Local Schools and Communities Sweep the Out of the Blue Awards


By Marianne Curtis

South Eastman’s Regional Suicude Prevention Committee is ecstatic over the success of it’s first “Out of the Blue Campaign”. At the end of May, the organization hosted the “blue gala” where schools, communities and individuals were recognized for doing their bit in raising awareness on suicide prevention.

The South Eastman Regional Suicide Prevention Committee was busy during the month of April addressing suicide prevention. The objective of the program is to increase awareness and develop broad-based support for positive mental health. A variety of activities and programs were launched throughout the region to bring awareness in suicide prevention where it is needed most.

At a special gala, two hundred and twenty-five guests dressed in blue came out to celebrate as awards were handed out to a number of groups and individuals.

Deb Taillefer, Regional Mental Health Program Manager with South Eastman Health says that while many people were recognized during the evening, the real winners were local residents.

“The real winners are all the residents of the South East as we take huge leaps toward breaking down barriers and reducing stigma attached to mental health and mental illness,” stated Taillefer. “The campaign was supposed to get people talking about mental health, promote help seeking behaviours and spread hope. Given the overwhelming success of our activities we are confident that we’ve made progress within the region.”

Ecole Saint-Joachim in La Broquerie and Shevchenko School in Vita were the stars of the evening, taking home many awards in categories like Blue Video, Blue Lunch, Blue Expressions and many others. Individuals from the community were also awarded prizes for literary and visual contributions. Businesses including Sunshine Greenhouse (Steinbach) and Shop Easy Foods (St-Malo) and community groups like St-Pierre en Boom also were winning participants.

South Eastman’s Regional Suicide Prevention Committee is already reviewing the campaign and preparing to relaunch an even bigger project next year.

Excited students lined the blue carpet during South Eastman Health’s recent “Out of the Blue” Gala event.

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