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A faith-based mental health organization is holding celebrations tonight and tomorrow, in Winkler and Winnipeg respectively.

Eden, which began operating in Winkler in 1967, is holding its 50th anniversary galas at the Winkler Bergthaler Mennonite Church and the North Kildonan Mennonite Brethren Church. Margaret Trudeau is a guest speaker for both events.

Trudeau lives with bipolar disorder. She says she experienced the first depression of her life after the birth of one of her kids, but didn't get the help she needed until much later.

"Because the help certainly wasn't there and I was too afraid to come to terms with it all and ask for it all because being mentally ill seemed to me to be a daunting label."

Trudeau says it wasn't until her late 40s that she really came to terms with her illness, after the death of one of her children.

"I simply could not hide the ricocheting emotions that I was put into, and I certainly fell into a very deep depression after Michel's death. And that brought everything to a head because I had to be hospitalized."

Trudeau says she had good doctors who told her she had a treatable illness and there is recovery.

Even within her own family, Trudeau felt uneasy about being honest about her mental health, saying it can be frightening and confusing for people who live with depression and mental disorders to come forward. But she says once you get the courage to ask for help, you enter into a world of tremendous compassion and care. She says Canada has tremendous mental health services, and Eden is an example of this -- even before it was fashionable.

Ultimately, Trudeau says, the only way to get better is to recognize that need within yourself.

"You have to make that incredible leap of faith and turn it over to the mental health profession to give you back your peace of mind."

Trudeau says drugs to treat mental illness have come a long way and you can live very well with medication.

In 2010, Trudeau published Changing My Mind, which she calls more than a manual -- a memoir.

For each Eden event, the doors open at 6pm. Winkler's gala will feature an awards presentation to Mental Health Heroes.