Peer Support Services offers help with depression

The Canadian Mental Health Association's program offers peer volunteers to support someone experiencing mental health symptoms

It was a lovely sunny day in Vernon and Cindy decided to call her friend Grace to go out for coffee.

Cindy started out the conversation asking how Grace was doing. She responded in a sad dejected voice that she was a failure. Cindy was concerned about her response and asked her why she felt that way. Grace said, “I have let everyone down.”

Noticing that Grace was talking very slowly, Cindy immediately began to think about her mental health training and thought that something was up with her friend. She asked Grace to come out for coffee but Grace said that she wasn’t interested. Cindy wanted to see Grace to get a better picture of how she was doing so she asked Grace if she could come over. She said that would be fine and they set a time.

Before they got together, Cindy did some reading on depression to be prepared for their meeting. On the day, Grace answered the door and Cindy immediately noticed Grace’s unkempt appearance.  Cindy asked specific questions to see if Grace was feeling depressed — she said, “nothing good ever happens to me” and “life is not worth living.”

Cindy immediately asked Grace if they could go and visit Peer Support Services at the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) to discuss what depression is. Grace said she was feeling so bad that she would try it.

Cindy was active in getting Grace the help she needed and she was led to Mental Health at Interior Health Authority for treatment. With the appropriate treatment, Grace was able to see life in a healthy way.

At Peer Support Services through the CMHA, the public can come and talk about mental health concerns. There are trained volunteer peers available to support someone experiencing mental health symptoms. CMHA is at 3100-28th Ave. and Peer Support Services can be reached at 250-542-6155.