This past year will go down in history as a year when the world as we know it changed. The COVID-19 pandemic has taught us about physical distancing, the importance of hand hygiene and masks, and has reminded us that while we cannot be with many of those we love, we can still be connected and show that love in so many different ways.
That is how we feel about the work we do at CMHA Cowichan Valley Branch. We continue to see, listen and care for people in our community as they need support. Only a few of our programs are 'on hold' because of COVID-19 and we have quickly adapted our services to continue to support some of the Cowichan Valley's most vulnerable citizens.
In celebration of Mental Health Week, May 3-9, 2021, we are excited to introduce you to some of our wonderful staff. In better times, we would invite you to visit our program sites and meet staff in person, but in times of COVID restrictions, we will celebrate the week by sharing faces and a few words from a few key members of our teams.
Meet Our Team:
Anne Marie T, Manager of Community Engagement and Fund Development
"For the last two years, I have been pleased to be part of the CMHA-CVB team. My role is largely communications and fundraising. It is my pleasure to spread the word about the good work that we do in the community. My goal is to reduce stigma and increase understanding and support for those in Cowichan Valley that are challenged with mental health and substance use issues and homelessness.
I can say without hesitation that our strength is in our people. I look forward to introducing you to just a few of our almost 100 staff. We have an incredible team of dedicated, caring people. I think you will agree."
Lise H, Executive Director
“I came to CMHA last year to lead an organization that is committed to working with our most vulnerable in the Cowichan Valley and surrounding area. CMHA's vision, mandate, and commitment to providing Compassionate and Community Care Based Services is a journey that I wanted to be part of.
This journey can only be supported by addressing systemic issues, providing safe, strong and supportive services, and continually advocating for social justice for everyone.
Supporting wellness for children, youth, and families with the CMHA team and community partners is critical and sacred work. I am honoured to be working with an organization and a team that is committed to meeting the needs of those we have the honour and privilege to serve. We are better working together.”
Please read Lise's Mental Health Week message to the community here.
Kirsten M, Therapist, Family Capacity Program
“Our work is to support parents to be the best they can be for our children. We recognize that what might be getting in the way of parenting could be the child's mental health, or the parent's mental health, or the relationship between the two. It's not just behavioural, it is recognizing that we parents need help to apply strategies, and there are some days when we just don't feel capable. It's a no-shame approach to parenting in a world where parents have so many messages coming at them about how they SHOULD be. I love that! “
Anne B, Associate Executive Director
Dan L, Christy M, Matt S, Youth Outreach Workers
Rena R, Cook, Warmland House Shelter
Cheryl B, Human Resources
"I believe so strongly that mental health and wellness are critical to creating a life with meaning and value. For me, working with CMHA CVB is a way to create webs of healing and wellness on all layers of society because until we truly value the mental health of all people. Unless we remove barriers to accessing health and wellness on every level, society cannot possibly flourish."
Adrien H, Shelter Worker, Warmland House
Catherine M, Executive Assistant
Catherine C, Counsellor, Affordable Counselling Program
Braedon N, Team Lead, Warmland House Shelter
Mary-Gene B, Shelter Custodian
"I started at the shelter in January as a practicum student for Community Health Program and when the position of Shelter Custodian came up, I decided to take it. I really enjoy my work here, especially the interactions with the clients and residents."
Robyn, BounceBack Coach
Jean F and Ashley O, Adult Outreach Workers
"As outreach workers we take pride in supporting all those who are experiencing many unfortunate factors in life with a judgement free and safe environment. Being able too provide individuals that need our help brings us great joy. We have a client focused approach and provide recourses in hopes of connecting clients with additional support that we cannot provide them."
Kaska W, Sexual Abuse Intervention Program Counsellor and Rainbows Coordinator
"I am passionate about working with children, youth and families and that is why I was drawn to working with CMHA. Being part of an agency that strives to support equal provision of mental health services to all members of the community, I have the privilege and honor to walk alongside children, youth and their caregivers on their healing journey."
Thank you for taking a few minutes to meet some of our key staff at the CMHA-CVB. Please feel free to share this with your networks. We encourage you to make a donation to support our work in a variety of ways including:
Sign up to be a monthly donor
Contribute a one-time donation
- Sponsor a Meal at Warmland
- Support the Warmland Garden by purchasing Blueberry Plants
- Donate to our Rainbows Program for Children
- Become a member of the CMHA Cowichan Valley Branch and have a voice in mental health programming in the community
Encourage a friend or family member to donate to any of the above
- Get in touch with us about organizing a group fundraiser at work or a organizing a collection of much needed items
We recognize that you may be facing challenges with your mental health and/or your finances. If you cannot donate today, that’s okay. We already know you are connected to our work and when the time is right you will be there for us. Some of you have recently donated and for that we THANK YOU!
Other ways to support us includes sharing the programs and services we offer with your networks. If you are active on any social media platforms please follow us and share our posts so that others are able to find the support that they need, or perhaps offer us some support during these extraordinary times.
Thank you for being a champion for the CMHA Cowichan Valley Branch and for your ongoing support. Thank you for taking care of each other and for understanding how important our continued work reducing stigma around mental health and substance use is. Thank you and please take care of yourselves, your friends and families and your neighbours.
We are better standing together.
#MentalHealthWeek2021 #CowichanValley #GetReal #GetLoud