Peer Support Services offers trained volunteer peers

There is help for people suffering from anxiety, through the Canadian Mental Health Association

Editor’s note: Following is the first of four articles from Peer Support Services at the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) on mental health issues, as a way to open the door towards better understanding. The first details Sandy’s experience with anxiety. Names have been changed.

Sandy walked through the Village Green Centre, browsing the stores. Suddenly, she feels intense fear which is inappropriate for the circumstances.

Dropping her parcels, she reaches for her heart as she feels intense palpitations, pounding of the heart and it appears to be accelerating. Don, who was walking by her, notices how she is acting. He stops and asks her if she is all right.  He sees that Sandy is trembling and she slowly starts to tell him how she is feeling.

“I am very frightened that I may be having a heart attack,” says Sandy.  Don, who has been trained in mental health first aid, knows that it is virtually impossible to tell the difference between a heart attack and a panic attack.  Don says to Sandy, “I will call 911 to get someone here to help you.”

Sandy is now noticing that she is feeling dizzy, unsteady and faint. Don takes her over to a chair and makes the call on his cell phone.  While they are waiting, Sandy’s breath is quick and Don notes this as he says to her “try to breathe at the same time as my arms go up and down.  I would like to help you slow down your breathing.” She complies, and by the time the emergency services arrives she is breathing normally.

The team takes her into the hospital and they run heart tests on her. The doctor on duty comes to the conclusion that it was a panic attack.

Sandy is worried about being diagnosed with a mental disorder. She is afraid of the stigma attached to it. The doctor reassures her that if this happens occasionally, there is effective medication to control this disorder.

Anxiety disorders are the number-one mental health problem in Canada. At Peer Support Services, through the CMHA, the public can come and talk about mental health concerns. They have trained volunteer peers available to support someone going through mental health symptoms.

CMHA is at 3100 -28th Ave., and the Peer Support Services number is 250-542-6155.  Peer Support Services is open 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Monday through Friday.  The Mental Health First Aid course created by the Mental Health Commission of Canada is also available through CMHA.

 

Just Posted

Report says Canadian communities responding to climate change

New research highlights state of local adaptation planning in Canada

Crash near Vernon elementary school investigated

RCMP officer watches driver hit concrete barrier and then fence at school

Chance of showers and thunderstorm for Okanagan-Shuswap-Similkameen

Mostly cloudy day for the Okanagan-Shuswap and Similkameen regions

Vernon and Sicamous cannabis stores get provincial nod

Spiritleaf in Vernon will be the Okanagan’s first cannabis store.

UBC Okanagan study seeking North Okanagan participants

The research will be examining food purchasing preferences and behaviour, completion results in $400 cash prize

Air Canada reviewing how crew left sleeping passenger on parked plane

In a Facebook post, the woman said she woke up ‘all alone’ on a ‘cold dark’ aircraft

Victoria woman in L.A. hospital after she was run over twice

Lynn Phillips has suffered from multiple broken bones and internal bleeding

‘Text neck’ causing bone spurs to grow from millennials’ skulls, researchers say

Technology use from early childhood causing abnormal bone growths in 41 per cent of young adults

B.C. judge defies lawyers and adds six months to man’s sex assault sentence

‘I find the joint submission is contrary to the public interest and I’m rejecting it’

Tiny Yorkshire terrier survives days on remote B.C. island

ROAM rescue crews, family searched for dog, missing in Greater Victoria for days

Pelmewash Parkway opening is the latest milestone in First Nations-government relations

Lake Country officially opens the Pelmewash Parkway with a ceremonial ribbon cutting

Trans event at Pride gives marginalized youth a community, says director

The Trans Youth March and Social participants rallied on Thursday, June 20.

Crews fight wildfire along Sea-to-Sky Highway

A cause has not been determined, although a downed power line is suspected

Two mudslides close Seymour Arm road in North Shuswap, no one injured

Slides hit Seymour Arm Main Forest Service Road halfway between St. Ives and Seymour Arm

Most Read