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P.E.I. Voluntary Resource Council holding mental health symposium Feb. 24

Mental health. -File image
Mental health. -File image

CHARLOTTETOWN, P.E.I. – The Voluntary Resource Council (VRC) is presenting a community symposium as part of its project called Seniors Promoting Mental Health Balance.

This project is funded in part by the federal government’s New Horizons for Seniors Program.

The symposium, which is free to attend, will be held at Murphy’s Community Centre on Richmond Street in Charlottetown on Saturday, Feb. 24 from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. The storm date is March 17. Snacks will be provided. Travel and child/elder care subsidies are available on request.

Pre-registration is advised. To pre-register, call Sylvie at 902-368-7337 or email Registration deadline is Feb. 20.

The purpose of the symposium, entitled “Promoting Mental Health in Seniors: Challenges and Strategies,” is to engage the wider community in developing effective ways to promote seniors’ mental health. This involves the perspective of prevention and access to appropriate mental health care services.

This event will be interactive and set up in two parts. Each part will consist of a guided table discussion, with a couple of discussion questions around challenges and strategies for change, and an affirming, energizing, 10-minute presentation.

The first part will be on the personal aspects of mental health for seniors, zeroing in on what seniors have to do to access and maintain good mental health. The presenter will be Debbie Theuerkauf, a registered nurse.

The second part of the morning will concentrate on how to arouse the community and public policy makers to make changes in favour of seniors’ mental health. Sarah Stuart-Clark, known for her work with #howmanywade, among other causes, will make the second 10-minute presentation.

The symposium is designed and implemented by members of the five-session training program held in October and November.

Anne Love is one of the project participants and an organizer of the symposium.

“The project . . . gave us an opportunity to learn and share with other seniors the many ways of creating and sustaining mental health balance,” said Love. “This includes looking at personal initiatives such as exercise and diet, developing healthy relationships, having hopeful attitudes, and intellectual and spiritual practices. The symposium will challenge seniors to explore strategies for prevention and for encouraging deeper community and government engagement.”

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