Canadian Mental Health Association

Vancouver, BC – April 8, 2024

Running in the BMO Vancouver Marathon is a great way to support your mental wellness. Other ways to care for your mental wellbeing include knowing the early signs of mental health struggle and where to reach out for support if you need it.

The Canadian Mental Health Association, Vancouver-Fraser Branch (CMHAVF) is dedicated to supporting mental health in the communities we live and work in. At CMHAVF, two simple words guide our work: “People first”. From Vancouver to the Fraser Valley, from children to seniors, we provide a variety of mental health programs and services to meet the diverse needs of our communities. We aim to transform mental health and wellness practices through programs and services rooted in innovation, inclusion, and collaboration in order to improve the lives of the people we serve. Our programs are designed with you in mind; our work is informed by those with lived experience, and we create an inclusive space for everyone and their unique self-identity.

Adults struggling with mental health and/or addiction challenges may need a variety of different supports.

  • BounceBack is an evidence-based program based on Cognitive Behavioural Therapy. The program helps individuals overcome early symptoms of depression and anxiety; it also helps to improve their mental health. Participants learn skills to help combat unhelpful thinking, manage worry and anxiety, and become more active and assertive.
  • ECHO Clubhouse supports individuals in their rehabilitation and recovery journey through holistic services that range from vocational (job, volunteering, education), leisure and recreation, health and wellness, to personal education.
  • Get Set & Connect is a peer based program which enhances mental health and well-being of people with lived experience with a mental health and/or addiction concern through leisure and or volunteer activities. The program focuses on community inclusion and building meaningful connections.
  • Peer Navigator Program provides support from someone with lived experience to help navigate social services (e.g., housing, healthcare, legal, income).

Children and Youth can also be impacted by mental health struggles. Knowing the early warning signs of a mental illness, timely intervention and ongoing support in the community is vital to prevent early problems from becoming life-long serious challenges.

  • Urban Resilience Opportunities for Kids (UROK) provides a nurturing and safe environment for children aged 8 to 18, giving them the chance to participate in monthly recreational outings with their peers and receive guidance from caring adults.
  • Here4Peers is a mental health awareness and skill building program which involves training older grade 10-12 “peers” from high schools to facilitate an interactive mental health workshop to grade 7 classrooms in catchment elementary schools.

Housing is essential to everyone’s safety and wellness – physically and mentally. In our current housing crisis, people facing mental health and addiction challenges are at a higher risk of facing housing insecurity. Our Housing programs offers individuals safe places to live and support in navigating their challenges and developing independent living skills. 

  • Community Living Support (CLS) helps individuals develop independent living skills and coping skills, and provides assistance with navigating formal support systems.
  • Transitional Housing supports residents to improve or acquire the skills needed for everyday living while regaining a sense of social inclusion through activities a community centres, clubhouses, and local libraries.
  • Youth Supported Independent Living provides youth with safe and affordable housing and support with accessing community resources, maintaining their housing, and developing budgeting and grocery shopping skills.

Employment can be a challenge when struggling with mental health.

  • Independent Placement and Support supports individuals with mental illness to obtain and maintain competitive employment. Employment placement rates for clients of high performing IPS programs are more than double those of other supported employment programs for people with serious mental illness.

Wellness encompasses the feeling of good health and the practice of healthy habits. Recreation, community, and leisure are a few ways our programs encourage wellness in lives of participants

  • Chinese Mental Health Promotion improves the lives of individuals in the Chinese community by increasing awareness of mental health issues, promoting wellness through educational/ recreational/leisure activities as well as reducing the stigma associated with mental illness.
  • OCD Wellness Groups provide support and community to people experiencing OCD and their loved ones.

We aim to help as many people as possible through our wide array of programs. However, we need your help in order to increase our capacity to reach and serve more people; By registering as a charity runner or donating to CMHAVF, you allow us to provide mental health support to those who need it.

We hope you choose to support CMHA Vancouver-Fraser. Click here to learn more and support us through the RUN4HOPE program. To learn more about the work we do, please visit our website.

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