Musician and Mental Health Advocate Amelia Curran has been named the Honorary Chair of the St. John’s Status of Women’s Council (SJSOWC).

In her role as Honorary Chair, Curran will be helping raise awareness about the programs and services SJSOWC offers the community.

“We are unbelievably excited to have Amelia on board as honorary chair. Her passion for the arts, feminism, and mental health advocacy are a perfect collaboration. We love and admire her belief in ‘noisy citizenship’ and her support for the work we do every day  is incredibly humbling,” said Jenny Wright, Executive Director of SJSOWC.

In addition to being a Juno award-winning singer/songwriter, Curran is a founder of It’s Mental, a grassroots advocacy group that aims to improve the mental health care system in Newfoundland and Labrador, and across Canada.

Among other initiatives, It’s Mental has been working on finding community-based solutions to the long wait times faced by people seeking counselling related to mental health issues in our province. Curran explained that people self-identify as needing help often have to wait months to get an intake interview.

As Honorary Chair of SJSOWC, Curran is especially excited to be able to promote the council’s new drop-in counselling clinic for women, Right Here, Right Now. The clinic offers free, single-session therapy to women who have difficulty accessing mental health services or are experiencing long wait times.

Curran says it is sometimes easy to forget the invaluable work community organizations are doing “every day to lift people up and give them a chance.”  She plans to use her position to draw attention to the diverse range of services SJSOWC offers, including community programming at the Women’s Centre and supportive housing for women at Marguerite’s Place.

“There are tireless efforts at work every single day in St. John’s that do not grab the headlines. It is these daily efforts that are the front line towards equality, justice, and dignity for all women in our community. I am immensely proud to join and to celebrate the St. John’s Status of Women Council in all they continue to provide and accomplish,” Curran said.

Curran has always been a huge supporter of the work SJSOWC does, being Honorary Chair will ensure that she’s immediately aware of any new programs the Council launches, allowing her to help get the word out as early as possible. The title also means that she will be available to vocally support the Council’s political activism.

“You’ll be hearing from me a lot,” Curran said, “I think being vocal is really important right now for a lot of reasons and having a title, I feel sort of backed up. It’s a nice bit of encouragement for me to carry on being as noisy as possible.”

The Right Here, Right Now counselling program runs every Tuesday and Wednesday from 12:00pm to 5:00pm in the St. John’s Status of Women’s Council at 170 Cashin Avenue Extension.