On January 30, Bell is promoting "Let’s Talk Day". This is a day when every Canadian is encouraged to join in and continue the conversation around mental illness. While I am very grateful for Bell’s “let’s talk” initiative and how it is creating more awareness for mental health, I also know that the conversation on mental health must happen more than just one day a year. And so I am extremely thankful for the Living Well peer-support group that Jericho Ridge offers. Living Well is a drop-in peer-support group that meets on the 2nd & 4th Tuesday of each month. Jericho Ridge does this together with North Langley Community Church and we meet in their facility in Walnut Grove.
With permission, here are some first hand stories from people in Living Well:
The first story is from Gwen a member of our Living Room group, which is for those living with mental illness. She says, I started attending Living Well in fall. I have struggled with depression and anxiety off and on for 20 years. This group has been such an encouragement to me. Hearing other people’s stories and learning from qualified speakers has been a help to me through a difficult fall. Some Tuesday’s it is hard to go but I am always glad I did.
The next story is from Mike, who also attends our Living Room group. He says, I have struggled with mental health most of my life. I have had a relationship with God, and attended church for half of my life. It is so great to have a mental health program at this church. It is a blessing to see this church understand the importance of mental health, and to try to do something to help.
Lastly, Sylvia from our Family Room group, a group for those caring for someone living with mental illness says, I came to Living Well to support my husband, who struggles with depression and anxiety. We’ve gained huge insights from the professionals that come in on a regular basis to share tools and tips on various mental health concerns. Often we both feel too tired to come, but still make an effort to be there, and always walk away feeling totally uplifted. The opportunity to share life with others who also have mental health concerns allows us to enter into mutual healing relationships.
If you, or someone you know is living with or caring for someone with mental illness, we invite you to come and try out Living Well. It’s a drop-in program so no sign-up is required. Our next meeting is on Tuesday, Feb 12th and we have 2 professionals coming to share on the topic, “Coping with Negative thoughts.”