Prince Albert business owner asks customers to ‘round up’ for mental health

Submitted photo. Janine Favreau, owner of Nutters Everyday Naturals in Prince Albert.

Business owner Janine Favreau launches her first mental health fundraiser for CMHA

Poor mental health among Prince Albert residents has been a major concern for one local business owner, and now she’s taking steps to help ensure people it need receive treatment.

Throughout the month of May, Nutters Everyday Naturals owner and manager Janine Favreau has been asking customers to round up their purchases to the nearest dollar, with the proceeds going towards the Canadian Mental Health Association’s (CMHA) Prince Albert office.

“People are coming in looking for assistance,” Favreau said. “Anxiety is at an all-time high, and it doesn’t seem to matter if it’s a young person or an old person.”

According to Statistics Canada numbers released in September 2023, several studies have shown mental health declining in Canada over the past decade. However, that trend got even worse when COVID hit in 2020.

Data from the 2022 Mental Health and Access to Care Survey showed more than five million people in Canada were experiencing significant symptoms of mental illness. The largest increases were in the prevalence of mood and anxiety disorders, compared to 2012. The data also showed youth were in particularly rough shape.

“There is a growing body of research that suggests that the prevalence of major depression and anxiety disorders among youth today is higher than it was for previous generations,” reads the report. “The effects of the pandemic on mental health were also greater for young people compared to older age cohorts.”

The study also concluded that not all needs for counselling and psychotherapy services were being met, with patients sitting through “long wait times” for mental health counselling services.

Favreau said it’s been an unspoken issue for many people in Prince Albert since COVID hit. She’s hoping this fundraiser will help provide more access to treatment for those who need it.

“People who are struggling, mentally or emotionally, need help and seeing a therapist costs money,” she said. “This is where the (CMHA) in Prince Albert can assist, along of course with their lifestyle of daily exercise, their diet and supplements, and connecting with their loved ones.

“We’re so fortunate that we do still have Canadian Mental Health office here in Prince Albert,” she added. “It costs money to see therapists and so as a business who is in the health industry, we see that this is a real important need.”

Favreau plans to run the campaign through to the end of the month. She also hopes it will be the first of many annual mental health fundraisers.

“Our customers are so receptive to this campaign,” she said. “I’m sure that it is touching many people in having some either personal experience or family experience with dealing with someone who has mental health issues.”

@kerr_jas •