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A holiday celebration of Wellness

175 program participants attended a Christmas Celebration at the Wellness Development Centre of the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) on December 12.

The annual event was held by the Kelowna Branch of the CMHA, in partnership with the Mental Health Department of Interior Health Kelowna. 

People of all ages and stages gathered. For many, it will be their only Christmas celebration this season.  

"The Christmas party is always a highlight for the participants," said Shelagh Turner, Executive Director of the Canadian Mental Health Association - Kelowna Branch. "This year we had a record number of people register for the event."

Turner said the support of local donors and online fundraising ensured there were enough gifts for all those who attended.

25 home meals were also delivered by Interior Health community workers to individuals who were unable to attend. 

The Wellness Development Centre is a program dedicated to serving people struggling with mental health issues, but who are working towards a life of wellness. Wellness Coaches assist participants through a variety of initiatives including guest speakers, art therapy and healthy eating. 

Mental health continues to have a huge impact on individuals, families and communities across Canada. Suicide is one of the leading causes of death for 15-24 year-olds. Each year more than 500 people die by suicide in British Columbia. To add to that, for every suicide there are 20 suicide attempts, according to Statistics Canada.  

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