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Mental health fundraiser in Carlyle an emotional night

Proceeds from the fundraiser will be directed to Envision Counselling and Support Centre and SaskAgMatters.
From left, Lorna and Brian Kennett with the wall plaque that was signed by everyone who attended the mental health fundraiser in Carlyle. Brian Kennett was the guest speaker.

CARLYLE - Tyler Matthewson and Dustin Boutin held their third annual Mental Health Awareness Supper and Fundraiser on April 13 at the Carlyle Memorial Hall.

Both Matthewson and Boutin struggled with either drugs, alcohol or suicidal thoughts. When they recovered, they wanted to bring mental health awareness more out in the open.

They felt as men they had to suck it up because men are supposed to be strong and do not talk about such issues. They pointed out how this wrong.

Three years ago, they decided to hold a supper and fundraiser for mental health awareness, and they had no idea how this would go over, but they were prepared to foot the bill just to get the word out there.

It turned out to be a tremendous success, and this was the same for this year's event.

One hundred and forty people sold out the event in two and a half days, much to the surprise of the two men.

Upon entering the hall, a wall plaque was on a table for all the guests to sign and later it was presented to the guest speaker Brian Kennett.

Weir’s Catering prepared and served the meal, which was sponsored by Carlyle Home Hardware.

Once the meal was completed and cleared away, Matthewson and Boutin came to the stage to talk about the help they received from professional services, friends, family and the community.

Rylan Weir introduced Kennett. He said Kennett was a strong family man who has a zipline in his yard, a beach volleyball court and a  children's doll house. Kennett is active in his church, was on the school council and part of many committees in Manor.

Kennett is a 61-year-old man who is married to Lorna. Together they have five children who were raised on a farm the Kennetts bought in 1985 northeast of Manor. They purchased the farm when interest rates were high, but they managed to make the farm a success.

For years, Kennett struggled with getting to sleep, and when he did fall asleep, he woke up eight to 10 times during the night. Each time his thoughts turned to if he was doing things the right way.

His thoughts of not being good enough began to take a toll and they got worse, and his sleep patterns did the same. He started taking over-the-counter sleep aids, which helped for a brief time, and then he began to increase the amount and they did not help.

Kennett went to the doctor and asked for sleeping pills but did not divulge to the doctor about his inner thoughts of being a failure, a fake and a fraud, which were always on his mind. He felt if he could only work harder, these thoughts would go away, but they did not.

At the same time, his family was taking over the farm and he struggled with losing control.

The sleeping pills were no longer working, and he returned to the doctor. It was suggested that he take antidepressants. He could not believe this was suggested to him. He thought men do not talk about depression; they suck it up and work harder.

Kennett no longer smiled, he did not have fun times, he became moody, he needed control of the farm, he worked harder and harder, and he never talked about the thoughts in his head.

As the days went on, he felt less in control and his thoughts brought him to being a complete failure.

As his thoughts grew darker, Kennett knew what he needed to do to end the horrible thoughts he was having day and night, but he waited until after Christmas.

On December 30, 2021, his wife Lorna went to Manor to get the mail, and then she was going to Carlyle, or so he thought, and this was the time he was going to end his life.

He went into the garage and climbed into the box of his truck, he took a handfull of sleeping pills and placed a loaded gun to his head, but just as he was going to pull the trigger, the garage door opened.

Lorna came into the garage calling his name as he lay in the box of the truck. He finally answered her and as he began to tell his story to his wife, he passed out. The next thing he remembers is waking up in the Weyburn hospital.

Kennett remained in the hospital where he began his path of healing. The hospital has 12 rooms and many walking paths, and with the gifted staff he began his journey.

The help from his family, friends and community brought him back to the healthy place he wanted to be.

He is grateful to these people for not giving up on him.

His advice is to not wait. Talk to someone, anyone. Do not let it go on. There will be struggles in the healing but with the right tools, the healing will take over.

Kennett received a standing ovation in recognition of his honesty with his battle.

The evening closed with an auction. It included two pies, two cakes, a full cooler, a meal pack, and accommodations and four box tickets to a Winnipeg Jets games.

The auction brought over $6,500 and the 50/50 of $1,100, won by Audra Reaves, was donated back to the cause.

Other sponsors for the evening were Merit Ford, ATA Financial, Botox by B, Dennis Feduk, Euphoria Events Co., Canadian Energy Services, Tyler Lakeman and Michael's Coffee Shop and Bakery.

Matthewson and Boutin are very thankful for all the volunteer help through family, friends and the community. Without them this event would not be the success it is.

Proceeds from the fundraiser will be directed to Envision Counselling and Support Centre and SaskAgMatters.