Fundraising gala, art exhibit highlight Mental Health Awareness Week

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Perspectives of Recovery, a Mindscapes Exhibit, opened at the Rogue Gallery at Eastern Edge in downtown St. John’s last Friday. Looking at some of the pieces on display was Karen Hanlon of St. John’s whose acrylic “The Cabin” hangs on the wall above her head. — Photo by Gary Hebbard/The Telegram

There is no health without mental health, artists participating in this week’s Mindscapes art exhibit know.

The exhibit, featuring 25 pieces of work by aspiring and established artists in Newfoundland and Labrador living with mental health issues, was organized by the Newfoundland and Labrador branch of the Canadian Mental Health Association as part of Mental Health Awareness Week. It has been running at Eastern Edge’s Rogue Gallery on Harbour Drive in St. John’s.

The nationally designated week is an annual campaign with the goal of helping to open Canadians’ eye to the reality of mental illness.

This year’s campaign will end tonight with the association’s sixth annual fundraising gala at the Delta Hotel.

Hosted by actress Marthe Bernard of CBC’s “Republic of Doyle,” the event will include a three-course meal, music by the Jimmy Tomson Trio, a keynote address by Louise Bradley, CEO of the Mental Health Commission of Canada, and live and silent auctions, with items including and original oil painting by artist Jean-Claude Roy.

The Mindscapes exhibit, with the theme “perspectives of recovery,” will also be on display.

One in five Canadians is dealing with a mental health issue, statistics show.

"We felt it was very important to assist in this initiative. While raising funds for a very worthy cause, it also serves to raise awareness and help remove the stigma associated with mental health,” said Telegram publisher Charlie Stacey.

The Telegram and Bell Aliant are presenting tonight’s gala.

“When we talk openly about mental illness, we are helping people become more understanding and tolerant,” said Bell Aliant’s Liz Clift in a written statement.

Tickets for tonight’s gala are $100 each or $1,000 for a table, and are available by calling 738-2179. A tax receipt for a portion of the ticket cost will be issued, and all proceeds from the event will go to support the work of the local branch of the Canadian Mental Health Association.

Organizations: Canadian Mental Health Association, Delta Hotel.Hosted, CBC Mental Health Commission of Canada The Telegram Bell Aliant

Geographic location: Newfoundland and Labrador

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