WHITEHORSE, YT – A 15-year Canadian Forces veteran and Invictus Games ambassador, Bruno Guévremont opened up to Yukoners about his own mental health challenges and his continuous journey to raise mental health awareness.
Guévremont took part in a Mental Illness Awareness Week (MIAW) public event delivered in partnership between Yukon Health and Social Services, Northwestel, and the Mental Health Association of Yukon.
The evening also featured a panel discussion where Yukoners could ask questions about mental health issues affecting Northerners. Participants in the panel included experts from Mental Health services, the Mental Health Association of Yukon, and the Second Opinion Society.
Formerly part of an anti-explosives team dealing with improvised explosive devices (IEDs) over two tours in Afghanistan, Guévremont is no stranger to the effects of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Turning to fitness as a form of therapy after discharge, he has earned a positive reputation for his efforts to promote mental health awareness – from taking part in an expedition to the North Pole with the True Patriot Love Foundation in 2014, to Captaining Team Canada at the 2016 Invictus Games.
“Mental wellness is an issue that touches so many of us in the North. As a company, we are committed to creating a supportive space for our employees, and we are committed to supporting those doing this important work in the community,” said Paul Flaherty, President and CEO of Northwestel. “Mr. Guévremont has an inspiring story to share, and we hope it helps open up a local conversation about ending the stigma around mental illness.”
Yukon’s Health and Social Services minister, Pauline Frost, was unable to attend the event in-person but wanted to remind everyone about the need to continue breaking down the stigma that surrounds all mental health issues affecting Northerners.
“Events like this are important as they provide Yukoners with a chance to engage directly with some of our territory’s mental health experts. We are proud to be partnered
with Northwestel and the Mental Health Association of Yukon, who are doing important work to raise awareness and reduce the stigma of mental health issues.”