Perth Wellington Conservative MP John Nater. (Photo submitted)Perth Wellington Conservative MP John Nater. (Photo submitted)

Local MP hosting mental health fundraiser

Perth-Wellington MP John Nater will host a special event for mental health on June 14.

Nater says the second annual Dodge for Dads dodgeball tournament will raise money for the Get In Touch for Hutch organization of Arthur, which raises money and fights the stigma around mental health. The organization was launched in 2013 by Myrna Hutchison, after her son Steven died by suicide.

The event will begin with some brief remarks at 7 p.m., followed by a fun night of dodgeball.

"We've got ten teams signed up and we're gonna be throwing some dodgeballs around, but more importantly, we're gonna be talking about mental health. June is Mental Health Month and sadly, 75 per cent of suicides in Canada are men, and I think we need to have that conversation, we need to tear down the walls of stigma, to have those conversations. So we'll be raising some funds, but just as important, raising awareness about mental health in Canada," Nater explained.

Nater says they will be accepting donations at the event.

"So it's open to anyone who wants to come, we will be taking donations at the door for Get in Touch for Hutch, but be there at 7 p.m. on Friday, June 14 at the Mitchell District High School gym. Come on out and enjoy the games, watch my team likely make fools of ourselves and not do so great, but we're going to have fun. Anyone who wants to make a donation directly to Get in Touch for Hutch, they can do so online or by e-transfer right to them," said Nater.

When it comes to mental health and the struggles it can bring to anyone, Nater says it's critical we continue to end the stigma around mental health and freely talk about it and treat it as a normal health item to check up on.

"You wouldn't hesitate for a second to help someone who had a physical health ailment. We need to do the same with mental health. We need to make it perfectly acceptable to admit when you're struggling, to admit when you're having a mental health challenge, and be able to seek help. We need to change the way we talk about it, change the way we address it and make sure that we all, as communities, as individuals, as family members, as co-workers, as loved ones, we need to change how we talk about it and change how we look at things," added Nater.

Regarding his riding, Nater says he wants to continue to champion mental health resources and continue ensuring that more is brought to the table from the federal level. He says there are already a number of great organizations alongside Get in Touch for Hutch that are doing amazing work, but more resources need to be developed.

"I think at a more broad level from a healthcare perspective and a Canadian health perspective, we need to make sure the resources are there specifically for mental healthcare in addition to physical health, as well. We're a little behind where we should be as a country and as a society, so from the federal perspective we need to make we have the resources going there that can be allocated to mental health services," Nater stated. "What I hear so often is too long a waitlist, too long to get help and access those resources, so that's one of the big things from across the board and a countrywide perspective we really need to make sure that those resources are getting to the service providers on the ground, so they can provide those services without the delays that we're seeing."

For more information on Get in Touch for Hutch, or to donate, visit

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