily on their own to look after their mental health.
“What I encourage people to think about is what will I do for myself today physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually, and socially because we have needs in all of those areas and how can I do something for each of those areas,” she said.
Below you can watch Mix 103’s Sharon Church’s interview with Della Ferguson: