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

 

Sarah Jickling of the Reachout Psychosis Tour Band

Just Posted

Belleau-Wells nets first goal in first WSHL junior ‘A’ game

Jimi Belleau-Wells is lacing up his skates this season in the Western States Junior ‘A’ Hockey League

Rural Dividend Program $25 million reallocation and cancellation impacts 330 applications: MLA Barnett

Williams Lake Indian Band and Mountain Bike Consortium disappointed in program’s halt

Former NHL goaltender Clint Malarchuk to share inspiring story in lakecity Oct. 23

“Now imagine doing that job while suffering high anxiety, obsessive compulsive disorder.”

Advance polls ‘very busy’ over the weekend in Williams Lake, says Federal election official

Residents still have all day Tuesday to cast their ballot in advanced polls in Williams Lake

VIDEO: #MeToo leader launches new hashtag to mobilize U.S. voters

Tarana Burke hopes to prompt moderators to ask about sexual violence at next debate

Potent power play paces Canucks to 5-1 win over Detroit

Miller nets a pair as Vancouver wins third straight

UPDATE: British couple vacationing in Vancouver detained in U.S. after crossing border

CBP claims individuals were denied travel authorization, crossing was deliberate

After losing two baby boys, B.C. parents hope to cut through the taboo of infant death

Oct. 15 is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day in B.C.

Cheating husband sues mistress for gifted ring after wife learns about affair

The husband gave his mistress $1,000 to buy herself a ring in December 2017

B.C. massage therapist reprimanded, fined for exposing patients’ breasts

Registered massage therapist admits professional misconduct

B.C. boosts legal aid funding in new payment contract

‘Duty counsel’ service restored in some communities, David Eby says

Rugby Canada helps recovery efforts in Japan after typhoon cancels final match

Canadian players wanted to “give back in whatever small way they could”

Alberta to join B.C.’s class-action lawsuit against opioid manufacturers, distributors

B.C. government claims opioids were falsely marketed as less addictive than other pain meds

Most Read