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Through the Canadian Mental Health Association’s Be Well Winnipeg campaign, Kabilan Mohanarajan helps to educate people to take care of their own mental and emotional wellbeing, but also to build a stronger community that promotes wellness for all.
According to Mohanarajan, 23, who is studying to become a teacher at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, ‘The reality is that everyone has mental health. We can commit to being well together.’ As a result of this belief, Mohanarajan, who has an undergraduate degree in psychology, will be spending the next month volunteering as an intern in Winnipeg at the CMHA, helping spearhead the Be Well Winnipeg campaign. The campaign asks you to commit to a few actionable items every week throughout the month of May, such as spending 15 minutes outside every day, taking a friend out for a wellness activity or working to de-clutter a living space to reduce stress.
Mohanarajan beams, ‘So far, I’ve committed to saying good morning to the first person I see every day, to eating more healthy foods and to smiling at least three times a day. Habits definitely make the person, and maybe if you commit one month to smiling every day, or going outside every day, you will continue to do so, and build not only a better life for yourself, but build a better community.’ He adds, ‘I think it helps to discuss mental health, mental wellbeing and mental illness out in the open. Too often things are swept under the rug.’
Nicole Chammartin, executive director of the CMHA Winnipeg, says, ‘We are just so excited to bring this campaign to Winnipeggers, which recognizes the little commitments we can all take to make big improvements in our lives.’ Residents will be able to track their success online, and win prizes based on the commitment they have made. These include gift certificates for Spa treatments and Mountain Equipment, a Xerox printer and autographed Winnipeg Jets gear. Tessa Blaikie, a youth mental health promotion worker, comments, ‘Our real hope is that people will understand that the Canadian Mental Health Association is here for all Winnipeggers. We’re here to help all Winnipeggers live their lives to the fullest.’