Kelowna anxiety peer support group started

Weekly meetings at downtown Kelowna library

A newly created peer support group wants to help people who suffer from anxiety.

Van Hill is a Kelowna resident who suffered from anxiety issues that led him into addiction problems.

His goal behind starting this anxiety support group is to provide peer acknowledgement for those hindered by anxiety, to reinforce how they are not alone and to discuss strategies and techniques outside of direct medical advice to address it.

“It can be a very debilitating thing to endure so I think it’s important to have an opportunity to be around other people who share those same feelings, who can relate to what you might be feeling, and offer their experience insights on how to move forward with your life,” Hill said.

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Hill said anxiety can bring a general sadness or frustration into a person’s life that can open the door to other problems such as drug addiction and alcohol abuse, and in the worst case scenario suicide.

“People start to feel like they are on the outside looking in on their own lives and feel powerless to do anything about it…anxiety is a time bomb epidemic and I just think there is not enough recognition or help to deal with it,” Hill said.

“Peer support is one way to try and get ahead of the train before it derails.”

Hill, who works in business development for a local drone company, helped establish the SMART program to Kelowna four years ago, a initiative that encourages people to seek abstinence from addictive behaviours to gain independence by building and maintaining motivation, coping with urges and living a balanced life.

Jones said combatting feelings of anxiety is untangling the knots between you heart and your brain.

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“There is no voodoo or magical solution to this, it’s about gaining a greater sense of self awareness and getting in touch with a deeper part of yourself, learning how to accept certain things and let go of others.”

The anxiety support group meets weekly on Wednesday, 6:30 to 7:30 p.m., at the downtown Kelowna library, 1380 Ellis St.

For more information call 250-859-4300 or email awarekelowna@gmail.com.



barry.gerding@blackpress.ca

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