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Tough Enough To Talk About It goes virtual

Mental health program provides advice for depressed men and women plus their families and friends
MVT Conversation Chanel Annable
Health promotion facilitator Chanel Annable. Submitted photo

OLDS — If you’re depressed, maybe even having thoughts of suicide, there’s a mental health program designed for you, health promotion facilitator Chanel Annable says. 

Tough Enough To Talk About It (TETTAI) is a 90-minute presentation aimed at employees and leadership in the trades, industry and agriculture sectors. 

Annable, who is based in Stettler, says TETTAI is designed to increase awareness about stress, declining mental well-being and the potential for suicidal behaviour. 

"It kind of helps people who might be experiencing their own decline in mental well-being or experiencing suicidal thoughts,” Annable said during an interview. 

“But it also provides information to everybody; so that’s friends, family and colleagues of someone who might be facing those mental health challenges. This program helps them in what to say and what to do and makes them a little bit more comfortable in approaching somebody.  

“Because that’s often our fear, is we don’t know how to have that conversation. So this program gives people a little bit more support and knowledge around how to do that." 

Annable is one of about nine speakers who can be heard during The Conversation Has To Happen, a series on depression and suicide prevention offered in Olds.  

In previous years, The Conversation Has To Happen was a one-day seminar. However, for the second year in a row, due to current COVID-19 restrictions, it’s being offered in a variety of media.  

Until the end of the month, interviews with or profiles of The Conversation Has To Happen speakers will be featured in The Albertan as well as on the radio stations 96.5CKFM and Rock 104.5 in Olds. 

Restrictions imposed due to the COVID-19 pandemic have put a lot of pressure on people, and that can lead to depression or even suicidal thoughts, Annable said, adding TETTAI sessions can help with that. 

“We just know that that further isolation and stuff – especially for people out in rural Alberta – has been a little bit tougher, having things shut down and things like that," she said.

“And right now we’re doing them virtually, so we can do them from anywhere, and it’s super convenient. We hope to get back in person."

If you or someone you know in Olds and Mountain View County can benefit from that help, Annable recommends contacting Christine Laval, a health promotion facilitator who covers the area.  

She can be reached by phone at 403-896-9458 or via email at christine.laval@albertahealthservices.ca

“There is support for those who need it,” Annable wrote in an email. 

“We encourage people to seek help when they are not feeling like themselves. Find someone you are comfortable talking to and let them know what’s going on. Also, don’t hesitate to reach out to your local mental health professionals.” 

Annable noted that in Olds, Alberta Health Services offers single-session counselling services in the Provincial Building. You can book an appointment by calling 403-507-8174.  

If you need help after hours, call the Alberta Health Services Mental Health Helpline at 1-877-303-2642.  

Online, help can be provided by visiting ahs.ca/helpintoughtimes.  



Doug Collie

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