PARRSBORO, N.S. – This may be considered the saddest time of the year, but the SPAR Community Health Board did something about it over the weekend.
The board, which represents Southampton, Parrsboro, Advocate and regions, hosted a Feel Good Afternoon at Fundy Geological Museum on Saturday, featuring a variety of presentations and discussion focused on mental and physical health activities.
“Winter comes with a unique set of challenges to mental wellness,” said Gloria McPhee, member of the event’s planning committee. “The weather can limit people to their homes, thus restricting social and physical outings; the holiday season can be emotionally and financially taxing; and many people are prone to SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder).”
With that in mind, the event was planned to focus on increasing mental health and the sense of belonging, one of SPAR’s four health priorities for 2016-2019. As it turned out, it touched on the other three priorities as well: prosperity and economic well-being, healthy living and supportive environments, and positive relationships/community engagement.
A number of local groups and individuals took part in the day, including the Parrsboro Citizens’ Choir, the King Street Strummers, Phyllis Yorke (Cycle Fit), Megan Johnson (mood boosting foods), Gerard Cormier (qigong/mindfulness), and Janet Doble (creative living/pottery). Robert More of Parrsboro Creative served as MC, while Dr. David Howe provided closing notes.
Each partner provided a presentation on their topic, and shared how they benefited from participating or leading their activities.
McPhee was pleased with the success of the event.
“The planning period was short, and because the event was planned to take place in the dead of winter, weather became a factor,” she said. “Despite these obstacles, and as a true testament to the strength and vibrancy this region is known for, we opened the doors on Saturday and saw upwards of 50-60 participants.”
As a result of the presentations, McPhee signed up for Yorke’s Monday night Cycle Fit program, finding it a great tonic for mental funk and fatigue.
“I feel a great deal of pride and happiness knowing that the people who took part in Saturday’s Feel Good event are available within the community, and that they volunteered their time so selflessly for a cause that impacts each and every one of us,” she said.