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Best of 2018 — Mental health steps further out of the shadows in 2018

Donna Hancock
Donna Hancock - -File photo

Journalist Jonathan Parsons
Journalist Jonathan Parsons


In recent years, society has already taken great strides in better understanding and addressing the needs of our mental health during changing times.

However, every day we are faced with more and more challenges from illnesses and disorders that have long been neglected and swept under the rug.

Specifically, throughout 2018, the Town of Clarenville has come together on several occasions to formally address mental health issues in the community and how they can be dealt with.

In Bonavista, great investments were made for a Wellness Centre to be shared by Tip-A-Vista Wellness Foundation and Eastern Health, as an epicentre for healthy living – mentally, physically and emotionally – in the region. Not to mention, there have been countless fundraisers, community events and services that have provided the helping hand needed for many who are suffering.

In August, I sat down for an interview with Clarenville woman Donna Hancock – the organizer of an annual walk to remember RCMP Cpl. Trevor O’Keefe, who took his life last year.

While Donna’s efforts to combat mental illness and PTSD are astounding on their own, she proceeded to share her own story, including overcoming abuse, depression and despair.

Donna’s strength in not only overcoming her own struggles – through vital help from people like O’Keefe – but also her ability to speak publicly about her struggles and become a true advocate for mental health and first responders is astounding.

Donna’s story has a lasting impact pertaining to our mental health and showed how inspirational she is to everyone in our communities.


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