Mental Health Wellness Expo returning to Dunnville next week

Mental Health Wellness Expo returning to Dunnville next week
DUNNVILLE—At the 2020 Expo, Lauren Martin and Tamara Robb, Public Health Nurses, made learning fun with their spinning wheel. —Haldimand Press archive photo.

By Kaitlyn Clark

The Haldimand Press

DUNNVILLE—The community is once again invited to join True Experience and its many community partners on January 25, 2023 for the Mental Health Wellness Expo – a free event designed to get the conversation going and end any stigma surrounding mental health. 

“This is an opportunity to join like-minded folks gaining valuable information from the outlined presentations,” said Sharon Arnold, Program Coordinator at True Experience Supportive Housing and Community Work Program, on what attendees can expect. “Individuals will take away information on social services and programs in the Haldimand area.”

The presentations include:

  • 9:15 – 10:15 a.m. Drumming circle with Jackie Labonte & Oliver Nobosin
  • 10:30 – 11:15 a.m. Moving Forward with our Mental Health by Lill Petrella of the Canadian Mental Health Association
  • 11:30 a.m. – 12:15 p.m. The COVID-19 Pandemic and Children’s Mental Health by Danielle Pender of REACH
  • 1 – 1:45 p.m. The Opioid Crisis by David Czaplinski & Girish Solanki of Public Health of Haldimand Norfolk
  • 2 – 2:45 p.m. Unmasking the Possibilities: Engagement Through Recreation Therapy Interventions by Ashley Palmer & Kelly Bulley of St. Joes Specialized Recreation Therapy Team
  • 3 – 3:45 p.m. Find out who we are & how we are helping the community by John Ellis of Haldimand Community Paramedics

“Jackie and Oliver bring a wealth of knowledge in welcoming through a drumming circle,” said Arnold of the opening presentation, noting that the drumming circle has been “well attended and appreciated” at past events as well. 

She continued, “Since humour is considered ‘good medicine’ in many Aboriginal communities, hand drumming can provide a form of emotional relief and healing for those who participate in the drum circles. Drumming draws people together – the steady beat of the drum acts as a magnet.”

Ending the day will be community paramedic John Ellis with a new presentation to introduce the Haldimand Community Paramedic program to attendees.

Meanwhile, from 10:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. about 15-20 information stations will be open for visitors to stop by, ask questions, and learn about the many services available locally. The arena snack bar will be open from 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. All attendees are also invited to enter their name to win door prizes, drawn at the end of the day. 

True Experience values the preference of attendees in their decision regarding mask usage, and will have masks available for those who wish to wear them.

Arnold concluded, “We welcome all individuals to this FREE event with the opportunity to re-engage with their community.”