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Mark Mental Health Awareness Week with family fitness, virtual concert

Algoma Family Services presents virtual events 'to help keep families busy and active'
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In honour of this week being Children's Mental Health Week and Mental Health Awareness Week, Algoma Family Services, in partnership with the Canadian Mental Health Association, Nogdawindamin and Strong Minds is hosting a virtual fitness class and a virtual concert, along with other activities, to help keep families busy and active during this time. The purpose of the week is to raise awareness about mental health, share information on services and to reduce the stigma. 

The family fitness class will be held on Friday, May 7 at 6:30 p.m. via Zoom. It will be an hour long workout suitable for all ages and fitness levels, consisting of circuit training and cardiovascular training. 

The class will be taught by Lori Dewar, executive assistant to the director of service at Algoma Family Services and fitness instructor at the YMCA, Amanda Lambert, CEO of Strong Minds and Natalie Sarah. 

The total body workout will be great for releasing stress and improving energy and coordination. 

Another event that can be enjoyed from home is the Balance and Harmony Virtual Concert, which will be held on Saturday, May 8, starting at 7 p.m. 

The concert, which is usually held in person each year, promises to deliver a special message of hopefulness to help those dealing with mental health challenges. The virtual concert will feature past performers including Spencer Pine, Joley Gough, Madi Schomogyi, and Tianna Legacy. 

“It’s good to remind people that it’s okay not to be okay and to try and reduce the stigma around mental health. People go to the doctor when they’re not well with a broken arm or leg, but people don’t often seek help for mental health,” said Emily Tremblay, supervisor of community services at Algoma Family Services. 

“We’re seeing a growing number of calls to Kids Help Phone and an increasing number of calls to AFS for service. We know that this is a hard time for our youth. What we want our communities to know is that we are here for them. Our services are still available virtually even though our offices are closed,” said Ali Juma, CEO of Algoma Family Services. “Your participation goes a long way in reducing the stigma associated with mental health. Remember  your mental health is just as important as your physical health.”

With the province now under lockdown to help stop the spread of COVID-19, Saultites are encouraged now more than ever to continue following public health guidelines and stay home as much as possible. 

So each week, SooToday will share some of the virtual events taking place to help you make the most of these unprecedented times and have fun safely at home.

If you or someone you know is planning a local virtual event (concert, class, celebration, etc.), send the details to news@sootoday.com.

Other events taking place this week include:

Mother's Day Concert

May 9

Enjoy a virtual concert this Mother’s Day put on by the Sault Symphony Orchestra. 

This concert will feature performances by:

  • Gabrielle Turgeon and Duo Turgeon
  • Karen Beacom
  • Anya and Stephen Mallinger
  • Maggie Liu and Elaina DiSanto
  • Lorie Zenker, Dottie Case, Rachel Denis, Maggie Twining, Paul Ignatowski, and John Wilkinson

The concert will be shown on Facebook Live and Youtube. 

Yoga for Pain Management

May 10

Join Angela Koppens from KoppensFit for a yoga class that will help with pain management. This online class will provide some yoga tools to add to a chronic pain treatment toolbox. Breath techniques, meditation, affirmations, some gentle yoga movement and other self-care practices will be taught. The class will be held on Monday, May 10 from 7:30 to 8:30 p.m. via Zoom. Cost is $25. 

An Evening at Hogwarts Sign Making

May 10

Make a Hogwarts themed sign, support a good cause, and have fun at home with this activity by Creative Nest Studio and An Evening at Hogwarts. Submit your order between May 10-28 and choose your favourite designs. Everything you need to create your sign is included. Kits are $15 each, with $6 being donated to An Evening at Hogwarts and the Sault Area Hospital Foundation. 

Have an event coming up? Add it to our Community Calendar here.

Did we miss something? E-mail us at news@sootoday.com