CENTENNIAL CELEBRATION - Christine Stewart, executive director of the Central Alberta Canadian Mental Health Association chats with City Councillor Frank Wong at a tea celebrating the CMHA’s 100th anniversary last week. Michelle Falk/Red Deer

Canadian Mental Health Association celebrates centennial

Red Deer honours national association’s 100 year anniversary with a tea

The Canadian Mental Health Association celebrated the centennial of its humble beginnings at a commemorative tea, honouring the organization’s inception.

“February 26th, 1918, Mrs. Dunlap who was a woman out in Ottawa invited a bunch of her friends to a tea party and they all donated money on that day and then two months later was the very first official meeting of CMHA, which was originally called the Canadian National Committee for Mental Hygiene,” said Christine Stewart, executive director of the Central Alberta Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) local office.

Stewart explained that up until veterans started coming home from the war with PTSD, people struggling with mental illness were probably self-medicating with alcohol or became outcasts in society.

She said a conversation with historian and City Councillor Michael Dawe helped her better understand some of the local history of mental health treatment.

The Central Alberta branch has been in operation for 55 years this spring.

As part of the preparation for the event Stewart went back through the CMHA collection of photos and articles which have been collected since the 1970s.

“Some of the articles I’ve seen from that time didn’t help – they were creating stigma really and trying to make sure there was ‘them-versus-us’, but we should still help them,” she said. “I don’t know when that shift started happening but we’re definitely still battling that.”

A part of the event was about advocacy to remind the community exactly what CMHA offers.

“We have so many good programs and people always think the programs aren’t for them,” Stewart said

Mental health is something everyone needs to take care of, while mental illness is something a minority of people need treatment for and the Association helps both.

“They are for everyone – we all need to learn how to be better at our wellness,” Stewart said.

Political leaders, stakeholders, members of the RCMP and the public attended the event this past week.

Just Posted

WATCH: Joe Hittel is the number one fundraiser in Northern Alberta for Rope for Hope

Hittel of Red Deer raised $14,000 for Make A Wish event

Watch: Westerner Days in full swing

The heat and the thunderstorms didn’t stop anybody

The Expo Wheel ride a no-go at Westerner Days

Red Deerians take in Westerner Days all week long

20,000 swarm to Westerner Days on day two

Westerner Days Fair & Exposition saw the community meet-up for Tim Hortons Kids Day

WATCH: Red Deer Airport’s Boot Scootin BBQ supports great cause

Airport hopes to donate $4,000+ to Aspire Special Needs

Watch: Westerner Days in full swing

The heat and the thunderstorms didn’t stop anybody

Canada to resettle dozens of White Helmets and their families from Syria

There are fears the volunteers would become a target for government troops

Francesco Molinari wins British Open at Carnoustie

It is his first win at a major and the first by an Italian

Government sets full-time salary range for Justin Trudeau’s nanny

At its top range, the order works out to a rate of $21.79 per hour, assuming a 40-hour work week

Stettler hosts antique tractor pull

Participants come from across Alberta

No Name brand chicken nuggets recalled due to possible salmonella

Canadian Food Inspection Agency says multiple illnesses reported in B.C., Alberta and Ontario

Ex-Raptor DeMar DeRozan says goodbye to Toronto on Instagram

The guard was traded to the San Antonio Spurs earlier this week for Kawhi Leonard and Danny Green

Cigarette packs with graphic images, blunt warnings are effective: focus groups

Warnings considered effective flag ailments smoking can cause, like colorectal and stomach cancers

Canada’s title hopes quashed at Rugby Sevens World Cup in San Francisco

On the men’s side, Canada was eliminated in the round of 16 as they were shut out by Argentina 28-0

Most Read