Ontario Women Start Mental Health Ribbon Campaign

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Two women, both members of the Athens (Ontario) Christian Reformed Church, initiated a silver ribbon campaign to promote awareness of mental health issues.

Sylvia Harmsma (left) and Cathy DeKroon made and distributed silver ribbons in their community to promote mental health awareness.
Kristen DeKroon

Cathy DeKroon and Sylvia Harmsma connected with a local mental health unit to help raise awareness.

Hundreds of handmade silver ribbons were distributed. Boxes of ribbons were shared with local churches, businesses, and other organizations. DeKroon and Harmsma also gave ribbons to members of their own church.

Allisa Dullemond was so inspired that she made more than 70 of her own ribbons and distributed them in her local high school, where the response was very positive. She said some kids were quick to put on a ribbon to show support.

DeKroon and Harmsma began the campaign in response to the police shooting of a family friend who had schizophrenia.

About the Author

Brenda Visser is the Banner's regional news correspondent for classis Eastern Canada.