By Sarah Kerton

Elly Tose was brought on last year as an advancement consultant with The Canadian Mental Health Association. She has been working with the organization to establish a directed donor campaign that will help support the valuable programs they offer. She was thrilled to be approached recently by some local small business owners who proposed a win-win situation.

Ten local cafés have come together to offer free coffee to purchasers of a $10 coffee card in support of the CMHA. The card will get you two coffees at each of the ten participating cafes and every penny of it goes towards supporting CMHA education and training programs. The coffees are dine-in, to promote the kind of mental health break many of us could use: sitting down and taking the time to enjoy a coffee with a friend.

The Canadian Mental Health Association has been delivering programming in Thunder Bay for 40 years. With a vision of an inclusive community that promotes emotional well-being, human dignity, and social justice where people are valued and opportunities in all aspects of life are available to everyone, they provide a range of services and education related to mental health. While they receive their funding for services through government sources, most of the pre-emptive and proactive education and training programs are not consistently funded. Programs like the Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training (ASIST), and Pathways to Resilience are programs open to anyone, and provide the opportunity to promote individual and community well-being and social cohesion, reducing the stigma surrounding mental health issues.

Find the cards at the Greenfare Garden Café, Bliss Café, Cronos Café, Sweet Escape Café & Bakery, the Renaissance Café, Espresso Joya, Fox on the Run, Waking Giant, the Bean Fiend, and Club Cappuccino. Visit the CMHA website to learn more about their programming, and their current “40 in 40” campaign.

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