Mental Health Empowerment Day 2022

Last night I attended the 6th annual “Mental Health Empowerment Day” event with my girlfriend Joy. The main objective(s) of this event have been and continue to be to help educate, end the stigma surrounding mental illness and bring community together. It was sponsored by the wonderful organization “Project Give Back”. It was great seeing so many familiar faces; their hugs felt extra special. 

In 2019 Rich and I first attended the event together where I got to showcase my children’s book, Where Did Mommy’s Smile Go? while also listening to many inspirational young speakers with lived experience open up about their mental health struggles and triumphs. The last 2 years since then I have attended the event online. It was definitely good to be back in-person.

Last night the two invited speakers were a wealth of knowledge mixed in with lots of humour. First to speak was a Clinical Professor and Author of the book, “Love Builds Brains” who specializes in Child Psychiatry and Behavioral Neurosciences at McMaster University followed by the Head of Education at Mind Up/The Goldie Hawn Foundation who lives in Florida. They both spoke about the brain development in children and young adults along with the importance of how taking “brain breaks” throughout our day “can be one of the most powerful tools to promote our wellbeing”. They also spoke about ways in which we can incorporate gratitude in our daily lives.

The Mind Up program which Goldie Hawn herself founded in 2003 is an evidence based, not-for-profit organization that she created with the hope to “help kids regulate their emotions, become more resilient and learn about how their brain works to give them a road map out of despair and into a more positive mindset.” 

I took away so much from last night. I’m so glad I went (all that was missing was Goldie Hawn herself!). As you probably know, it takes a lot for me to show up, especially of late when leaving my house has become super challenging. When asked by one of the speakers before the evening was done to look at the person sitting next to us and tell them what we were most grateful for in the moment I turned to my dear friend Joy and told her I was grateful for her, for not only her friendship but for also getting me out last night and giving my brain the break I know it so desperately needs right now.

Thank you to Leanne and her team for all the hard work and dedication you put forth to bring the community together to discuss such important and relevant issues surrounding mental health. 

Check out the Mind Up program @mindup.org for more information. It is a platform for educators, parents, caregivers and all adults to support your child’s wellbeing, as well as your own.

#MentalHealthEmpowermentDay #projectgiveback #brainbreaks #thegoldiehawnfoundation #mentalheath #ouryouthmatter #endthestigmatogether #mentalwellness #gratitude #mindset #breathe #ourbrain @mindup

Author: Kim Fluxgold

Wife, mom of 3 beautiful children, dog lover, creative sole and children's book Author. Sharing my journey with depression and anxiety through blogging in hopes of educating and ending the stigma.

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