This holiday season, let’s help those who are on a journey to mental health.
Because so many of you believe, like we do, in a mentally healthy Kelowna – you’ve inspired innovation, collaboration and growth. Because so many of you have given to CMHA Kelowna, new and expanded programs and services are now available for those experiencing mental health issues. Because of you, we are breaking down barriers for people of all ages to find the help they need, when they need it.
Growing up is difficult enough
Varenka is a Youth Advisory Member at Foundry Kelowna.
“When you’re a teenager facing adverse events such as living with depression, isolation, abuse, separation, bullying, academic stress, and financial barriers, it’s difficult to see yourself as ‘normal’ and it makes it harder when you don’t know what kind of supports are out there for you. Growing up is difficult enough.”
Varenka says everyone has their own unique journey with mental health.
“One of the things I regret most is not reaching out for help. If I had the knowledge of available resources like Foundry and there were people around who were informed on what to look for in distressed youth, I would have felt more comfortable seeking help.”
Stuart’s journey to housing has been a long one
Keni, CMHA’s Housing First Team Lead, shares Stuart’s story:
“When we first met Stuart in October, he had been chronically homeless for six years and on and off for the 14 years prior. He told us his history with substance abuse began at age 13, and just three years later he was homeless. Stuart also sustained a brain injury and struggles with severe anxiety, which made accessing services like basic income assistance or the Foodbank difficult. When we met him, searching dumpsters for food was his reality.”
Keni and the CMHA Housing First Team worked with Stuart to get him the help and support he needed.
“We were able to find housing for Stuart and connect him to community services through our program. Stuart’s journey to housing has been long and difficult. On the day he moved into his new home, he exclaimed, ‘I can’t believe this is real!’ We were just as excited for him.”
Mental Health is a journey, not a destination
Achieving mental health and wellbeing is a lifelong journey. CMHA Kelowna makes a difference in people’s lives by providing support and understanding, offering tools that help, and building hope through effective services.
There is still work to do – these two stories are more common than we think. Please consider the gift of mental health. Every dollar goes toward early intervention, education and awareness so that people can access the help and support they need to live their best lives.
Thank you for inspiring a mentally healthy Kelowna.
With best wishes for the holiday season,