Recognizing Women May 2023

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Many Reasons to Celebrate in May

At first glance, there seem to be many reasons to celebrate the arrival of May, warmer weather, spring flowers,  and longer days.  But for many, the days of awareness this month can bring forth painful reminders and negative emotions, so if Spring fever is making you feel down, take a look at the resources listed below.

National Child and Youth Mental Health Day – May 7, 2023

May 7th is about building caring connections between young people and the caring adults in their lives. We know caring, connected conversations can have a big impact on the mental health of children and youth. As Founders of National Child & Youth Mental Health Day in 2007, FamilySmart has been leading May 7th and creating opportunities for homes, schools, communities and organizations to connect around our “I care about you” message. On May 6, 2022, the  Nova Scotia, government invested $700,000 in mental wellness programs at seven youth centres across the province, it would be great to hear that this funding was sustainable.

Province of Nova Scotia mental health and addictions programs and services:

Nova Scotia Health Authority mental health and addictions services:

IWK Health Centre mental health and addictions services:

Here are some additional resources to support caring conversations and child & youth mental health.

Mental Health Week – May 1-7, 2023

The theme of this year’s Mental Health Week is “My Story”.  While the overall program aims to raise awareness of mental health and mental health problems, this year’s theme acknowledges that while each year 1 in 5 Canadians experience a mental illness or mental health issue, 5 in 5 of us – that’s all people – have mental health. The idea that each of us has a unique story related to mental health is really at the heart of intersectionality- a lens that is of paramount importance at Connect’s Women’s Centres.

Learn more about the Canadian Mental Health Association’s (CMHA) take on last year’s mental health week.

Mother’s Day – May 14, 2023

Mother’s Day is a day meant to honour mothers and appreciate their role in society and their role in families. Mother’s Day actually started in the United States in 1908 with Anna Marie Jarvis, who wanted to commemorate her own mom’s “Mother’s Day Work” clubs, which raised money for women with tuberculosis. Jarvis set up the holiday as, of all things, a sombre day of reflection. On Mother’s Day this year, take a moment to celebrate the idea of motherhood and all the forms motherly love comes in, but please also take a moment to respect those for whom it may be a more sombre or reflective occasion.   We at Connect recognize that this day can be traumatic for women who are estranged from their mother or child, as well as for those who have lost a mother or a child or are unable to bear a child. We appreciate that today could be a bittersweet holiday for many.

Click here to learn more about Mother’s Day.

Here is a resource that discusses how Mother’s Day Can Hurt

International Day for Families – May 15, 2023

International Day of Families seeks to raise awareness about issues relating to families. This includes social, economic, and demographic issues. This day aims to provide families with the resources and knowledge they need to be self-sustainable. Learn more about its history here.

International Day against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia – May 17, 2023

The International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia was created in 2004 to draw attention to the violence and discrimination experienced by lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex people and all other people with diverse sexual orientations, gender identities or expressions, and sex characteristics. To stand against homophobia, transphobia, and biphobia is to celebrate the diverse identities of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, And Two-Spirit (LGBTQ2+) people and to recognize the ongoing importance of fostering safe and inclusive communities for every person in Canada without discrimination or violence based on sexual orientation, gender identity or expression. Please read more about IDAHOBIT here.

Victoria Day – May 22, 2023

Victoria Day is a Canadian statutory holiday celebrated on the Monday preceding May 25 in every province and territory. It honours Queen Victoria’s birthday and most Centres will be closed.

International Day to End Obstetric Fistula – May 23, 2023

Obstetric fistula is one of the most serious and tragic childbirth injuries. It is a hole between the birth canal and bladder and/or rectum which is caused by prolonged, obstructed labour without access to timely, high-quality medical treatment. In order to reach this goal, the UN Population Fund has launched an updated manual that serves as a crucial resource and a guiding light on the path to achieving health, gender equality and human rights for all.

Speech and hearing Month – Whole month of May 2023

Each year, Speech-Language & Audiology Canada (SAC) dedicates the month of May to raising public awareness about communication health. We work to highlight the importance of early detection and intervention of communication disorders and the role that our members and associates play in helping people to “Speak well. Hear well. Live well.”

Vision Health Month – Whole month of May 2023

Vision Health Month raises awareness about the importance of protecting our vision health. This event is supported by the Canadian National Institute for the Blind (CNIB) and is recognized throughout the whole of Canada. Learn more about the Nova Scotia Association of Optometrists with a mission to support members to deliver excellence in eye and vision care to all Nova Scotians.