(Advocate file photo).

(Advocate file photo).

Williams Lake service providers give gift of warmth to those in need

Community Mental Health Advisory Committee aims to provide some comfort to community

The Mental Health Advisory Committee is asking for donations of new warm items to provide gifts of kindness for workers to hand out to those in need in the community.

The committee is made up of multiple agencies and community members and makes recommendations for mental health programs to support services in the community. The group provides feedback to Interior Health.

In the past, pre-COVID, the group would provide some festive spirit for adults facing mental health challenges but not housed in a facility by hosting a small celebration and luncheon. With COVID, the luncheon is not able to proceed.

So instead, the group decided another way to give back in the community is a sock drive.

The group is asking for donations of new socks, scarves, toques, gloves, mitts or even cash which they will then package up with candy canes, hot chocolate, and other items in gift bags for support workers to hand out to those in need in the weeks before Christmas as they carry out their programs.

“We wanted to give it to all ages that we knew were visibly in need,” said Heather Silvester, the committee chair and the crisis and counselling program manager with the Canadian Mental Health Association Cariboo Chilcotin Branch (CMHA).

There are drop-off locations for donations at Kit & Kaboodle, Cool, Clear Water (both open six days a week) and in the lobby at Canadian Mental Health on the second floor of the Bank of Montreal Building.

Larger cash donations can receive receipts from the nonprofit.

“If it’s just a couple of dollars it still buys a pair of socks,” said Silvester.

The group does projects “quietly in the background” said Silvester.

She said they will also be doing a program called “Beyond the Blues” in February to support educators struggling with the pressures of teaching under current conditions.

“We all have mental health issues, just like we have physical,” said Silvester.

Workers will hand out the small gift packages on a personal basis.

For more information contact the CMHA reception at 250-398-8220.

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