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Media Release: A “Call to be Kind” for this year’s Mental Health Week

Hastings and Prince Edward Counties (HPEPH)/ May 6, 2024

May 6 to 12 is Mental Health Week. This year, the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) is promoting the healing power of compassion.  Hastings Prince Edward Public Health (HPEPH) is encouraging local residents to use this week as an opportunity to explore how compassion connects us all, and the benefits of compassion on mental health.

Compassion is the recognition of, and desire to reduce suffering. The CMHA states that evidence shows that giving, receiving, and practicing self-compassion can improve mental health.

Showing compassion to others:

  • Helps improve mood and reduce feelings of depression
  • Can feel just as good (if not better) than receiving compassion
  • Can motivate others to practice compassion as well
  • Helps us think positively about others and the world

Allowing yourself to receive compassion:

  • Provides comfort and helps us manage distress
  • Can release oxytocin and help us feel happier, and connect with others

Being compassionate to ourselves (self-compassion):

  • Improves self-acceptance and self-esteem
  • Can reduce some mental health symptoms and improve quality of life
  • Helps us feel happier, and more positive

Wondering how you can apply the practice of compassion in your life this week?

  • Do something kind for someone else, and for yourself.
  • Express genuine interest in those you interact with, and your relationships.
  • Practice active listening, and validate the experiences of others.
  • Set reasonable expectations for others, and for yourself.
  • Acknowledge the achievements of others, and what you have accomplished yourself!
  • Don’t define yourself by the challenges you face, or any setbacks you may experience.

We all have the capacity to be compassionate, and we know that doing so can make an enormous difference. In a world plagued by challenges big and small, kindness is fundamental to our humanity. Make an effort to practise compassion, this week – and consider how it improves your mental health, and may positively impact those around you!

Getting Help

If you or anyone you know needs mental health support, you are not alone. Visit the Getting Help page on our website, which lists many resources that are available to local residents of Hastings and Prince Edward Counites.

Mental Health Promotion at HPEPH

Mental health is complex and intertwined with many other aspects of our lives. HPEPH is working with community partners to integrate mental health promotion into local planning and programs. This includes, but is not limited to, provision of curriculum supports to local school communities, sharing resilience strategies with families, promoting lower risk substance use and supporting cessation efforts, facilitating the development of a community drug strategy, promoting the benefits of physical activity and healthy eating, and offering prenatal and postpartum mental health screening and support.

HPEPH is also encouraging internal awareness and capacity building by sharing the “Your Health Space (YHS) e-learning Spring Series” with staff, which includes strategies to boost mental health literacy and manage and mitigate the effects of stress in the health care workplace. The HPEPH management team will also participate in training aimed at supporting psychological health and well-being in the workplace.  


Media Contacts:

Emily Tubbs, Communications Specialist

Maureen Hyland, Communications Specialist

Communications Team

About Hastings Prince Edward Public Health

Hastings Prince Edward Public Health (HPEPH) is a public health agency that serves the counties of Hastings and Prince Edward from four local offices. HPEPH is situated and provides services on the traditional territory of the Anishinaabe, Huron-Wendat and Haudenosaunee people. We monitor the health of our local population, deliver programs and services within our communities, and help develop healthy public policies. We provide information and support in many areas to help improve the health and well-being of our residents. Together with our communities, we help people become as healthy as they can be. For more information, please visit You can also find us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter and Instagram.

We invite community partners and residents to share this Media Release with their respective networks.

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During and after a flood

If you have been affected by the recent flooding in Bancroft, visit Health Canada’s website for information on what to do during a flood and afterwards. Not affected? The same web page provides information on how to get prepared for the event of a flood.