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Tough Times Toolkit available again

Maureen Mackey's mental health courses are returning to Bowen this fall
Maureen Mackey is offering the 'Tough Times Toolkit' course this fall and winter.

“My hope is that people gain confidence in counting on themselves,” explains course creator Maureen Mackey.

Do you sometimes get stuck in your brain as you deal with pressure? How is your stress level these days? We are all dealing with multiple uncertainties: inflation and paying bills, managing our Covid risk, ambiguous world events, difficult everyday decisions and more. Our individual worlds have shifted and it’s often tough managing our everyday lives and planning for our best futures.

But there are concrete mental health tools we can strengthen to help manage our daily lives.   

To that end, volunteer Maureen Mackey, who has a professional background in psychiatric nursing, along with teaching and building online courses for Douglas College, is offering a free “Tough Times Toolkit” course through the Caring Circle. This course is not therapy or counselling, or for people in crisis or with acute needs. Rather, it is for everyday Bowen Islanders who want to take a proactive approach to managing their mental health in these tough times.   

This course starts at the end of this month via Zoom. Choose either Thursdays 6:30 to 8:30 pm or Fridays 11 am to 1 pm, starting on October 27/28 and ending December 8/9, with the week of Remembrance Day off (November 10/11).  

The topics covered are: growth mindset, stress and the brain, emotional intelligence and regulation, thinking about your thinking, and culminating with your personal resilience building plan. Use of email and Zoom are required (all you need for Zoom is opening a web link and using your computer’s camera and sound).

A previous participant said, “I truly like the virtual platform. The way you facilitate the course allows personal connections to be made, and your management of course materials online is very good. At the same time we are each in our own personal space, which I think adds to the comfort level of sharing.”

A safe environment is guaranteed and confidentiality is a priority. Each class is limited to five to eight participants aged 25 and up. The goal is to count on yourself--building upon your individual strengths while applying tools to experience successes and learning on an everyday basis.  

The Tough Times Toolkit has already been completed by 22 Bowen Islanders and this will be the fourth offering. Feedback on the anonymous course evaluations is overwhelmingly positive - 100 per cent of participants recommend it! One participant said that through the course they realized, “Mental health is just like physical health. You need to put some thought and time into it. This doesn’t mean you are nuts, or weak - it’s an important part of living life in a smart, successful way.”

Another comment: “Excellent instructor who struck the correct balance between humour and seriousness, individual feedback and moving the class forward, a personal touch with remaining the instructor. Maureen’s careful listening followed by caring feedback was eye opening for all of us.”  

In addition to her professional background, Maureen has personal experience: “I have had my own struggles with mental health and many of my friends on Bowen know about that. The tools in this course are evidence-based and work for me. I believe that this course provides an opportunity to focus deliberately on improving  the quality of our everyday lives.”  

Curious or interested? Contact Colleen O’Neil, Program Director of Caring Circle, at 604 947-9100 or for more information.