Drs. Chinedu Iro and Allan Burgmann are two of three HOpe Centre psychiatrists who will be competing in a latte art competition on May 4th’s Anti-Stigma Day, during Mental Health Awareness Week. (Missing from the photo is Dr. Jordan Cohen.)

HOpe psychiatrists ready to do battle in barista challenge for Anti-Stigma Day event

In celebration of National Mental Health Awareness Week May 1 to 7, staff of the HOpe Blenz Café as well as resident psychiatrists Drs. Chinedu Iro, Allan Burgmann and Jordan Cohen will be shifting gears for an Anti-Stigma Day event and creating latte masterpieces by donation to visitors to the HOpe Centre.

The event will be held Thursday, May 4th between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. and will be hosted by North Shore resident and CKNW Radio host Jon McComb.

At noon, a latte art competition will be held pitting the skills of the psychiatrists against the Blenz trained HOpe Café baristas.  The event is to highlight the work of the North and West Vancouver Branch of the Canadian Mental Health Association who work with partners to provide prevention and recovery services to residents of the North Shore.

“Our organization offers a wide range of services to residents of North and West Vancouver,” says Sandra Severs, Executive Director of the branch. “We are involved in the social enterprise HOpe Café and the Kelty Dennehy Mental Health Resource Centre at the HOpe Centre. We also provide employment services through WorkBC, telephone coaching and counselling, youth support through the soon-to-be opened FOUNDRY, homeless outreach, supportive housing, peer support, and mental health education. While providing resources to develop acute care facilities like the HOpe Centre is critically important, having resources in the community to help keep people well or support them in their recovery from a mental health crisis is equally important.”

A safe space

Creating a space on the North Shore where people can get together for a coffee and a chat is one of the goals of the HOpe Café.  Another equally important one goes well beyond meeting people’s need for sustenance.

“Every time a person enters this building either in need of care or just because they were in the neighbourhood and needed a coffee, we have an opportunity to help them become more comfortable talking about mental health,” said Jo-Anne MacDougall, Hope Café Manager and Community Engagement Coordinator for CMHA North and West Vancouver. “This is a safe place where everyone is welcome.  You can be who you are when you come to the HOpe Café.”

Mental Health Awareness Week

CMHA Mental Health Week started in 1951 to raise awareness for mental health in Canada. Held the week of May 1 to 7, CMHA Mental Health Week is now a popular awareness week.

Every year, CMHA selects a specific mental health-related issue to focus on during CMHA Mental Health Week. This year, as part of our Sick of Waiting: Get Loud for Mental Health campaign, we are paying special attention to long waits – the long wait to see a mental health professional, and the long wait for improvements to our mental health care system.

May 1-7 marks the 66th Annual CMHA Mental Health Week.

For more information, contact Sandra Severs, Executive Director, CMHA North and West Vancouver.

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