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Mental health advocate bringing back program to give community a boost

Jodi Davidson is continuing Muskoka Purseveres in hopes of reaching more people struggling with their mental health.

Davidson, along with a handful of volunteers, stuff purses full of donated new or gently used art supplies and self-care items. She also asks anyone dropping goodies off to write a short note as well in hopes that when the recipient of the purse sees it, the message brightens their day. “We hope it helps someone have a good day,” says Davidson.

The program was started in 2021 and Davidson says over 250 purses were distributed.

With the program set to return, Davidson hopes to distribute the items to men as well. “I know most men don’t want a purse, so maybe there’s a different kind of bag we can put the items in,” says Davidson.

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She asks anyone that wants to make a donation to drop it off at 1-408 Manitoba St. in Bracebridge. 

“I really believe that art is healing,” says Davidson. “I do a lot of art when I’m stressed.”

She explains she has been diagnosed with mental illnesses and was recently diagnosed with temporal lobe epilepsy. Davidson says art has been key in helping her recover. After her recent diagnosis, she started making art again. “That inspired me to restart Muskoka Purserveres,” she says. 

“I would like to see the community come together and help those struggling with their mental health,” she says.

Davidson says she’s looking for volunteers to help fill the purses and drop them off. Specifically, she says she wants volunteers that are able to drop off the purses in Bracebridge, Gravenhurst, and Huntsville. 

She asks anyone interested to reach out through Facebook or email her at [email protected]

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