On October 19, 2019, AHC held a “Mental Health Fair”. At the same time, we did our third leadership training workshop on “Mental Health Matters in the Future”. The purpose of the “Mental Health Fair” was to create an opportunity for community members to raise awareness of mental health and healthcare resources and destigmatize mental illness. Most importantly, the event provided training for community leaders to take a leadership role in finding innovative community-based solutions to mental health needs for their communities.
The event was sponsored by Community Standards & Neighbourhoods, City of Edmonton. We invited four knowledgeable and experienced experts in the field as our guest speakers to provide the training. Our speakers include Vanessa Iceton, a registered psychologist from Edmonton Oliver Primary Care Network. She did a presentation on “Introduction to Mental Health”. Mark Frederick, Mental Health Therapist from the Family Centre, gave us a talk with the title “Mental Health: A Therapist’s Perspective”, sharing his firsthand experience from his daily work with clients. With the topic “Reaching out to Mental Wellness: Exploring the Role of Community Leaders”, Isaac Cherian (a Registered Provisional Psychologist from Consciousness Studio) provided a vivid metaphor with wisdom about mental health and presented some helpful strategies on improving mental wellbeing to our participants. In particular, Prof. Bo Cao from the Department of Psychiatry, University of Alberta, through data analytics and predictive models, gave us a profound and positive speech on “The impacts of Artificial Intelligence on human mental health in the future”.
Besides the workshop, the event also included a mental health resource showcase for participants provided by Edmonton Oliver Primary Care Network and Edmonton North Primary Care Network. During the break, Midnight Rendezvous, a Chinese student music group from the University of Alberta, did a fantastic performance for the audience.
The event was a success, with over 60 participants. The feedback from our audiences was very positive. They reported this was a very knowledgeable, informative and helpful training. They felt they have learned a lot of knowledge and skills about mental health from the workshop. They also appreciated all the resources they got from the resource showcase In addition, they enjoyed the performance, food and social aspect.