100 Women Who Care donate funds for Vernon suicide prevention - InfoNews

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100 Women Who Care donate funds for Vernon suicide prevention

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April 04, 2018 - 11:00 AM

VERNON - Support is growing for those struggling with thoughts of suicide in Vernon.

100 Women Who Care recently presented a cheque of more than $8,000 to the Canadian Mental Health Association after hearing a Vernon man’s story.

Ryan Godard, a Canadian Mental Health Association volunteer and mental health advocate shared his story about living with bipolar disorder and struggles that led to self-medication with drugs and alcohol leading to four suicide attempts before the age of 30, the association says in a media release.
“I was very lucky to survive suicide. I was truly given a second chance. I feel so grateful to be here and to share my story. It is my hope that by sharing my story I can help break down the stigma surrounding mental health and inspire those facing similar challenges to speak up and seek help. I believe that we can work together as a community to improve mental health services,” Godard says in the release.
Suicide is a real and growing threat, the association says, noting 500 British Columbians die by suicide every year. After car accidents, suicide is the second most common cause of death among young people. Men in their 40s and 50s have the highest rate of suicide.
“We were moved to hear Ryan’s story and can see the need to improve mental health education and outreach for our community. We felt it was important to support the great work of CMHA to improve mental health services for North Okanagan youth and families,” says Judy Rose, with 100 Women Who Care.
The funds raised by the 100 Women Who Care will go towards improving mental health community education and suicide prevention services in the community.
“Many of these deaths can be prevented with education and early support. We must provide more community education to those most at risk. Community support will mean we can offer workshops and engagements opportunities throughout our community. This is a gap in the services currently offered in our community and by helping to fill this gap we can not only change lives, we can save lives,” executive director for the Vernon and District Canadian Mental Health Association Julia Payson says.

The group 100 Women Who Care meets four times a year with each member donating $50 to one of the three nominated non-profits. Canadian Mental Health Association was voted the recipient of the funds raised at the February meeting.

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