This Fall, Beyond the Blues Events will include a Dose of Fun and Games to Educate British Columbians about Depression, Anxiety and Mental Health
Vancouver, BC – (September 28, 2022): Entering into the season of fall, families are in the thick of school, adjusting to work schedules and new life challenges. The reduced daylight can have an effect on routines and as the leaves fall, people’s moods can, too. Since 1995, the Beyond the Blues: Education and Screening Days annual campaign aims to support British Columbians to navigate these changes.
“Mental well-being events can be fun and engaging,” says Kamal Arora, Leader, Health Promotion and Education with the Canadian Mental Health Association’s BC Division. “Many people have been socially disconnected since the start of the pandemic. Beyond the Blues is about creating dialogue around mental health, catching concerns early, and connecting to community resources in an interactive way. We’ve got mental health screening tools, games, activities and more.”
This annual campaign is an opportunity for all British Columbians to learn more about mental well-being and mental health challenges. In alignment with Mental Illness Awareness Week held October 2-8, 2022, Beyond the Blues will be hosting several in-person and virtual events across BC during October and November 2022.
Everyone can benefit from attending. The events are free, confidential, and accessible. Attendees can take part in fun and engaging activities such as videos, games, presentations, or resource fairs to learn more about stress, mood and anxiety, risky drinking, supports, and self-care.
“Our goal is to create friendly, engaging, and safer spaces for people to reflect on their own mental health and have a conversation about how to prevent and tackle challenges,” says Arora. “We want Beyond the Blues attendees to leave feeling empowered, better informed, hopeful and supported.”
“The information, screenings and activities are designed to support people in educating themselves. To learn what’s going well for them, and what to do next if they or someone they care about needs support.”
To see all BC events, please visit www.heretohelp.bc.ca/beyond-the-blues
4 tips to help stay Beyond the Blues this Fall
Colds and viral illnesses aren’t the only thing we should be thinking about keeping at bay in the Fall; protecting your mental health is just as important. CMHA BC offers five easy tips for protecting your mental well-being:
- Embrace your Routines – For many of us, getting back to work and school routines can be challenging but our routines can actually be very healthy for us, especially for kids. If you build healthy habits now—including regular time for physical activities or social connection — you’re less likely to drop them when it gets cold and dark.
- Get Outside – As daylight hours get shorter, people will often find themselves commuting both to school or work in the dark, or home-bodies (e.g. working from home, seniors) may not be get out all. Finding small ways to take breaks and get outside during the day is a good idea, even more so if you’re prone to winter blues. Add a quick brisk walk with a friend and you’ve added two more mental health boosters: exercise and social connection.
- Real-life Face Time – Social media, texting, and video-calling can be great ways to stay in touch with loved ones or make new friends. If it’s safe for you to do so, make sure you get some face-to-face interactions too! Make a date to talk to someone in real life at a regular time each week or month. If you don’t have a close friend or relative nearby, see if there’s a local community group or club you’d like to join, walk your dog with a neighbour, or sign-up for a drop-in class in your community.
- Hydrate – Water replenishes brain cells and helps you concentrate and feel less tired. Most of us don’t drink enough of it. While you’re drinking more water, try to also limit caffeinated drinks because they can dehydrate you, make you anxious or reduce the quality (and quantity) of your sleep. Try switching to herbal tea, decaffeinated black tea, or smaller cups of coffee.
For more tips and strategies, visit a local Beyond the Blues event.
CMHA BC Provincial Media Contact:
Aaryn Secker, Director, Education & Training
Canadian Mental Health Association, BC Division
1-800-555-8222 or firstname.lastname@example.org
*NOTE TO MEDIA ABOUT VISUALS: Media are asked not to attend these events for photos or interviews to respect the anonymity and confidentiality of attendees. For visuals, see stock photos of a person filling out a screen online at https://www.heretohelp.bc.ca/beyond-the-blues/visuals or contact your local site planner to see about getting photos/footage before the event day, such as of shots of displays or speakers; or having a journalist go through a mock screening interview.
About our Supporters: Canadian Mental Health Association – BC Division (CMHA BC) works with the Canadian Institute for Substance Use Research to support local events. Funding for provincial coordination of Beyond the Blues has been provided by BC Mental Health and Substance Use Services, a program of the Provincial Health Services Authority, with additional support from the Ministry of Children and Family Development. Special thanks to our vast list of provincial endorsing agencies.
About the Canadian Mental Health Association BC Division (CMHA BC): CMHA is a national charity providing advocacy and resources that help to prevent mental health problems, support recovery and resilience, and enable all Canadians to flourish and thrive. Each year in BC alone, CMHA serves more than 100,000 people across the province.
About HeretoHelp: CMHA BC is proud to be affiliated with HeretoHelp. HeretoHelp is a project of the BC Partners for Mental Health and Substance Use Information, a group of non-profit agencies providing good-quality information to help individuals and families maintain or improve their mental well-being. The BC Partners are funded by BC Mental Health and Substance Use Services, a program of the Provincial Health Services Authority.