Mr. Jake Matheson (Executive Director, CMHA Central) and Dr. Shayne Reitmeier (Physician, Portage la Prairie) have been brainstorming ways to mark their 30th Birthdays. As a way to celebrate, they have set a bold $30,000.00 fundraising goal for CMHA-Central that will benefit Portage la Prairie and surrounding communities.
From April 2021 to March 2022 they will work to raise funds for the local branch of CMHA. With these funds, they hope CMHA can continue to offer both unique and accessible mental health resources to their local communities. Currently CMHA Central has been ramping up their Thrive Learning Center, peer support groups, wellness resources, and emergency housing.
Further to this, a portion of these funds will be used to initiate the AU Bursary Program. This program will be created to memorialize Alexis Maria Unrau who died by suicide in 2019. Alexis was pursuing her passion for mental health, and had a pivotal impact on so many. Unfortunately, her mental health diagnoses led to her early passing which came as a shock to so many who loved her. Although her presence will be forever missed, the AU Bursary Program will strive to amplify her unwavering dedication for helping others.
AU Bursary Program:
Starting Winter 2022, grade 12 students will have the opportunity to submit a one-page creative that encapsulates their experience with mental health. It can be written, drawn or assembled and submitted to CMHA-Central. This art creative may reflect triumphs or struggles of those who have had mental health impact their lives. In Spring 2022, one student will be selected to receive a $1,000.00 Bursary to be applied to their postsecondary education.
With each year, the AU Bursary Program will work to acknowledge and bring awareness to mental health. With time, this program hopes to normalize mental health while assisting those who may face barriers in pursuing post-secondary education.