You’re never too old to socialize and connect with others; however many seniors in communities struggle with isolation and loneliness.
In an effort to help older adults with depression and disability the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) in Kelowna is teaming up with Kelowna Community Resources and several other organizations in the central Okanagan to provide outreach.
Alison Kyte, Wellness Programs and Education Manager at CMHA Kelowna says the goal is to provide mental health education training to 100 staff members and volunteers at key agencies who will be able to match at least 60 older adults with a trained outreach volunteer.
The 18-month long project will be titled ‘Wise & Well: Building Mental Fitness for Older Adults’, and provide volunteers, including a team of UBC Okanagan Master of Social Work students, with the knowledge and training they need to effectively support seniors.
Volunteers will take courses such as Mental Health First Aid, Mental Fitness, and ASIST or safeTALK suicide intervention training.
The Community Action Initiative is providing funding for this project.
“We are proud to participate in the Wise & Well project,” says Dr. John Graham, Director of the School of Social Work at UBC Okanagan, “this will be a great opportunity for our students to receive professional development and experience while making a difference locally.”
Partners from Peachland, West Kelowna, Kelowna, and Lake Country will then match the volunteers to older adults.
If you are interested in becoming a volunteer, or if you know (or are) an older adult who would be interested in receiving support, please contact one of the following agencies in your community:
- Peachland Wellness Centre: 250-767-0131
- Westside Health Network: 250-768-3305
- Seniors Outreach Services (Kelowna): 250-861-6180
- Kelowna Community Resources, Immigrant Services: 250-763-8008
- Lake Country Health Planning: 778-215-5247