Every year since 1951, the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) has hosted Mental Health Week during the first full week in May. This year marks its 71st year and is being observed from May 2 to May 8.

Mental Health Week aims to shift societal beliefs and perceptions, while promoting behaviours and attitudes that support good mental health and create a culture of understanding and acceptance. It is important to recognize that good mental health is not about being happy all the time.

This year’s theme is all about empathy. When times are tough, we need to be there for each other. We need to practice empathy. Sometimes the best way to help is to make people feel seen and heard. Be ready to listen. You don’t have to agree to understand, and you don’t have to fix it to help.

The Champlain Library offers many books and DVDs which relate to Mental Health in some form or another. Whether it is a book on how to reduce stress, a guide to helping children and teens through mental health challenges, or a video resource to help you feel better and learn to tackle depression, anxiety and stress; the library has you covered.

This year, the library has Memory Activity Kits (MAKS) which contain specially-designed activities such as puzzles, games, and books for older adults who are experiencing challenges with mild cognitive impairment or who would like to improve their memory. These kits are available as a result of the Champlain Library being one of the successful recipients of the Community Grant Program of $1,000 from the Walmart in Hawkesbury to help strengthen and support the communities where their associates live and work.

For more information on Mental Health Week, visit www.mentalhealthweek.ca. To search the library’s catalogue visit the library’s website at bc-cl.ca or call the library at 613-678-2216.