Sarah Jickling of the Reachout Psychosis Tour Band sharing her story about her battle and relationship with schizophrenia and her family’s long relationship with mental illness.

Beyond the Blues raises mental health awareness

At TRU last Thursday Beyond the Blues was held, raising awareness about mental health and wellness.

At Thompson Rivers University last Thursday Beyond the Blues was held, raising awareness about mental health and wellness.

Monique Goward, a project coordinator with the B.C Schizophrenia Society and, Heather Silvester, a program manager for Crisis and Counselling of the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA), helped organize Beyond the Blues with other partners from the Mental Health Advisory Committee Both their respective organizations are very supportive of the event for its opportunity to have open discussions about mental health and services available for those who are struggling.

Read More:CMHA Cariboo Chilcotin Branch weathering wildfire impacts

“Beyond the Blues is a CMHA initiative that happens annually, it reaches out to High School Students, talking (to them) about anxiety, depression and risky behaviour,” Goward said.

At Beyond the Blues Silvester said they also offered free mental health and wellness screening for youths and adults. Resource tables from many of the mental health agencies in town were also set up around the TRU gymnasium, providing a one-stop shop for attendees seeking information on services.

“So that was really valuable for the public to be able to pick up information, make connections and just be able to win prizes, we had draws on every table so that was great,” Silvester said. “Lots of good conversations.”

Throughout the day Goward estimates that well over 100 people passed through the event, from TRU students to younger and older members of the community, with a high number of First Nations members in attendance. Goward said that she thinks they reached a lot of different demographics and hopes to reach even more people next year.

“The response was really positive for the people I spoke with. They felt it had great value for our community, as lots of it was taking materials home to share with family members, so I think there was great value (overall),” Silvester said.

Goward agreed with Silvester and added that the feedback she received was praise for bringing the conversation of mental health to the forefront while engaging with the wider public.

Both of them also hope for more involvement from SD 27 for next year’s event throughout the district actively encouraging and facilitating students from all over to attend this important event. Silvester said that Beyond the Blues help students recognize the signs and symptoms of mental illness earlier in their friends, family and loved ones and is a unique opportunity to educate young people.

Read More: TRU hosts annual Beef and Beer Fundraiser alongside new Bull Pen Event

“This year we had ReachOut Psychosis Tour Band, it’s part of the BC Schizophrenia Society, they came up from the Lower Mainland and gave a performance of music and self-disclosure, trying to break down this stigma of mental illness and talk about it,” Goward described.

A big act to bring to Williams Lake, Goward feels that, through their music and sharing of personal stories, they are very in line with the themes and topics they seek to address at beyond the blues. Mental anxiety, illness, and self-medication were all topics the band’s lead singer, Sarah Jickling, covered with a heavy focus on youth, which Goward said was exceptional.

“I think it was a great success this year and I think it planted seeds for the future. This is just going to ripple out (into the community),” Goward said.

For Silvester, the more they advertise and promote this event, the more they break down the stigma that too often surrounds mental health. When that happens she hopes more people will seek out their services and find their way to a healthier, happier, life.



patrick.davies@wltribune.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Sarah Jickling of the Reachout Psychosis Tour Band

Just Posted

COVID-19 case confirmed at Subway restaurant in Cache Creek

Customers who visited the site from March 25 to 27 are asked to self-isolate

CRD reminds residents to prepare for spring freshet

As temperatures warm up residents are asked to proactively address flooding issues

Geotechnical assessment slated for Soda Creek MacAlister Road slide area

The road is closed indefinitely, no residents completely cut off

Tsilhqot’in National Government declares state of emergency in all 6 communities

The move comes to protect elders and community against threat of COVID-19

B.C. records five new COVID-19 deaths, ‘zero chance’ life will return to normal in April

Province continue to have a recovery rate of about 50 per cent

John Horgan extends B.C.’s state of emergency for COVID-19

Premier urges everyone to follow Dr. Bonnie Henry’s advice

B.C.’s first community COVID-19 death was dentist ‘dedicated’ to health: lawyer

Vincent was 64 when he died on March 22 after attending the Pacific Dental Conference

Two inmates at prison housing Robert Pickton test positive for COVID-19

Correctional Service of Canada did not release any details on the identities of the inmates

BC SPCA launches matching campaign to help vulnerable animals after big donations

Two BC SPCA donors have offered up to $65,000 in matching donations

Quarantined B.C. mom say pandemic has put special-needs families in ‘crisis mode’

Surrey’s Christine Williams shares family’s challenges, strengths

Anti-tax group calls for MPs, senators to donate scheduled pay raises to charity

Bill C-30, adopted 15 years ago, mandates the salary and allowance increases each calendar year

Two arrested after man lies about COVID-19 illness to stay in Victoria Airbnb for free

Victoria Police found stolen goods inside the occupied unit

Liberals delay release of 75% wage subsidy details, costs: Morneau

Program will provide up to $847 per week for each worker

Most Read