From left, Mental Health Foundation communications Amber Benders, Health Promotion Facilitator Community Addiction and Mental Health Christina Harvey, Mental Health Foundation communications Sam Fitzner and Cornerstone Co-op Community Engagement Manager Heather MacMillian at Cornerstone Co-op on February 3. Photo Lorna Hamilton
This past year has been a challenge for everyone in every community of Alberta. COVID-19 has brought feelings of isolation, fear, anxiety, loneliness, sadness and anger. In some cases the current pandemic has resulted in the break-down in relationships, domestic abuse and financial ruin.
Many Albertans suffered from mental health issues and addictions prior to the pandemic, however, since the onset of the pandemic more and more Albertans have been struggling with mental health issues or the onset of addiction.
Cornerstone Co-op has recognized the struggles communities are facing and have also recognized the mental health and physical health struggles its community members are experiencing. As a part of Cornerstone Co-op fundraising initiatives, Cornerstone has partnered with the Mental Health Foundation of Alberta (MHF) and have implemented a ‘Community in Mind’ Fundraising Campaign in all six of their serving communities, throughout the month of February.
“Mental health and physical health go hand in hand, and we need to be as supportive of our community’s mental health as their physical health during this pandemic,” said communications lead Sam Fitzner, from the Mental Health Foundation of Alberta.
As part of the fundraiser and awareness campaign community members will have the opportunity to purchase a branded paper heart at each check-out and write a heart-felt message which will be displayed in each of Cornerstones locations.
On February 3, MHF representatives Sam Fitzner, communications lead, Mental Health Foundation and Amber Benders, along with Christina Harvey, Health Promotion Facilitator Community Addictions and Mental Health, Wainwright were in attendance at the Vermilion Cornerstone Co-op from 1-3 p.m. to help launch the campaign and to highlight mental health.
The Mental Health Foundation fundraises for and supports all public addiction and mental health programs in Alberta.
Cornerstone Co-op Community Engagement Manager Heather MacMillian was in attendance and said, ”Cornerstone Co-op is also launching a workplace mental health campaign for our employees called ‘Our Team in Mind’ as we want to support our employees to be mentally strong, and have coordinated education opportunities.
MacMillian also commented that they are very excited to be partnering with the MHF for the month of February and that all proceeds of the donations from the branded paper heart will be going to the Mental Health Foundation.
“It’s been a very tough year for our communities and team and we are committed to making this a successful awareness campaign and fundraiser,” stated MacMillian.