Pledging to Get Loud

One in five people in the Kelowna community will experience a mental health issue in the next year.

Candace Giesbrecht, with the Canadian Mental Health Association, says that if there are that many people struggling with their mental well-being, there should be more willingness to talk about it.

She is encouraging 13,000 members of the community to take the pledge to get loud and maintain positive mental health, during Mental Health Week — May 2 to 8.

“The pledge is very simple: talk, show and share,” she said. “ The pledge says if I am struggling I promise I will talk to somebody, if I see someone struggling I promise to show some empathy, and the third part is that get loud piece, share your message, share your voice, share on your social media.”

Giesbrecht says the easiest way to get people talking about mental health is to disclose if they have been struggling.

“There is so much power when we can share our story. It also makes it less scary,” she said. “Something that would help us this week is to say, 'hey I’m one who struggles but I am doing OK and here are some resources that helped me.'”

It is time to stop the discrimination and stigma behind mental health, says Giesbrecht. This means more people must step up and talk about the issue, which is why the RCMP are speaking out on mental illness and its affect on police officers.

Insp. Calvin Demerais, with the Kelowna RCMP, says the stress and the situations that police encounter on a day-to-day basis need to be addressed so as not to undermine any officer’s mental well-being.

“Before, with policemen being men, they liked to give the appearance things don’t bother them, and they bottle things up inside and that will always come out and show in differnt ways,” he said. “Recently, people are starting to understand, and be more open where they are able to share with their co-workers and seek help rather than trying to hide it.”

To kick off Mental Health Week, officers decided to walk the Mission Greenway in an effort to "Get Loud."

Get loud and take charge of your mental well-being by checking out OKgetloud.com or CMHAKelowna.com and find a professional or a list of events  in your community for Mental Health Week.


Comments are pre-moderated to ensure they meet our guidelines. Approval times will vary. Keep it civil, and stay on topic. If you see an inappropriate comment, please use the ‘flag’ feature. Comments are the opinions of the comment writer, not of Castanet. Comments remain open for one day after a story is published and are closed on weekends. Visit Castanet’s Forums to start or join a discussion about this story.

More Kelowna News