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Here's what's happening in Banff for mental health and addiction awareness week

Two people hold hands in this undated stock image. (fauxels/Pexels) Two people hold hands in this undated stock image. (fauxels/Pexels)
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More than 35 community partners are offering free programs during Banff’s Mental Health and Addiction Week (BMHAW) to encourage residents to take stock of their mental wellness.

The Banff Mineral Springs Hospital’s community board says the aim of BMHAW is for everyone to come together and join in preventative programs and take time for self-care.

BMHAW ambassadors Dr. Shakil Amin, J.P. Middleton and Makaylah Rogers will be sharing their personal stories.

“Through their open conversations, leadership and engagement they are helping us spread the message and raise awareness to reduce stigma to mental health and addiction needs of our community,” the community board stated in a news release.

Between May 6 and 10, Banff and Lake Louise residents can take part in various events, including free group fitness classes with a valid, photo ID membership for the Lake Louise Sport and Recreation Centre.

A highlight of BMHAW is the May 9 screening of Paradise Paradox, a film exploring the mental health crisis in mountain towns and potential solutions.

Olympic ski racer Bode Miller executive produced the film alongside Emmy award-winning impact sports filmmaker Brett Rapkin.

“By opening up the conversation, the stigmas can start to melt away and real progress can be made for the citizens of these towns and beyond,” said the board.

Joining in the discussion around mental health, the YWCA in Banff is dedicating the month of May to raising awareness about the prevalence and impact of sexual violence.

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