On October 1, the City of Airdrie will host a free Homecoming Festival in Ed Eggerer Park to welcome back the community and show appreciation for the vital services, first responders, and neighbourhood businesses. 

One thing that was majorly affected during the COVID years was mental health. 

Kim Titus, the Chair of the Thumbs Up Foundation who will be at the Homecoming Festival, mentioned mental health is an intrinsic part of our whole worldview so, we can be optimally healthy in the physical sense, but if we don't have good mental health, and well-being as a part of everything that we are, then it can have a negative impact on our life circumstances or outlook on life. 

“The varying degrees that come with optimal mental health affect us all. It affects us individually, it affects us within families, and we as a community are only as strong and healthy as the individuals and the families that make up the fabric of our community.” 

The Thumbs Up Foundation’s purpose is to improve access to mental health care. Their vision is to establish and connect resources for those patients suffering in all areas of mental health. They want to help improve knowledge around mental health; help to create awareness for the need for systemic change(s) to the current access to care, and educate on the devastating loss that can result from these deficiencies. 

According to Titus, research shows the result of the pandemic has had a collective negative impact on people who would not historically think of their mental health as being compromised. Here in Airdrie, for people that need help with mental health, Community Links is one place that people can go. 

Community Links acts primarily as a hub to get people connected to various supports. So, when folks are coming into Community Links, they do an assessment of what is going on for the person and identify mental health in terms of what they can provide, and what they can do for referrals. 

“Community Links provide support in a counselling manner, either one on one or in a group setting or residents who present mild to moderate symptoms of mental health,” stated Brenda Hume, the Executive Director of Community Links. “When there is an identification of additional support needed for moderate to severe, then we make referrals.” 

During the Homecoming festivities, the Thumbs Up Foundation will be having an online 50/50 raffle draw to help raise funds and to help us keep the motivation and the good work that we're doing moving forward. The draw will be on October 2. 

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