Mental health stamp leads fundraising drive

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The Puzzle stamp

The Puzzle stamp

Submitted

Canada Post has unveiled the 2011 mental health stamp to help kick off the company’s annual fundraising campaign for community-based mental health initiatives across Canada. In November 2010, a competition was launched to help find a design, in which the five finalists were subjected to a popular vote, a first in Canada Post’s 160 years.

The Puzzle, a design by Terrebonne, Que. resident Miriane Majeau, received the most points and will adorn more than 3.5 million stamps available at post offices across Canada. A dollar from the sale of every booklet of 10 stamps is donated to the Canada Post Foundation for Mental Health.

“Dealing with mental health issues is like putting a puzzle together,” says Majeau. “As you connect the pieces, something beautiful and whole is revealed.”

During the competition, strangers approached Majeau to share their experiences with mental illness and how they related to a puzzle.

“The rallying effect this has created makes me very happy, my drawing was telling their stories — and encouraging others to tell theirs.”

“The response by Canadians has been tremendous,” said Steven Fletcher, minister of state (transport).

“More than 300 designs were submitted and almost 300,000 votes were cast. And now, Canadians can buy these stamps and help us contribute to an important cause.”

Since 2008, when mental health became Canada Post’s cause of choice, customers, employees, suppliers and the public have raised more than $4.8 million for the foundation.

Nearly $1 million of that was from sales of mental health stamps.