You are currently on the:CMHA National
Visit our provincial websites
Canada’s second Forest of Hope will be planted in Cape Breton on October 21.
Oct 6, 2023
Potlotek First Nation is hosting a tree planting event in support of their Forest of Hope project, in partnership with the Canadian Association for Suicide Prevention (CASP), Roots of Hope, Injury Free Nova Scotia, Port Hawkesbury Paper and the Canadian Mental Health Association Nova Scotia Division.
The Forest of Hope is a long-term program by CASP and their partners to help raise awareness about suicide prevention and promote healing while contributing to a healthy and sustainable forest.
The first phase of this project will see volunteers plant 200 Red oak, yellow birch, and red spruce, white spruce black spruce seedlings at Mi’kmawey School/Allan Lafford High School Area located at 344 Sitmuk Awti in Potlotek, Nova Scotia from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on Saturday, October 21, 2023.
Approximately 40 local groups and organizations are expected to participate in the day, including Allan Lafford Highschool, Canadian Red Cross, Tajikiemik/ Mi’kmaw Health and Wellness, Eskasoni Crisis Center, Eskasoni Mental Health and Social Work, Kwilmu’kwmaw-Klusuaqn, Mental Health Foundation of Nova Scotia, Mi’kmawey School, Mi’kmaw Family and Children’s Services of Nova Scotia, Native Alcohol and Drug Abuse Counseling Association, Nova Scotia Health, Potlotek Health Center, Potlotek Kisiku Center, Residential Schools Survivor, Royal Canadian Mounted Police, Ulnooweh, Unama’ki Institute of Natural Resources, and the Union of NS Mental Wellness Team.
The Potlotek Forest of Hope is the second of what Sean Krausert, Executive Director of the Canadian Association for Suicide Prevention, hopes will be many.
“We envision Forests of Hope across Canada so as many people as possible can learn, join our work to prevent suicide, and comfort family and friends that have experienced the loss of a loved one by suicide, “ Krausert shares.
”CASP is thrilled to collaborate with the Potlotek First Nation to make the second Forest of Hope a reality.”
Veronica Marshall-Bernard, a member of Potlotek First Nation and Clinical Therapist with the Nova Scotia Health Authority, says “Words cannot express how I feel about this initiative. This year, the Forest of Hope will be in Potlotek. This forest will provide comfort to those impacted by suicide and will also provide a way for people to get involved in the important work of suicide awareness and life promotion. Most of us have been touched in one way or another by suicide. Whether we have struggled ourselves, are supporting loved ones, have lost a loved one or are in the helping field. The forest will play an important part not only to our community but to others as well. This forest belongs to everyone.”
Karn Nichols, Executive Director of the Canadian Mental Health Association Nova Scotia Division says, “Trees are symbolic of a shared history and life. They are catalysts for hope, which is an important part of healing and wellness. We are thrilled to be partnering with these organizations and supporting the community through this initiative.”
Seana Jewer, Community Engagement Lead with Roots of Hope adds, “Providing opportunities for those who have lost someone to suicide to gather, remember and share is an important part of the grief journey. With the support of Injury Free NS and CMHA NS, Roots of Hope will provide space for those who would like to share their story and support one another at the Forest of Hope event.”
Peri Lockhart, a health promotion consultant with Injury Free Nova Scotia says, “Our vision is to have a province free of preventable and fatal injuries, so we are eager to support our community partners in their work, particularly suicide their prevention work. Suicide and suicide attempts are one of the top three injuries in Nova Scotia and they are preventable.”
The Forest of Hope will be planted on Saturday, October 21, 2023, at Mi’kmawey School/Allan Lafford High School Area located at 344 Sitmuk Awti in Potlotek, Nova Scotia. Everyone is welcome to attend. Registration begins at 10:00 a.m., followed by an opening ceremony, Drum and Dance and a BBQ with tree planting starting at 1:00 p.m.
To get involved with the Forest of Hope, contact Veronica Bernard at [email protected]
DOWNLOAD THE POSTER AND HELP US PROMOTE THIS IMPORTANT EVENT