Saturday 11 January marked an important milestone in the journey started by a group of Somali professionals in Ottawa, dedicated to addressing important issues affecting their community. Team Awakening consisting of five dedicated Somali activists, organised their third annual “Awakening” conference at Ben Franklin Place on Centrepointe Drive, to address an issue people tend to avoid because of the shame and stigma associated with mental illness. From the presentation by City of Ottawa Community and Social Services staffer, Farhiya Ali Abdi, to the moving testimonial by a young woman living with mental illness, the evening offered education, support, inspiration and hope to those people and their families seeking answers to problems that sometimes appear impossible to manage. Services available include those from the Youth Services Bureau, well articulated by Michelle Earle, Coordinator of Intensive Services. The message for the evening was clear: mental illness can affect any one of us; there is lots of help and support from various agencies, hospitals and community organisations; people living with mental illness can live successful and meaningful lives provided they seek out and get the help they need. Members of Team Awakening are: Ifrah Hassan, Amal Aden, Areh Hashi, Mahmoud Hassan and Sharmaarke Abdullahi. For more information on mental health, contact: Canadian Mental Health Association of Ottawa at: 613-737-7791; firstname.lastname@example.org; web: www.ottawa.cmha.ca.