What if there was a simple mental-health guide similar to the Canada Food Guide?
That question came up at a Chilliwack Healthier Community (CHC) brainstorming session a few years ago, and sparked immediate interest among the partners of the health and social services network.
Fast forward to next week and the Elements of Mental Wellness guide is ready to go.
“We’ve been working on this guide for four years,” said Sabine Mendez, co-ordinator of the CHC network. “Mental wellness is always important, but as we head into winter, and into the middle of the second wave of COVID-19, people’s mental health is being tested more than ever.”
The goal became getting such a guide into every household in Chilliwack, much in the same way the federal government made sure the Canada Food Guide was sent to every household in Canada.
The Elements of Mental Wellness is a colourful, six-page guide explaining in detail the nine “elements of mental wellness” with guidance on how it works, examples of wellness activities, and resources to get help on the back page.
“The guide is very action-oriented,” Mendez said. “These are things people can do that are positive and encouraging.”
So it’s not just reading material, and info on the guide, there are examples of helpful activities to do daily, as well as advice for people at different ages and stages of life.
With input from experts, the community, and health professionals, the guide was thoroughly researched, and coordinated by a guide development committee of the CHC mental health task team. The guide was inspired by nurse practitioner Lisa Helgeson, and overseen by mental health advocate Barb Wright.
Content contributions and all graphic design by consultant Emily Sayward, with images by Hiware Creative Group.
The project was supported financially by the Chilliwack Ministerial team who began fundraising in the faith community last summer. They raised almost enough funds to print a copy of the guide for every household in Chilliwack, with the balance contributed by the Chilliwack Community Response Network.
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