Since 1952, the Canadian Mental Health Association has organized an annual mental health week during the first week of May to bring awareness to the often, silent struggles many people experience when managing their mental health. In an effort to create unity, this year’s theme is ‘Empathy’. 

“It’s really a kind of a simple concept, we all have the ability to do it, but it may be the very thing that people kind of need most, we need to be able to see and feel how somebody might be going through something,” shared Tasha Collins, Director of the Weyburn Branch, Canadian Mental Health Association. 

“As human beings, we share the ability to imagine what life is like for someone else, so to see the world as others see it, or to look through somebody else's eyes,” said Collins.  

All too often, in an effort to help, people will often look to provide a solution for those who are travelling through one of life's valleys.  

“When someone is struggling, they don’t always need somebody to swoop in and fix things for them, first they really need someone to understand where they are coming from or what they are going through,” explained Collins. 

This year CMHA is asking people to ‘Get Real’ with one another, though people may be different, it doesn’t have to make one another rivals. The ‘Get Real’ hashtag will be used to celebrate differences through unity. 

“We’re asking people to stop polarizing, and going to other sides and to start empathizing,” explained Collins. “Being there for each other when times are hard and being ready to listen.” 

“We don’t necessarily always have to agree,” said Collins. “You don’t have to fix in order to help.” 

Along with the ‘Get Real’ hashtag, the catchphrase this year is ‘Don’t weigh in, tune in’. 

While the plans for this year’s mental health week have not been finalized, CMHA Weyburn is looking forward to a city-wide initiative, the details will be announced within the next month.