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CMHA’s 50/50 Lottery aims to raise funds to combat mental illness

WINDSOR, ONT. -- Raising funds to help those facing mental health challenges in Windsor-Essex – that is the aim of the Canadian Mental Health Association’s “50/50 Lottery.”

The COVID-19 pandemic pushes funding for CMHA programs to the limit. Issues such as loneliness, depression and suicidal ideation and others are much more common amongst the public. The demand for help has grown with the high incidence of mental illnesses reported.

"It is our branch's 50th anniversary so we set a million-dollar goal called ‘move the dial’ and this lottery is one of four that we will be conducting throughout 2021,” said Kerri Hill, CMHA’s manager, community engagement. “We hope to hit the hundred-thousand mark — our first winner took home over twenty-three thousand late last year so we're really excited about it and hope that people support it."

“Our community rallied in our inaugural lottery in 2020 to help us raise $23,000 to help fund our mental health prevention and education programs that rely on donations and now lotteries, says Kim Willis, Director, communications and mental health promotion.

Willis says the needs are escalating and with a $1 million fundraising campaign this year, a $100,000 goal for this lottery is ambitious but possible.

“Online lotteries provide another way to connect with the community and generate both greater awareness of the programs and services offered by CMHA-WECB, as well as funds to support those programs that do not receive government funding,” said Willis.

50/50 tickets are available online until midnight April 8, 2021 — with the chance of winning one of two early bird prizes, as well as the grand prize jackpot with a guaranteed prize of $2,000. The early bird draw will take place at noon on March 24.

First responders dealing with mental health issues will directly benefit from funds raised in the lottery.