PEI

Family mental health support program to launch in Alberton

For the first time, the Canadian Mental Health Association in Prince Edward Island is taking its eight-week family support program to West Prince.

Designed to 'support and educate and equip' loved ones to help with mental illness

The 8-week program for those who have a family member with mental illness was successful in Charlottetown and Summerside, organizers say, and is now being offered in Alberton. (Lipik Stock Media/Shutterstock)

For the first time, the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) on Prince Edward Island is taking its eight-week family support program to West Prince.

The support program, called Finding Hope and Building Strength, starts Sept. 26 in Alberton, P.E.I., and will run from 7 to 9 p.m. for eight Wednesday nights.

Paige Boutilier, a housing support worker with the CMHA, says the program is designed to "support and educate and equip individuals who have a loved one with a mental illness."

CMHA previously offered this program in Charlottetown and Summerside.

It begins with an overview of various mental disorders and diagnoses and how to understand each, Boutilier said.

"Then we go into how to support your loved one who has one of these diagnoses or is living with mental illness."

A pharmacist will spend time talking about common medications used for mental illness and answer questions.

'Very supportive environment'

People often want to help their loved ones with their mental health but they don't know how, Boutilier said. The program will help with that.

People who attended the program in Summerside said it was good to know they weren't alone, Boutilier said.

"They could go to a safe place and learn about how best to cope with things," she said. "It's a very supportive environment for everybody to be able to talk and learn about different tools they can use to help support people."

'I can cope with it'

The program also stresses that you have to take care of yourself to be able to help someone else, and addresses burnout issues, Boutilier said.

"The mantra for the program is, 'I didn't cause it, I can't change it, I can't control it but I can cope with it.'"

There's no limit on the number of people who can attend the program and it is free. To register, contact Boutilier at (902) 960-0508 or by email at p.boutilier@cmha.pe.ca

More P.E.I. news

With files from Laura Chapin

Comments

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.

Become a CBC Member

Join the conversation  Create account

Already have an account?

now