Colin has been volunteering with Canadian Mental Health Association Vernon and District’s Peer Support for the past 10 years. (CMHA Vernon photo)

Vernon CMHA needs more support for men

North Okanagan’s Canadian Mental Health Association to offer peer-support training

Living with a mental illness can make you feel like you’re all alone. Stigma can keep you isolated from your friends, family and community. Peer support is an effective recovery tool for individuals experiencing mental health challenges.

Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) Vernon and District has been operating its Peer Support program for 22 years, offering social contact and support for community members with mental illness.

“Our team of trained volunteers who have experienced mental illness in their lives provide one-on-one support, drop-in opportunities, hospital visitation for those in the inpatient psychiatric unit, and weekly social activities for individuals in our community,” said Julia Payson, executive director for CMHA.

This month, CMHA Vernon is offering Peer Support Training for individuals who have experienced the trials of mental illness in their lives and are in a place of wanting to help others in their journey.

“We are reaching out to the community for volunteers to help others in their recovery,” Payson said. “We are in particular need of male peer support volunteers and people who can help with our hospital visitation program.”

CMHA Peer Support volunteers are trained in recovery guidance to provide support, hope and compassion to individuals experiencing mental health concerns.

“Many people tend to isolate when they are becoming unwell, which is not good for their mental health,” said Patricia Harding, Peer Support coordinator. “Peer support volunteers can help those who are not doing so well managing their mental health by keeping them socially connected.”

To volunteer at Peer Support, a person must have a healthy attitude towards getting help to manage their mental illness.

“Having experienced mental health challenges of my own, I know it can be hard to reach out for help. But there is a group of caring people who have been through the struggles you are having,” said Colin, who has been volunteering with CMHA for the past 10 years. “At Peer Support, we accept you for who you are, without judgment.”

Those who would like to become a Peer Support volunteer can take part in free training from Oct. 16 to Nov. 18, Mondays and Wednesdays from 1-3 p.m. at the CMHA Peer Support office located 3100 – 28th Avenue.

To register, pick up an application form at the Peer Support office, or contact 250-542-6155.

READ MORE: Vernon author distills history’s oldest story into lessons for today

READ MORE: Vernon vagrancy crime continues to upset


@VernonNews
roger@vernonmorningstar.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Evacuation alert for homes near Dry Lake fire rescinded

Fire status changed to Under Control, crews remain on site patrolling and extinguishing hot spots

Morning Start: The human body contains trace amounts of gold

Your morning start for Friday, August 7, 2020

COLUMN: Listen to those who know about COVID-19

Accurate information is essential when understanding the pandemic

Penticton man wakes to wildfire, forced to evacuate from home

A wildfire sparked off the side of Highway 97 near Penticton on Thursday

Roots & Blues announces ticket giveaway ahead of online festival

The festival is streaming free online this year, but those who pre-register can win passes for 2021.

VIDEO: U.S. Air Force pilot does fly-by for B.C. son amid COVID border separation

Sky-high father-son visit plays out over White Rock Pier

Fundraiser launched for West Kelowna family who lost their home to fire

The family’s Sunview Drive home was destroyed after an accidental fire on Aug. 6

B.C. wildfire crews have battled 111 blazes in the last seven days

Twenty-nine fires remain active, as of Friday (Aug 7)

B.C. health minister applauds Kelowna Mayor, council for COVID-19 outbreak response

‘I think they are a model of how we respond’ - said Health Minister Adrian Dix

T-Rex earns big bids at B.C. dino auction

Over 500 dino-themed lots sold to buyers from across North America

‘We don’t make the rules’: Okanagan pub owner says staff harassed over pandemic precautions

‘If you have six people plus a baby, guess what? That’s seven’ - West Kelowna Kelly O’Bryan’s owner

Remembering Brent Carver: A legend of Broadway who kept his B.C. roots strong

Over the years, the Cranbrook thespian earned his place as one of Canada’s greatest actors

Vernon social justice group rallies to raise awareness for human trafficking victims

Indigenous women make up 4 per cent of Canadian population, 50 per cent of trafficking victims

Statistics Canada says country gained 419,000 jobs in July

National unemployment rate was 10.9 per cent in July, down from the 12.3 per cent recorded in June

Most Read