Connecting to What Matters!

Success!!! CAPS Manitoba hosted the first CAPS Cares event on May 17 2017 from 6 to 8 pm at the St. Boniface Library in Winnipeg. Taking the lead in this initiative, the event was entitled “Connecting to What Matters. Promoting mental health awareness and well-being”. The purpose of this event was to bring awareness to the CAPS community, as well as to business and community at large to start talking about the impact of mental health on our lives and how we can support each other.

This event was hosted by CAPS Manitoba and held at a community library which provided the space free of charge because of the topic and because there was no fee for attendees. It involved a team of passionate CAPS members who responded to the invitation to be involved, as well as a participant in ProTrac who works in the field of mental health. The speakers – Big Daddy Tazz, Jacquie Nagy and Shannon Gander each shared their stories about mental health and how they have been impacted. Big Daddy Tazz who is a speaker and comedian, shed light and humour on the topic based on his own experience, Jacquie Nagy, a coach and trainer shared her experience with family and offered tips for managing and Shannon Gander, a counsellor and trainer in mental health shared her professional experience with tips and resources. Our President, Anders Boulanger emceed the event and Greg Wood, Chair of Marketing dealt with logistics.

This event was held during May, which is Mental Health month. Requests were made to the Mental Health Association of Manitoba and the World Trade Centre Winnipeg to share this event with their contact list and to post it on their calendar. The event details were sent out to CAPS Manitoba contact list and members were requested to share the event with their mailing lists and contacts.

While the crowd may have been small at 16 people, they were engaged and posed questions to the speakers. At the end of the event, many of the attendees approached their speakers and shared their gratitude for sharing their stories, experiences and expertise.

As a CAPS Cares Advocate for the Manitoba Chapter it is my personal goal to keep the conversation going. Since the planning of May 17, other members want to be involved. On September 17, at our next CAPS meeting we will be skyping in Frema Engel to talk about the CAPS Peer Support Program and we’re planning to have a Conversation Café on what self-care means to CAPS members and how we can support ourselves and each other.

Any questions about this event and experience, please contact me at 204-885-1586 or email dmccoy@mymts.net

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