United Way Southern Vancouver Island Launches Mental Health Campaign

March 5, 2024 / by United Way

United Way Southern Vancouver Island Launches Mental Health Campaign Victoria, BC (March 5, 2024) – Today, United Way Southern Vancouver Island (UWSVI) steps up to challenge the outdated notion that mental health struggles are merely mind over matter with the launch of their springtime mental health campaign, “It’s All in Your Head.”

Mental health issues affect millions of individuals, families, and communities every day. But social pressures and misconceptions often lead to the stigmatization of those seeking help.

UWSVI’s “It’s All in Your Head” campaign seeks to destigmatize mental health by fostering open conversations and promoting access to life-changing resources and practical programs – including those offered by the vast network of local social service agencies that UWSVI supports.

“We cannot afford to dismiss mental health challenges as figments of imagination or personal weaknesses,” says Erika Stenson, UWSVI’s Executive Director. “These struggles are real, complex, and deserving of empathy and support, like any other medical condition, so let’s create a society where seeking help for mental health is not only accepted but encouraged.”

Donors to the UWSVI “It’s All in Your Head” campaign will support a region-wide network of agencies that provide immediate relief – and work on long-term, sustainable solutions – for people dealing with mental health and addictions challenges. UWSVI currently supports 31 mental health and addictions programs run by local agencies – from Sooke to Oak Bay to Saltspring Island. One such program is the Social Gathering Place.

“We foster a community built on the transformative power of social connection and shared experiences, providing a lifeline for those navigating the complexities of mental health challenges,” says Natalie Senik, Executive Director of the Social Gathering Place. “Through our low barrier events, we witness individuals reclaiming their sense of belonging, finding solace in mutual understanding, building supportive peer relationships and engaging in meaningful activities that promote healing and growth. Working with great organizations like United Way, we are empowered to expand our reach and deepen our impact, strengthening the vision that no one should face mental health challenges alone.” Stenson says that an anonymous donor and Knappett Projects have joined to match other donations to the campaign, up to $17,000, between now and March 31.

Stenson notes that the match challenge will essentially allow donors to double the financial impact of their donation, whether it’s $10 or $1000.

You can learn more about the mental health campaign at the Bay Centre’s level three balcony on Saturday, March 9, from noon to 4:00 pm. Donors ($10 and up) can spin for a prize, with more than $1,000 in gift cards available courtesy of Bay Centre businesses. Learn more about UWSVI’s campaign, which ends on April 12, at uwsvi.ca/itsallinyourhead.

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About United Way Southern Vancouver Island
For 86 years, United Way Southern Vancouver Island (UWSVI) has served the local community and remains dedicated to supporting people in areas where they need it most. We believe everyone in the Greater Victoria region, which includes 13 municipalities, 11 First Nations, and the Southern Gulf Islands, should have the opportunity to reach their potential. Last year, UWSVI supported close to 63,000 individuals on Southern Vancouver Island in building better lives. That is almost one in six people in our region being helped by a United Way Southern Vancouver Island initiative or funded program.

MEDIA CONTACT

Erik Lambertson
Director, Marketing + Communications
United Way Southern Vancouver Island
250.984.2269 | erik.lambertson@uwsvi.ca