Cherie's Story - Canadian Mental Health Association - Saskatoon Branch
November 30, 2023

As the holiday season approaches, you may be feeling the press of time: to do lists; coordinating calendars; arranging visits to friends and family; or planning a winter get-away.

At the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) Saskatoon, the end of the year is crunch of time, too. Now is the time to develop additional mental health supports to ensure people have access to what they need throughout this time of year.

You can do something to help today! You can support people living with mental health challenges in Saskatoon and area by donating generously to CMHA Saskatoon. Your gift helps those who are struggling this season.

Cherie has always been good at “putting on another face” when she is in public. Upon meeting her you don’t see or hear the mental health problems she faces, unless she is comfortable with you knowing. For Cherie, letting others know she has a mental illness has often meant being treated differently, talked down to, and left out of opportunities. And so, she has learned to be one person in public and another in private.

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Then came an unexpected challenge. A major event at a workplace pushed her to seek help. Cherie began experiencing symptoms of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and knew she needed more support than she had received in the past.

Eventually Cherie found herself walking through the doors of CMHA Saskatoon. She recalls feeling scared initially, but soon knew she had a found a safe place. She found answers to many questions about herself while attending the Life Skills course. Through hardships, celebrations, setbacks, and achievements, CMHA Saskatoon has been lucky to walk alongside Cherie.

“It was just the right time for me,” she says about discovering CMHA Saskatoon.

Today, Cherie takes it one day at a time, working closely with counselors to create a vision for her future. While maintaining a fulfilling job in her community, she has also completed a photography course and is developing her skills for a career as a photographer.

 “There is more to you than a diagnosis”, says Cherie. She hopes that one day the stigma surrounding mental illness will lessen, helping individuals feel comfort in being their true selves without fear of judgment or being left out. “But this might take a long time,” she says.

Cherie has participated in many CMHA programs, including the Holiday Health Hamper. Last year, she received a hamper for the first time and expressed that “it felt as though people truly cared about me.”

Your donations have made initiatives like the Holiday Health Hampers possible, ensuring that people receive the care and compassion they deserve during the holiday season.

Cherie’s journey is a powerful example of resilience and highlights how important community relationships are to our well being. You provide resources and connections that people may not otherwise receive in time.

“Many people need a lift during the holidays,” Cherie says, “and those who give with no expectations of anything in return help make the world a better, more caring place for everyone.”


We need your help now more than ever. Mental health issues continue to remain elevated above pre-pandemic levels. Taking care of one’s mental health is now a luxury, coming second to housing and food security.

We are reaching out to you today with a heartfelt plea to make a generous donation and help us meet the increasing demand for service and support!

Your contribution will enable us to expand our services, while continuing to provide guidance and support to individuals like Cherie. Your donation can do many things, like:

  • $60 purchases a Holiday Health Hamper for one individual.
  • $250 supports a bi-weekly Youth Mental Health Group.
  • $1,000 helps us deliver a Mental Health First Aid workshop.

This is where your generosity can make a real difference. With your donation, you help individuals and families facing mental health challenges by providing the resources they need.

Please donate today to ensure that nobody faces mental health challenges alone.

Thank you for your support and all the best to you and yours this holiday season.