St. Thomas, ON – On Saturday May 25th, the sky is the limit, as St Thomas Elgin General Hospital (STEGH), leader of a new Mental Health Anti-Stigma Team, joins with community partners to fly a kite at the Strawberry Fields Kite Festival. The Anti Stigma Kite flight time is 1:00pm at 467 Sunset Drive, St Thomas, and the team encourages you to bring your families and your kites, join in the event, and help spread the word about Anti Stigma.
A new Mental Health Care program will open this Fall at STEGH, and the community kite represents a commitment to raise awareness, reduce stigma and encourage conversations about mental health; and this kite design process is symbolic of the collaborative work in the development of STEGH’s new mental health care program.
The Anti-Stigma Team includes representatives from St. Thomas Elgin General Hospital, Canadian Mental Health Association, Elgin St. Thomas Public Health, Abilities First, YWCA, St. Joseph’s Healthcare, and family members with lived experience.
Stigma is the reason two-thirds of those living with a mental illness do not seek help. The first step in reducing stigma – is to talk about it.
The kite, designed in partnership with artists from the Healing Palette symbolizes STEGH’s commitment to integrate and coordinate mental health services in Elgin County. The tails of the kite have been personalized by the local care partners and reflect each agency’s unique contribution.
Deborah Gibson, Manager of STEGH’s Mental Health Care Program says, “It is fitting that we are celebrating mental health in our community and the partnerships that have been forged to integrate mental health services by flying our kite over the grounds that has served the mental health needs of the community for over 75 years. Saturday at 1 o’clock, we fly a kite to celebrate our community partnerships and ascend to a future committed to respect…Opening Hearts and Opening Minds. Please join us!”