KITCHENER -- As "Blue Monday" approaches, otherwise known as the most depressing day of the year, one mental health advocacy group is campaign to help people stay connected during the pandemic.

Fundraising committee Mask Off Masquerade's 2021 campaign is aiming to continue to break down stigmas around mental health.

Founder Charmaine Collions hopes their "How Are You Doing, Really" initiative is able to dive deeper into a question many often answer quickly, but not entirely honestly.

"So we decided to do something that encourages people in our community to start talking it out more," she said.

When asked, Waterloo Region residents told CTV News they were going through lots of ups and downs and sad they couldn't see their friends.

"It's definitely tough, but I know it's not forever," one resident said. "So it's just trying to keep hope that it will end soon."

Collions and Mask Off Masquerade say they made the switch to an online social media campaign in order for the conversation to keep going.

In place of the usual fundraising events, they are selling sweaters and t-shirts through their Instagram account and donating the money raised to the Integrated Youth Services Network.

"We're very grateful to Mask Off," said Cyndy Moffat Forsyth of the network. "We need to be looking for innovative ways to reach people in this stay at home isolation model so that we're addressing what people are feeling."

The "How Are You Doing, Really" campaign begins on Feb. 1 and runs until the end of the month.