The Stettler chapter of the Rural Mental Health Project hosted a Harvest Supper on Oct. 13.
Designed as a “grass-roots” capacity building project, the Rural Mental Health Project came about with funding by the province several years ago to promote and educate activities and treatments related to mental health, mental illness, addiction and overall community wellness.
As part of the organizations mandate, animators from across the province were trained and funding through grants were provided to host community capacity building activities such as the Harvest Supper, which featured 10 time Canadian Professional Rodeo Association Announcer of the year and mental health advocate Brett Gardiner.
The dinner portion of the event kicked off at 6 p.m., with a welcome by Stettler animator Andrea Lee, followed by a song by another Stettler local, Rena Hicks.
Supper was catered by the always-popular Theresa’s Catering with the order of the tables being selected completely at random by virtue of a sticky note with number on it on the bottom of the table centre-pieces.
The meal itself consisted of vegetables, potatoes, crusted chicken and a wide variety of desserts.
Gardiner took the podium a little after 7 p.m. and shared his message of mental health resiliency, talking about how he seemingly had everything but still ended up dealing with mental health issues.
“It’s okay not to be okay. You have to name it to tame it,” said Gardiner, noting that the first step in getting help is a diagnosis.
For those dealing with mental health issues such as anxiety or depression, the first step is to have a conversation with your doctor. For publicly available mental health supports, contact Stettler Mental Health and Addiction at 403-743-2000 to do a self-referral with an intake worker.
The province also has a toll-free, 24-hour mental health help line at 1-877-303-2642. In case of emergency, call 911.