Melissa Trowbridge, Port Alberni Regional Educator, BC Schizophrenia Society.

New programs fill gaps in care for families living with schizophrenia

BC Schizophrenia Society initiatives provide education, support and community awareness

Families living with schizophrenia and other serious mental illness in Port Alberni and west coast communities have a new set of resources to call upon.

In addition to Family Support Nights, a Partnership Education Program and direct support from a new regional educator, the BC Schizophrenia Society is launching Strengthening Families Together, a free 10 week course.

“There was a gap in services for our families,” says Melissa Trowbridge, Port Alberni Regional Educator. “We’re here for the families, the caregivers, and the community.”

As someone who has worked extensively in the local health community, Trowbridge is well-positioned to connect families with resources and answer any questions they may have. “Just call me, ask questions,” she says. “I can help.”

With funding from the Ministry of Health, BCSS is launching three programs designed to provide direct support to families of those with not only schizophrenia, but also other serious mental illnesses:

1. Strengthening Families Together – The free, 10-week certified course, which Trowbridge hopes to launch early in the New Year, tackles numerous issues facing families: understanding mental illnesses and how they are treated, and ways to cope with and support a loved one in finding a road to recovery. The program is designed for anyone living with a friend or family member who is struggling with mental illness, those looking for a safe environment to talk about their loved one’s illness and how it’s affecting them, and those wanting learn to provide caring support and advocate in their community. Sessions welcome guest speakers addressing a variety of topics and certificates will be presented upon completion.

2. Family Support Nights – “Our definition of ‘family’ is very broad for all our programs – family members, friends, significant others, and those who provide support in a non-professional relationship we consider ‘family,’” says Trowbridge, who would like to start this program as soon as possible. Those interested in connecting with others with a loved one with schizophrenia are invited to contact her.

3. Partnership Education Program – Based on a personal storytelling model, community partnership presentations feature a panel of three guest speakers: a person with a psychiatric diagnosis, a family member, and a mental health professional. Presented as a team, each person describes their personal experience with mental illness. “Being able to learn from people with real personal experience helps others in the community better understand chronic and severe mental illness,” Trowbridge says.

Do you have a family member struggling with mental illness? You’re not alone.

Contact Melissa Trowbridge at portalberni@bcss.org or 250-937-1403.

***

The British Columbia Schizophrenia Society is a province-wide, non-profit organization and family support system dedicated to supporting each other, educating the public, raising funds for research and advocating for better services for people with schizophrenia and other serious and persistent mental illness.

Comments are closed

Just Posted

Alberni teens wanted in double homicide, suspicious death spotted in Manitoba

Kam McLeod and Bryer Schmegelsky were thought to have been seen in the Gillam area

VIDEO: Missing Alberni teens now suspects in three northern B.C. killings

Kam McLeod and Bryer Schmegelsky are wanted in the deaths of Lucas Fowler, Chynna Deese, unknown man

Port Alberni looks to sell or lease out heritage train station

(By MIKE YOUDS and ELENA RARDON) City staff in Port Alberni will… Continue reading

Port Alberni’s Arrowview Hotel will be demolished

City council chooses lowest of three demolition bids

VIDEO: Man found dead near Alberni teens’ truck could be linked to a double homicide

RCMP said they are looking for Kam McLeod, 19, and Bryer Schmegelsky, 18

B.C. wine industry legend Harry McWatters dies

Among his accomplishments, McWatters founded the province’s first estate winery, Sumac Ridge Estate

Provincial health body refuses to release full findings of cancer triage system audit

Information and Privacy Commissioner asked to review redactions

Southern resident killer whale died of blunt trauma, likely from ship

J34 was found more than two years ago near Sechelt, but the necropsy findings have now been released

Tourism Nanaimo invites celebrities to sample ‘real’ Nanaimo bars

Tourism organization creates video, invites actors Seth Rogen and Dan Levy to visit

B.C. rail crossing death highlights risks for people in wheelchairs: watchdog

Transportation Safety Board points to ‘persistent risks faced by persons using assistive devices’

Vancouver Island man wanted after walking away from halfway house in Victoria

Warrant issued for Jesse Goodale, convicted of aggravated assault

Memorial bench painted by Vancouver woman to stay in park for now

Park board to look at options for artistic enhancements on commemorative benches

VIDEO: Young couple found dead in northern B.C. had been shot, police say

Chynna Noelle Deese of the U.S. and Lucas Robertson Fowler of Australia were found along Highway 97

Most Read