To celebrate Mental Health Week, the grounds of Prince Albert Collegiate Institute (PACI) hosted to the inaugural Music for the Mind music festival.
The event aims to spread awareness about mental health through a concert organized by the PACI Mental Health Capacity Building team.
The Mental Health Capacity program is a three-year pilot program run through the Saskatchewan Health Authority. Regan Jacobson, the mental health capacity building coordinator with PACI and St. John’s School, said they’re trying to provide awareness, promote good health, and build capacity around mental health issues.
“Our mental health professionals are like the firefighters and we are like Smokey the Bear,” Jacobson said. “We are doing prevention.”
The idea was to be preventative and share the positive impact music can have.
“We are trying to teach a variety of different strategies and a lot of self-regulation tools that are easy, that work for students,” she explained. “(The) community connection, music itself, and all of this has to do with that.”
The event coincided with Red Dress Day, which is held in remembrance of MMIWG2S (Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls and Two Spirit people), so there was red dresses incorporated into the grounds.
Elder and Knowledge Keeper Pearl Morin gave the festival a prayer while red dresses hung in the flowers.
Jacobson said it’s important to recognize the two events, because poor mental health can be a factor in missing persons cases.
“Mental health that’s a huge connection and so I think juts being aware and taking a moment and recognizing they exist together is a really great thing as well,” she said.
The emcee for the afternoon was PACI Principal Dave Leuchinger. Jacobson and her associate, Jaime Smith-Windsor, discussed their program before the concert.
The performers were LJ Tyson and Heartwarming. Both bands have connections to PACI.
“Both of them are PACI alumni bands, so that was really great and Mike Mogg, the Garage Band teacher, was able to organize the bands to come out for us. Everyone was just happy to be a part of it, I think, and ready to get summer started. It’s just a feel-good festival.”
Students from elementary schools from around the division were in attendance.
(in italics) Editor’s Note: the Jaime Smith-Windsor mentioned in this story is not the Jaimie Smith-Windsor who serves as a trustee on the Sask. Rivers School Board.