Create meaningful connections as pandemic continues: CMHA Kelowna

‘We have to recognize we’re in a crisis and we need to give ourselves the grace and the time in order to manage it’

Now more than ever, we have to try and create meaningful connections where we can be honest about our mental well-being.

That’s according to the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) Kelowna branch, which claims finding and making those connections may be difficult during this time of isolation.

There are, however, online resources to help people along.

“We pivoted very quickly to provide a number of resources online. We’re providing some courses through our Discovery College program which is 100 per cent free and is open to anyone and everyone,” said CMHA Kelowna’s communications manager Jessica Samuels.

“We have a series called ‘Coping with Current Events’. We’ve had some sessions on managing stress for caregivers, individuals, as well as sessions on identifying unhealthy coping strategies.”

Samuels added CMHA Kelowna wellness coaches have also been busy connecting with residents through phone calls and making sure people have the help they need to cope with the stress and anxiety of the pandemic.

She said people can support their mental well-being by not doing anything in excess, including eating, consuming too much alcohol, or sleeping too much.

“Those have always been the foundation for good mental health, and those are really going to support you now. Some things that people may find helpful is making sure how much the pandemic is in our every day lives, in our social media feeds and our conversations. Monitor that,” she said.

“Of course, we want to be informed but we can be overwhelmed with that… be purposeful in re-focusing yourself on some positivity.”

Samuels added people need to stop feeling like they should be doing things during this time.

“Let’s stop the ‘should’. ‘I should be baking bread. I should be organizing the cupboards. I should get up and have a fitness routine every day’. We have to recognize we’re in a crisis and we need to give ourselves the grace and the time in order to manage it,” she said.

CMHA Kelowna is also launching a campaign called #CreatingConnection, with the goal of fostering a community of support where people can talk about their mental health.

“Social connection is an important factor for our mental health and so we encourage people to find ways to connect with others despite being physically apart,” Samuels said.

“That’s why we’re hoping the community joins us in the #CreatingConnections campaign. We can work together to find creative ways to stay connected and collectively, it will benefit the community and our mental health.”

For more information on mental health resources, visit CMHA’s site.

Samuels said if you are in mental health crisis, contact a medical professional, call a crisis line, or go to the emergency room.

READ MORE: Okanagan motorcyclists spread positivity, one retirement home at a time

READ MORE: Provinces must give emotional support to returning students: education advocates


Twila Amato
Video journalist, Black Press Okanagan
Email me at twila.amato@blackpress.ca
Follow me on Twitter

Coronavirusmental health

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

Just Posted

One person taken to hospital after house fire in West Kelowna

The incident occurred at the 700 block of Westbrook Road at 7:23 p.m. on June 2

Central Okanagan students go back to school

Superintendent of Schools for School District 23 Kevin Kaardal said about 48.5 per cent of students were registered for in-class learning

40 Under 40: Garrett Jones

The Kelowna Chamber of Commerce has launched its “40 Under Forty” for 2020

40 Under 40: Kate Snowsell

The Kelowna Chamber of Commerce has launched its “40 Under Forty” for 2020

Top cop calls video of Kelowna Mountie striking suspect ‘concerning’

A video allegedly shows a Kelowna Mountie striking a man several times

B.C. records four new COVID-19 cases, Abbotsford hospital outbreak cleared

Four senior home outbreaks also declared over, eight still active

Princeton RCMP sergeant kills cougar threatening residential neighborhood

An RCMP officer shot and killed a cougar, close to a residential… Continue reading

Pilot project approved: Penticton to allow alcohol in outdoor spaces

For almost two hours, council debated the proposed pilot project, before eventually passing it 4-2

Drugs, machete found in truck with stolen plate driven by Salmon Arm man

Chase RCMP arrest driver and have vehicle towed

RCMP, coroner investigate murder-suicide on Salt Spring Island

Two dead, police say there is no risk to the public

B.C. schools see 30% of expected enrolment in schools as in-class teaching restarts amid pandemic

Education minister noted that in-class instruction remains optional

Trudeau avoids questions about anti-racism protesters dispersed for Trump photo-op

Prime minister says racism is an issue Canadians must tackle at home, too

B.C.’s Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics goes virtual

The annual event partnering RCMP with Special Olympians is dramatically altered by COVID-19

HERGOTT: Can you get money back if COVID-19 disrupts plans?

Paul Hergott is a personal injury lawyer based in West Kelowna

Most Read