(Black Press Media file)

(Black Press Media file)

Kelowna non-profit launches campaign to support free counselling for young adults

Mental health resources need to be accessible as school and COVID-19 stresses pile up on students

A Kelowna non-profit has launched a fundraising campaign aimed at engaging young adults for young adults.

Third Space Charity’s new initiative gives the reigns back to young adults when it comes to talking about their mental health and advocating for it.

The new initiative features a text-to-donate system, where donors can text the amount they would like to donate to support the organization’s free mental health services program.

“We all know someone who struggles with mental health. Counselling helps, but it can be expensive and hard to access,” Third Space executive director Karen Mason said.

“We want more people to know Third Space Charity offers free counselling services to young adults in our community, and we think this campaign is a great way to get that message out while also raising much-needed money for our organization.”

Mason said she had the opportunity to meet and speak with students at Okanagan College’s Kelowna campus for orientation day on Sept. 7, and she said students were feeling overwhelmed and terrified.

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“They’re really excited to be beginning their post-secondary experience, but they’re also a little bit scared. For many of the students, it’s their first time away from home,” she said.

“But then we also have second-year students who are coming to campus for the first time. I talked to two young men who spent their first year in their basement suite. Now that they’re in second year on campus, they don’t know where anything is, so it feels like they’re still in first year.”

With the stress and anxiety of starting college, there’s also the added stress of COVID-19 and the ever-changing public health guidelines and requirements, which Mason said only piles on for students. She said this is why now more than ever, accessible mental health support is so important for young adults and that’s why she wants young people to support each other when it comes to mental and emotional wellbeing.

Mason said she hopes the text-to-donate campaign raises awareness for resources and encourages young people to seek those services out.

“We hope to get more young adults talking about their mental health challenges, seeking out help, ad donating to play a part in ensuring counselling services like ours are there for them and their peers when they need them,” she said.

In the meantime, Mason said a few things we can all consider to take care of ourselves during this time is to get outside and move as much as possible. She said to connect with your friends and colleagues however you can and be honest and ask for help when you need it.

To participate in the text-to-donate campaign, text the code BEWELL to 30333, which will let you donate $5.

If you would like to make a larger donation, you can visit this fundraising page.

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