May 2-8 is Mental Health Week across Canada and the staff and members of Mission’s Centennial Place are planning a full week of activities.
Centennial Place is a mental health support program located on 11th Ave.
The program has been running for the past five years and in that time has helped approximately 400 people dealing with some kind of mental issue.
“We are a Fraser Health funded program, one of 11 clubhouses in the Fraser Valley,” explained Robert Jeffery, program manager and young adults coordinator at Centennial Place.
The group works in conjunction with the mental health office, located by the hospital. Clients are referred to Centennial Place to take part in several different programs and activities.
According to Jeffery, the clubhouse focuses on psychosocial rehabilitation. People who are in recovery do it in the context of community.
“Some people want to be more social. Some want to get jobs. Some go back to school. All of them have individual goals,” he explained. “We are a community of more than 90 people who call Centennial Place home.”
Currently, there are approximately 80-90 people who attend the drop-in programs. They average about 23 people each day.
Programs offered at Centennial place include socialization, getting people out and chatting to other people, and employment support to name a few.
“We have a dedicated staff person who helps people with job skills, resumes, cover letters and doing work-related skills programs.”
Jeffery said everyone who comes to the clubhouse are known as members and they contribute to the success of programs.
With a small staff of only three to four people each day, it is impossible to run all the programs without members help.
“We have members running groups on computer skills, members running coffee bar training skills, members running nutrition-based groups, there’s a huge variety.”
While there are plenty of program at the drop-in centre, Jeffery said there is more to it than that.
“We are here to be a community for people who, at this time, don’t have a community. For people who may be isolated. For people who are on the fringes of society in some way or another.”
The goal, he said, is for each person who comes in, to have a recovery plan. A goal to work on. And each person must choose their own goal.
“Recovery is individualized.”
There is no timetable for recovery, it depends on the individual. A younger person may find that after a year of two that they have received the support they need to move forward. Others may need more time.
“When people do attend here, they realize that Centennial Place is an incredible place for growth, to a point. Eventually we all have to spread our wings and fly and experience real life and experience the challenges that are there,” said Jeffery.
“Every year, this is a huge deal for us. It’s the biggest public event we do.”
During the rest of the year, programs are held, behind closed doors.
“This is the one time we welcome members of the public to come and see what we’re doing.”
For more information, or for a list of Mental Health Week events in Mission, visit centennialplacemission.ca or call 604-820-6355.