Victoria is based on being an impressive and wonderful community. Part of that community is the contribution of local mental health based non-profit organizations that work harmoniously for the greater good. Here at the Bipolar Disorder Society of BC (BDSBC), we run the Bipolar Babe programs and reach out to a significant number of youth on the island, mainly in Victoria. We present to youth in schools and host two peer support groups for ages 15-25 and women 25+ who have a mental health condition. We work tirelessly to make this world an understanding, empathetic and accepting place for those that have a mental illness. Check out our promotional video: http://www.bipolarbabe.com/movies/bipolar-babe-promo-video
For years I have been the Bipolar Babe and I have worked with some pretty amazing organizations. Have you ever heard of the Umbrella Society? This non-profit is headed by Gordon Harper, a dear friend who leads a team in helping people navigate through the process of becoming substance-use free. Gordon works long hours every day to ensure that the most amount of people receive the help that they need. He befriends individuals and acts as a mentor to numerous young people and he does this selflessly. I am proud that Gordon is on the BDSBC board and he wears both hats making a huge impact in our Victoria community. Find Umbrella here: http://www.umbrellasociety.ca/web Twitter: @UmbrellaSociety
Then there is the BC Schizoprenia Society (BCSS) who is led by the amazing Executive Director, Hazel Meredith. From the small amount of time that I have spent with Hazel, the more I respect her and the work that her team performs. They have an office on Kings Road and host an array of services on site and advertise on their bulletin board. Check it out! The group is mostly known for their Wellness Recovery Action Plan (WRAP) and providing peer support and training mentors. If you are looking to volunteer, BCSS often has plenty of opportunities and always share a welcoming smile. Their most noteworthy support group is for friends and family with a mental illness. Visit their webpage here: http://bcssvictoria.ca
Bruce Saunders from Movie Monday is a pioneer in film as it relates to mental wellness. Bruce hosts mental health based movies by donation at the Eric Martin Theatre by Victoria’s Royal Jubilee Hospital. Bruce lives very well with bipolar disorder and has been a huge support to BDSBC. You may find Bruce’s Movie Monday Facebook page at the following link: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Movie-Monday/187391494630186?fref=ts Bruce is also a peer support group facilitator for the Mood Disorders Association of BC (MDABC) and he and Ken host a support group each twice a month. You may find out more about the impactful MDABC here: http://www.mdabc.net
Non-profits knit the wellness of community together and in a brave alliance we forge ahead for the greater good. Thank you for supporting your local non-profit organizations and remember we are here for you!