Join us for the 71st annual CMHA Mental Health Week May 2-8, 2022.
The theme of this year's Mental Health Week campaign is Empathy.
We may be different but we’re not on different sides. See the world as others do. This is empathy.
When someone is struggling, you don’t have to fix their pain. Tune in and see through their eyes. This is empathy.
You can understand even if you don’t agree. Understand someone’s feelings. This is empathy.
This Mental Health Week, #GetReal about how to help. Before you weigh in, tune in.
This year, thanks to the lifting of COVID restrictions around gathering, the CMHA Cowichan Valley Branch looks forward to hosting three Open House Events. We hope you will take the time to tour our sites, meet our caring staff and understand how you can support our important work in the Cowichan Valley.
Monday, May 2, 2022. 11:00am - 1:00pm
Service Day at Warmland House Shelter, 2579 Lewis St
Invited: Unhoused & Marginally Housed Clients
* Free Haircuts by the team from Hair on Queens *
* Hot dogs and refreshments served by Knights of Columbus *
* Distribution of donated Spring/Summer shoes and clothes *
Tuesday, May 3, 2022, 2:00pm - 4:00pm
Open House at BikeWorks, 360 Festubert Street
Invited: Community Members, School representatives, Community Groups, Businesses,
anyone that is interested in learning about our child and youth programs.
* Check out the new BikeWorks location *
* Meet caring Child, Youth and Family Connections staff *
* Learn about the programs we offer for children, youth and families *
* Light refreshments served *
Wednesday, May 4, 2022, 11:00am - 1:00pm
Open House at Warmland House Shelter, 2579 Lewis St
Invited: Community Members, Community Groups, Businesses & Neighbours
* Tours of the shelter *
* Meet management, staff, board members, volunteers *
* Q & A *
* Light refreshments served *
Mental health affects us all. Yet too often, this vital part of our wellbeing is dismissed or stigmatized, leaving people suffering in silence. By being open and talking about mental health, we can break down stigma and make sure everyone gets the support they need.
Each year at the beginning of May, mental health associations, community organizations and service providers celebrate Mental Health Week. The goals of Mental Health Week include:
- increase awareness around mental health
- highlight community programming
- reduce stigma and increase empathy
In the Cowichan Valley, Mental Health Week has included fundraising campaigns, open houses, social media campaigns and more. As a result of COVID-19, this year our campaign will be digital. To this end, we have created '7 Ways in 7 Days' - daily actions to increase awareness and support for mental health that includes a series of videos (below) and other actions to provide insight into our programs, our staff and the clients that we serve.
Many thanks to Luke Cross Photography for supporting this project.
If you would like to make a donation to support any of these programs, please visit the donate section of our website. All donations over $20 will receive a tax receipt.
7 WAYS TO TAKE ACTION ON MENTAL HEALTH IN 7 DAYS:
- Monday, May 4 Take a Virtual Tour of BikeWorks/ArtWorks/DiscoveryWorks. View on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram - share, like, comment and share with your friends.
- Tuesday, May 5 (Also #GivingTuesday) Find out how you can support the Share a Meal with Warmland campaign. Learn how it works, talk to your friends and co-workers, share details on social media. Donate if possible.
- Wednesday, May 6 View Welcome to the Overdose Prevention Site video. View on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. Share, like and comment to increase understanding and compassion.
- Thursday, May 7 Explore Membership of our local CMHA. Get involved and become an advocate for mental health in Cowichan Valley.
- Friday, May 8 View Inside Warmland House - Meet Caring Staff and Clients video on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. Share, like and comment to increase understanding and compassion.
- Saturday, May 9 - Find out how you can support Warmland Shelter’s Laundry Upgrade campaign. Read, share and donate if you are able. Tell your friends about this important campaign.
- Sunday, May 10 View A Virtual Visit with Open Door Youth Services Centre Advisors video on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. Share, like, comment and invite friends to learn about this program.
Our 2020 Mental Health Week Videos:
A Virtual Tour of BikeWorks|ArtWorks|DiscoveryWorks, Mental Health Week 2020 #GetReal
A Visit to the Overdose Prevention Site, Mental Health Week 2020 #GetReal
Welcome to Warmland: A Visit with Clients and Staff, Mental Health Week 2020 #GetReal
A Virtual Visit to the Open Door Youth Services Centre, Mental Health Week 2020 #GetReal
If you have enjoyed our video series, please take a moment to share with your networks and help us reduce stigma and increase compassion for those we serve.
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 three 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.
Anne B, Associate Executive Director
Adrien H, Shelter Worker, Warmland House
Catherine M, Executive Assistant
Braedon N, Team Lead, Warmland House Shelter
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
Words of Encouragement
Well, it has now been over one year since we have been challenged by the Covid-19 pandemic. I recognize that it has been a challenging and stressful time for our employees, clients, partners and the community in general.
It has also had a huge impact on the programs and services we provide here at CMHA-CVB. Many difficult decisions have had to be made including shutting down and cutting back services. Our recipients of service - shelter guests, children, youth and families have been greatly impacted as a result of our decisions. Each of these decisions have been made supported by the guiding principle of "Ensuring Safety for All". These decisions have also been supported by our local and provincial public health officials.
CMHA-CVB is committed to supporting mental health needs in the community, and we are also equally committed to supporting staff wellness in our organization. We recognize that coping with Covid-19 brings with it increased stress and anxiety, experiences of loss and grief, uncertainty, and the loss of connection due to social distancing constraints.
Covid-19 has brought "trauma" to our organizations, to the people we work with, and to those we serve. It is important that we all take care of ourselves and each other. Our mental health matters!
Together, we must learn to navigate through the good days and the bad days. So, during Mental Health Week (May 3-9, 2021) I am inviting you to consider the following Self Care Tips:
- Know that we are all in this together.
- Do not isolate - stay connected to people who support, care, and love you. Let your cell phone, computer and social media be your social distance line to keep you connected.
- Learn to be kind to yourself. Create and follow a self care plan. You are worth it. "Self Care is not Selfish".
- Learn to be kind to others. Many people are fighting battles we are not aware of. The sound of your voice or your smile may be the medicine they need. Sometimes the act of helping others helps us.
- Stop occasionally to count your blessings. Many of us are fortunate to be alive, have good health, a home, a job, and family and friends that love us. Adopt an attitude of gratitude.
- Access the Support Services/Mental Health Services you need. The side effects of the pandemic include: increased mental health issues, stress and anxiety, increased use of alcohol and drugs, relapses, overdoses and suicide. Depression is fueled by loss and grief. Pay attention to how you and those around you are coping. There is no shame in reaching out. Resources are available to help you find a path forward. Be an advocate for your family, friends and colleagues who may need help and support.
- Fight loneliness, isolation, and anxiety by searching for joy and moments of connection. Focus on what makes you feel nourished. Feed yourselves physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.
- Take care of yourself at home and at work. Practice kindness and gratitude. Be affirming, respectful, genuine and kind. Let your team contribute to your well-being. Enjoy the health benefits of fun and laughter. Promote being a part of a healthy and strong team.
- Be a warrior - do not let the pandemic take you down. Talk about what's happening for you, listen to others, support one another. Give hope power - hope towards a better future. Have faith in yourself and others - and battle for wellness and change.
- Breathe and go outside - earth and sky, woods, flowers and fields, lakes, rivers and oceans, mountains and landscapes, sun, rain and rainbows can be the best medicine. They protect our sense of wonder and our belief in "hope".
You matter! Your health and wellbeing contributes a healthy community. Thank you for supporting our collective work and remember... we are better standing together!!
Lise Haddock, Executive Director
CMHA Cowichan Valley Branch