Mental Health Foundation launches fundraising campaign for pandemic-related mental health needs in Alberta

EPCOR providing $20,000 through its Heart + Soul Fund to match donations

In coordination with its annual event Breaking the Silence, the Mental Health Foundation is launching the Heart to Heart campaign in support of urgent mental health needs in Alberta.

The Heart to Heart campaign runs from July 14th to the end of the month, with virtual opportunities to engage in activities that strengthen both physical and mental health provided through Breaking the Silence. EPCOR has promised to match donations up to a total of $20,000 through its Heart + Soul Fund.

 

 

We’ve all been impacted by the pandemic in different ways. Over the past year and a half we have seen countless examples of people rallying together to support one another. Let’s continue the momentum we’ve built. Let’s break the silence around mental health and have those heart to heart conversations. And for those of us who can, let’s help ensure that critical supports and services are available to those who need it by donating today.
John Elford, Senior Vice President, Corporate Services, EPCOR

Alberta is past the worst of the COVID-19 pandemic, but the full extent of its mental health impacts remain to be seen. According to Mental Health Research Canada, one-third of Canadians report their mental health is currently affecting their ability to function, with social and family life being the hardest hit. 

The Mental Health Foundation supports public Addiction and Mental Health programs and services across Alberta. Funds raised through the Heart to Heart campaign will help the mental health care system meet the anticipated increase in need for services in the aftermath of COVID-19. 

“As we re-enter daily life post-pandemic, we anticipate a rise in need for mental health services now that immediate physical safety is not the topmost concern,” says Deborah McKinnon, President and CEO of the Mental Health Foundation.  “Whether you participate in conversations through Breaking the Silence or double your impact by contributing to the Heart to Heart campaign, you will make a difference in the lives of fellow community members. We are so grateful to EPCOR for understanding the importance of mental health and investing in resources to promote long-term resilience.”

Breaking the Silence aims to get Albertans moving and talking about mental health with their families and friends. The event was founded in Edmonton by a group of friends honouring the life of a friend, Surjan Singh Sanghera, lost to suicide. Knowing little about mental health themselves, the group decided more education was needed in the community. 

Says Raju Virk, one of the event’s co-founders, “We had no idea our friend was struggling. They say one in five people are touched by mental health, but we never thought losing a friend to suicide would happen to us. We want to make a difference and show people that there is help available. There is hope. We’re breaking the silence around mental illness.” 

During the campaign, community members can attend webinars led by local community experts focusing on mental health topics such as Loss and Grief, the Pandemic’s Impact on Addiction, and Adversity & Resilience. Registration is free and can be found here

EPCOR’s support of Breaking the Silence and the Mental Health Foundation’s Heart to Heart campaign is part of $3 million in pandemic relief and recovery funding it has provided to support organizations that bring joy to our community and provide a lifeline to those hardest hit by COVID-19. Learn more at epcor.com/heartandsoulfund

 

Media contact: 

Sam Fitzner 

Communications Lead 

Mental Health Foundation 

780.884.9701 | sam@mentalhealthfoundation.ca