By Marianne Curtis
On February 15, South Eastman Regional Suicide Prevention Committee kicked off the second annual Out of the Blue Campaign which is specifically designed to address suicide prevention throughout the region.
The “Out of the Blue” campaign can make a difference for people affected by mental
illness. The campaign targets high school students, businesses, individuals and community
groups from throughout South Eastman region. The objective of the program is to get people talking about mental health, mental illness and suicide prevention by initiating or getting involved in “Blue Awareness Activities”.
The campaign encourages activities that could promote accurate mental health information, encourage help seeking behaviour by open, direct and honest talk about suicide; and spread hope for recovery. The goal is to reach approximately 1000 high school students, their families and the members of their communities.
Last year many communities joined the awareness program with inventive ideas. For example, St. Pierre’s Community in Bloom encouraged people to plant blue flowers in all public spaces. This year, five schools and the RM’s of Ritchot, Franklin, Tache and Hanover are all participating in the campaign.
Members of the committee include youth, people affected by or concerned about suicide, community agencies, public health and mental health organizations, and faith-based organization; and is chaired by the South Eastman Health Mental Health Promotion and Illness Prevention Coordinator.
South Eastman Health also encourages last year’s participating groups, businesses and individuals of La Broquerie, Ste-Anne, St-Pierre en Boom, Vita and Steinbach to join and continue to raise a New Voice for Mental Health in 2012.