On the 28th of November, St. James Town residents celebrated world mental health day. World mental health day is celebrated worldwide on the 10th of October. This year’s theme for the day was ’40 seconds of action’ focusing on suicide and what each of us can do to help prevent it.  On the 10th of October small engagement activities were organised at The Corner and a major event involving community members was organised on the 28th of November.

“Let’s Talk! What are some hard feelings you have faced?” These were the first questions participants had to ponder at the start of the program. This started with the ice breaker to help residents to know one another. Participants took part in SELF CARE BINGO – a game where participants shared with each other some of their self care tips. Once participants felt comfortable with the surroundings, there was a lot more to explore.

It was a fun and engaging evening, which focused on the importance of getting a good night’s sleep, healthy nutrition, and available resources in the community. Participants also chatted with service providers who provide mental health services in St. James Town.

Moreover, there was “Max”, a therapeutic dog who took all of the participants’ attention.  “Therapeutic Paws of Canada” volunteer Sandy and Max were available for a quiet time and puppy hugs.

The Emoji wall was the one of the activities everyone wanted to participate in. Participants expressed their emotions as well as explored their deeper emotions using the Emotion Wheel.

Raju, an artist from the neighbourhood was volunteering to display his amazing skills and draw portraits for participants at the event.

There was a great turnout to the event. People shared their positive experiences and voiced importance of having such events in the community.

This event was a collaboration between Health Access St James Town (HASJT) Sherbourne Health, SickKids Centre for Community Mental Health, The Community Healing Project, and Youthdale. The event was organized at New Common’s beautiful Space at 225 Wellesley east.