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Mental Health

January 30th 2021

With the current impacts that COVID is having on society, particularly with youth, now is more important than ever to be discussing the topics of Mental Health and Mental Fitness.

This past weekend, 44 senior sea cadets and corps staff around in Alberta had the opportunity to participate in the first annual Dylan Reiter Mental Awareness Conference, participating in Mental Fitness and Suicide Awareness course delivered by PSP Edmonton Health Promotion.

Dylan Reiter was a sea cadet in Alberta and tragically took his own life in 2016. After his passing there were many discussions about youth mental health and suicide awareness. Many asked themselves – Was there something I could have done? How did I not know? He seemed to have everything going for him, why did he do it? Were there signs of concern?

There are many stereotypes of Mental Illness - Many don’t ask for help as they may feel scared or ashamed. Many people are unaware of the signs that people with mental illness may portray. People may feel uncomfortable talking with those that may have a mental illness.

“It was at this time that a few of us started the conversation about developing a yearly conference, aimed at the senior cadets, to discuss topics such as Mental Health, Mental Fitness, Suicide Awareness etc. This idea was presented to the Navy League of Canada Alberta Division where they immediately agreed this was something very important and subsequently approved funding for a yearly in person conference to be named the Dylan Reiter Mental Awareness Conference (DRMAC)” said Lt(N) Jason Finkbeiner, Zone Training Officer, about the event.

The outcomes of DRMAC are to develop confidence in cadets and staff to be able to discuss mental health, provide an environment for cadets and staff to be able to learn the signs of mental illness and suicide awareness, provide a resource to help cope with and meet the psychological demands of life, and to provide awareness of those around us and how we can assist them with mental illness.

Plans were developing to have the initial conference last spring, but unfortunately due to COVID it was postponed, and ultimately delivered virtually.

Shared from the Northwest Cadets Facebook page:

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