Beat the winter blues

Raise awareness about depression and funds for mental health at Beat The Blues in Vernon March 15.

The Kal is partnering with the Canadian Mental Health Association to host an event talking about seasonal affective disorder [SAD], a type of depression that usually begins in the fall when the days get shorter and lasts throughout the winter.

“We want to have an evening to put the spotlight on depression, especially this time of year in Vernon. We are thrilled to have The Good, The Bad and The Blues come all the way from Chicago with their unique, powerful sound for an evening of great music for a great cause,” said Joel Maddigan, general manager of The Kal.

SAD, less commonly, affects some people even the summer months.   

Up to 18 per cent of Canadians will experience a mild or moderate form of seasonal affective disorder in their lifetime.

“It is inspiring to partner with The Kal on this event that will raise funds for critical community services while also highlighting a common mental health issue in our community," said Julia Payson, CMHA executive director.  "It’s easy to forget how the weather can affect our mental health, and if one person learns more about SAD and how they can access help, it will be an incredible success."

"Beat The Blues and other events like this help to make changes in our community and improve mental health for everyone,”

Beat The Blues will feature live music by The Good, The Bad and The Blues, an award-winning blues band from Chicago and will highlight depression linked to seasonal affective disorder caused by a lack of sunlight in the winter.  

The event is March 15 at The Kal from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m.

A $10 donation is suggested and $5 from all house pizza sales will go to CMHA.

Tips to ease winter SAD symptoms:

  • Spend more time outdoors during the day
  • Make a habit of taking a daily noon-hour walk, particularly if you commute to school or work in the dark hours of the day
  • Try to arrange the spaces you spend time in to maximize sunlight exposure. Move furniture so that you sit near a window
  • Keep curtains open during the day. Trim tree branches or hedges that may be blocking some of the light from getting into your home
  • Install skylights and add lamps
  • Build physical activity into your lifestyle preferably before SAD symptoms take hold. Physical activity relieves stress, builds energy and increases both your physical and mental well-being and resilience

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