Create meaningful connections as pandemic continues: CMHA Kelowna

‘We have to recognize we’re in a crisis and we need to give ourselves the grace and the time in order to manage it’

Now more than ever, we have to try and create meaningful connections where we can be honest about our mental well-being.

That’s according to the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) Kelowna branch, which claims finding and making those connections may be difficult during this time of isolation.

There are, however, online resources to help people along.

“We pivoted very quickly to provide a number of resources online. We’re providing some courses through our Discovery College program which is 100 per cent free and is open to anyone and everyone,” said CMHA Kelowna’s communications manager Jessica Samuels.

“We have a series called ‘Coping with Current Events’. We’ve had some sessions on managing stress for caregivers, individuals, as well as sessions on identifying unhealthy coping strategies.”

Samuels added CMHA Kelowna wellness coaches have also been busy connecting with residents through phone calls and making sure people have the help they need to cope with the stress and anxiety of the pandemic.

She said people can support their mental well-being by not doing anything in excess, including eating, consuming too much alcohol, or sleeping too much.

“Those have always been the foundation for good mental health, and those are really going to support you now. Some things that people may find helpful is making sure how much the pandemic is in our every day lives, in our social media feeds and our conversations. Monitor that,” she said.

“Of course, we want to be informed but we can be overwhelmed with that… be purposeful in re-focusing yourself on some positivity.”

Samuels added people need to stop feeling like they should be doing things during this time.

“Let’s stop the ‘should’. ‘I should be baking bread. I should be organizing the cupboards. I should get up and have a fitness routine every day’. We have to recognize we’re in a crisis and we need to give ourselves the grace and the time in order to manage it,” she said.

CMHA Kelowna is also launching a campaign called #CreatingConnection, with the goal of fostering a community of support where people can talk about their mental health.

“Social connection is an important factor for our mental health and so we encourage people to find ways to connect with others despite being physically apart,” Samuels said.

“That’s why we’re hoping the community joins us in the #CreatingConnections campaign. We can work together to find creative ways to stay connected and collectively, it will benefit the community and our mental health.”

For more information on mental health resources, visit CMHA’s site.

Samuels said if you are in mental health crisis, contact a medical professional, call a crisis line, or go to the emergency room.

READ MORE: Okanagan motorcyclists spread positivity, one retirement home at a time

READ MORE: Provinces must give emotional support to returning students: education advocates


Twila Amato
Video journalist, Black Press Okanagan
Email me at twila.amato@blackpress.ca
Follow me on Twitter

Coronavirusmental health

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

Just Posted

EDITORIAL: Revisiting alcohol consumption

A proposal to allow alcohol consumption in some public spaces in Penticton deserves consideration

Chute Lake Lodge opens June 1, offering glamping, yurt, and ebike rentals

Escape into the wilderness and #lovelocalpenticton when Chute Lake Lodge reopens for the season

Okanagan Skaha School District to reopen playgrounds

Facilities will reopen to the public on June 1

Gas prices rising across the Okanagan, Shuswap

Prices at some gas stations in the Okanagan sit around 115 cents a litre

Be prepared for high water, says RDOS

Higher than average water detected around the Ashnola Rover and Similkameen River

Only four new COVID-19 cases, 228 active across B.C.

Health officials watching as activities ramp up

Parts of the TCT through Princeton will open to motorized vehicles Monday

Parts of the KVR trail through Princeton will open for motorized vehicles… Continue reading

Feds looking at ways to reunite families amid COVID-19 border restrictions with U.S.

Some families with members of dual-citizenship have become separated due to the pandemic

Condition in kids with possible COVID-19 link being studied in Canada

This month, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued an alert to doctors about MIS-C

North Okanagan farmers’ markets excited to welcome artisans back amid COVID-19

Provincial health officer announced non-food items to return to markets this weekend

‘I knew what he wanted’: Kootenay man spends hours in tree as black bear patrols below

Francis Levasseur is no stranger to the outdoors, but a recent run-in with a bear caused quite a scare

COVID cancelled their wedding plans, so they married on a BC mountaintop

Ceremony was live streamed to friends and family around the world

Mother duck and babies rescued from Highway 97 in Lake Country

The mother and nine ducklings were taken to Duck Lake

Chef brings farm-to-table approach to new Shuswap restaurant

Darren Bezanson opening Bistro 1460 at Hilltop Inn

Most Read