“It’s okay to not be okay,” suggests Dr. Stephen Kiraly, retired psychiatrist and Bowen Islander (letter: Feb. 5, 2021).
Mental health difficulties are common and expected during these difficult times and are generating a “parallel pandemic” of mental health challenges (World Health Organization). COVID-19 is a collective stressor—we all react to the uncertainties and to safety restrictions and limitations. Most of us face unexpected impacts upon our relationships, family, work, recreation, finances, travel and other challenges. Everyday life has changed. Even the most simple things have become complex. And connecting with others, even on Bowen, is complicated.
Our usual stress management strategies and coping skills have been tested for a year now. Do you sometimes feel stretched to the limit? How is your COVID fatigue going?
Caring Circle’s new Mental Health Skills course is designed to help you take charge of your mental health while you build resilience. Strategies to strengthen your mental health can prevent serious mental health problems such as clinical illness while helping you with day-to-day life.
This course will be offered via Zoom—six two-hour classes over six weeks for islanders aged 25 and up. Our aim is to provide a friendly, supportive and safe class experience to help interested Bowen Islanders improve their mental health within the context of the impact of the pandemic and island life. We are all on this island and in this pandemic together.
The course focus is on improving confidence and skill-managing mental health. Real-life everyday examples are the basis for skill application. Weekly homework involves reading and practice. The course is practical and structured. Classes do not involve counselling or therapy. Safeguards to protect privacy and confidentiality will be in place.
The volunteer course instructor and designer is Maureen Mackey, RN, BSN, MEd(DE), whose professional background includes psychiatric nursing, adult education and online teaching. Individuals who are a good fit with this course are interested in taking a pro-active approach to current mental health struggles. People who are particularly fragile or mentally ill are better served through targeted help from their health care providers. Computer skills required include independent use of email and Zoom (which just takes opening a weblink and using your computer or smartphone audio and camera.)
This starts soon and is a small class. Date and time will be adjusted to best suit participants. Interested or curious? Call or email Colleen O’Neil from Caring Circle today to learn more: 604-947-9100 or email@example.com. Confidentiality and privacy will be assured.