Maureen Banyard, a resident at Parkland at the Gardens, is a campaign champion. Maureen’s most recent cause is fundraising for the Mental Health Foundation of Nova Scotia. This campaign is centered around Music for Mental Health, a day-long event full of activities, presentations and music focused on promoting positive mental health at Parkland at the Gardens.

“Maureen has created a strong sense of community here, whether with other residents or team members. A deep feeling of family has been developed through her goals and raising money for our community,” says Jodi Bartlett, General Manager at Parkland at the Gardens. With a goal to raise $10,000, Maureen has been a strong advocate in her community to educate people about the importance of mental health and encourage their support.

Isolation and its associated stigma are realities that many seniors face. Maureen works hard to educate others about mental health and how they can make a difference. She encourages residents to be active and get involved in the many activities that Parkland offers to help promote socialization. Maureen is a strong believer in the power of community: “When we know someone isn’t doing well, we reach out and ask how they are doing and let them know that we’ve got their back.”

One of the main things that Maureen wants her fellow residents and other seniors to know is that mental health affects everyone regardless of age, and you don’t have to go through it alone. “We are all seniors and we understand how it feels. We’re all in this together.”

“As seniors, we sometimes lose loved ones and friends in a short period of time. It’s easy to dismiss feelings of sadness as depression when, in reality, it’s never ‘just’ depression. It really all comes back to mental health.” 

The community at Parkland at the Gardens has an important part to play in the mental health of team members and residents. Residents regularly visit each other, check in on one another and offer a hug or ear when needed. They are always there for each other. As Maureen says, “money can’t buy that, it’s pure gold”.

Parkland at the Gardens hopes to include a weekly mental health activity in the coming year to continue this important conversation.