People were a little resistant at the Saturday community market when volunteers at one of the booths offered them a choice of a stress ball, a bubble blowing kit or a sucker.
“They are reluctant, they are reluctant to take care of themselves. They are reluctant to be a kid again for a minute,” said Zola Goebel, director of the Sprott Shaw College’s Penticton campus.
Sprott Shaw teamed up with the Mental Wellness Centre for the day to spread the word about dealing with stress. Goebel said their students, no matter what field of health care, are likely to end up dealing with people who are in stressful situations.
“Stress is part of everyone’s life, whether it is good stress or bad stress. So we are just talking and giving people tips on how to manage that,” said Goebel. “If we can get even a smile on their faces as they go by, we have given them something today.”
The Sprott Shaw team was also offering a little bit of stress relief in the form of mini-hand massages. Goebel said most people don’t pay enough attention to little things like that.
“We take them for granted. We use our hands for every moment of every day. How often do we pamper them?” she said.
Sharon Evans, director of the Mental Wellness Centre, said one of the supports they offer is a relaxation program.
“People need to learn to manage those distressing emotions. That applies whether you are a person that has a diagnosis, or just everyone in general. We all experience unsettling, unhappy difficult times,” said Evans. “We do better if we have a toolbox of ways to manage. It might work for you to blow bubbles, it might work for me to squeeze a stress ball.”
Evans said it seemed to be a good fit to join forces with Sprott Shaw at the market and talk to people about where they can come in the community for support and education.
“Stress is part of being alive. But it is how you learn to handle it that is important,” said Evans.
More information about the Mental Wellness Centre and their programs is available through Facebook at Mental-Wellness-Centre or by calling (250) 493-7338.