A new group aims to help people struggling to deal with change in their lives, whether it be the death of a loved one, serious illness or health concerns, a switch in career, or any other event they might be having trouble coping with.
The “Starting Over” group had its first meeting in February, at the Ashcroft Health Site. The group meets on the first Thursday of each month, from 1:30 to 3:00pm in the conference room in the basement of the site.
Therese Harrison, Mental Health and Substance Use Clinician at the site, says that she was approached by some people who had had major changes in their lives, and wondered if other people in the community were in the same situation. Harrison spoke to different community professionals to asses the need for the program, and then spoke with various levels at Interior Health.
“It’s designed for anyone having trouble coping with change in their lives,” she says. “And having this in a group setting is a good way for people to make social connections. We respect people’s privacy, however. It’s a very confidential setting.”
The first meeting dealt with the topic of grief, and March’s meeting will look at stress: what it can do, and ways of managing it. Harrison plans to introduce a different theme each month. That said, she notes that the dynamic of the group dictates the discussion. “It’s very informal,” she adds.
“People in our community are getting older, but the group doesn’t just look at loss, which is why we gave it the name we did. We talk about any kind of change that affects people.”
Anyone with questions, or who wants to find out if the group is right for them, should call Harrison at (250) 453-1937 and leave a message. They are also free to drop in to one of the free sessions. The next one is on April 7 at 1:30pm.