There is help, there is hope is the theme for a new campaign says Saskatchewan health officials as they embark on a mental health and addictions strategy focussing on stigma.
As well, some Saskatchewan star power is lending their social media presence to support the effort. Onboard is Saskatoon-born actor Kim Coates whose credits include Sons of Anarchy. The talent list of support also includes comedians Leroy and Leroy, singer/rapper Joey Stylez, former Saskatchewanderer and world traveller Ashlyn George and style and beauty blogger Holly Horvath.
Health officials say they are targeting the underlying attitudes, behaviours and beliefs that contribute to stigma surrounding mental health and addictions. The campaign has input from Saskatchewan people who have experienced addictions, mental health issues, or have counselled people with those experiences and covers television, cinema, radio, billboard, transit buses, as well social media. The radio spots will be translated into Cree and Dene.
Tommy LaPlante an addictions counsellor with lived experience is also endorsing the campaign.
“It’s important to break down the stigma, because we are not that label. We are so much more, we are people. If we can get rid of the labels, and get to know and love people, they’ll feel supported. The important thing to know is there is help, and there is hope.”
Everett Hindley whose portfolio includes mental health and addictions shares on the government’s commitment to increase awareness and reduce stigmas in the province. He is grateful for the celebrity support.
“The people featured in this campaign offer such powerful messages of hope and recovery. I thank them for sharing their stories and inspiring others to reach out to available resources.”
This year, the province has invested $458 million in mental health and addictions supports and services, which is 7.5 per cent of the overall health budget.
More information can be found on the government’s website including links to services in Lloydminster.
Residents can contact the Harm Reduction program at Prairie North by calling 306-821-2982.