January 20 is often referred to as Blue Monday: the day many people’s mood hits rock bottom as the dark, cold days – not to mention the credit card hangover from the holidays – can take a heavy toll on our frame of mind.
Now imagine experiencing all of that, but add to it being hungry, cold and homeless. That gives you a startling idea of what many are going through with the crisis in mental health, addictions and affordable housing across Ontario.
Last year, OPSEU Local 133 decided to help lift the blues, and keep out the cold, on Blue Monday – and we’re doing it again this year across the province. OPSEU mental health and addictions division is asking you to please knit, crochet or buy blue hats, mitts, scarves and socks that we can donate to local organizations who serve individuals in need.
Not only will you keep people warm – or perhaps even save someone from dying from exposure. But also you’ll be helping us raise awareness of the plight of our clients amidst the cuts that the Ontario government is making to the programs and services that the most vulnerable rely on.
Just meeting basic needs of life day-to-day is already struggle, but Premier Ford seems determined to make it even harder. Slashing our budgets will take a terrible toll, not just on our clients, but on their families, on our health care system and on our communities.
We must keep putting pressure on the government to reverse these cruel cuts and increase the investment urgently needed to maintain and expand services we can offer to support the most vulnerable in our communities across Ontario.
Please help undo the blue! Email the Mental Health and Addictions Division executive to find out where to drop off your blue clothing within your community or send us a message through the OPSEU Mental Health Division Facebook page. Then stay tuned for the Blue Monday events that will be happening on January 20. If you can, come out, bring your blue donations, and stand up for decency for people struggling with homelessness, and mental health and addictions issues.
Please accept our sincere thanks on behalf of those receiving your gift of warmth. We wish everyone happy holidays and a wonderful new year filled with hope and promise.
OPSEU Mental Health and Addictions Division