A free program for people who have someone close to them with a mental health issue is being offered in Truro.
Families Matter in Mental Health is an 11-week program, run by the Nova Scotia Health Authority, that provides support and education.
“It’s for family members or friends, or anyone supporting someone with mental health issues in some way,” said Spencer Keddy, a social worker at the Colchester East Hants Health Centre. “Maybe they want to learn strategies to help them cope, or get more information. We address things like communication skills, resources, crisis management, problem solving and self-care.”
Keddy, along with a member of the outpatient mental health team and a trained facilitator who has provided support for a family member with mental health problems, will lead the program.
“It makes a difference if we have someone who lived the experience,” he said. “Connecting with others who can relate is a big benefit. Even if they’re not in the same situation, a lot of the emotions that come with their experience are the same.
“Supporting someone is a very isolating experience for some people. With other illnesses, there’s sometimes more understanding; with mental health there’s still that stigma component.”
The program is offered twice a year, and the upcoming session will take place on Tuesdays from 6:30-8:30 p.m., beginning March 27 and ending June 5. It will be held in the Robie Street Sobeys Community Room.
To register, or for more information, contact Spencer Keddy at email@example.com or 902-893-5554, extension 42314.