HOPE to host community barbecue

MOUNT FOREST – On World Suicide Prevention Day, people from over 50 countries came together to support the need for suicide awareness and prevention.

According to the Public Health Agency of Canada, an average of 11 people take their life each day. A third of those deaths are people between the ages of 45 to 59.

Regardless of the statistics, one person who struggles with their mental health and suicidal ideation is one too many.

The HOPE Committee (Healthy Opportunities Promoting Empowerment – Destigmatizing Mental Health) for North Wellington and Minto reminds people that, “our collective actions and words give a powerful voice to the difference each one of us, alone and together can make.”

One way to help is to support the HOPE Committee’s annual Community Barbecue on Sept. 25 from 11:30am to 1:30pm in downtown Mount Forest (parking lot beside Plume’s Main Street Interiors).

For a donation, everyone is invited to drop by for a hamburger, chips, pop and a cookie. COVID-19 protocols will be in place to ensure safety. This year, people will have the option to drive through or walk through.

The proceeds from the barbecue will go toward initiatives that create opportunities for people to learn, talk about mental health and engage in fostering their own well-being.

As the community responds to COVID-19, organizers state, “it’s more important than ever for family, friends and neighbours — particularly those in rural communities where there is a lot of isolation and vulnerability — to check-in with each other, talk and offer HOPE.”