Women & Wellness® Kitchen Parties


Women 7 Wellness logoHelen MacDonnell received a call from her mother in January of 2003. The journalist in her grabbed a notepad and a pen and wrote two words “Duncan” and “Dead”.

Her brother had died by suicide. Her world was forever changed.

Helen began reading her brother’s journals, trying to understand. She discovered Duncan had been suffering from bi-polar disorder. He didn’t want to die. He wanted the pain to stop. In her quest to learn more, she began researching and talking to people about mental illness. She quickly learned it was a taboo subject that many didn’t discuss.

Realizing change wouldn’t come unless people started to talk made Helen take action. In January 2004, she hosted a kitchen party, inviting 54 women into her home to discuss mental illness and be reminded to take care of their own health. This first Women & Wellness® evening raised $1,250 for the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA).

Ten years later, through word of mouth and despite limited resources, the discussion has expanded far beyond Helen’s kitchen in Moncton. Fourteen communities across Canada will host a Women & Wellness® Flagship Event this year, engaging thousands of women and contributing to the more than $1 Million raised for CMHA in host communities since its inception.

Bell Canada has now teamed up with Women & Wellness® to encourage women across the country to host their own kitchen parties where friends and family can learn more about mental health, dissolve the stigmas that surround it, support one another and lift each other’s spirits. Visit the Host a Party page to learn more. www.womenandwellnessfriends.com