Event: Making the Valley More Mentally Healthy, Feb 24, 6pm, Library

Mental Health Feb 24When 75 community members from Mount Currie, Pemberton, Whistler and Squamish met to workshop mental health priorities, the most pressing issue was a three-way tie: training RCMP and emergency room staff who work after hours on how to best handle urgent response cases, creating a designated observation unit somewhere in the Sea to Sky region and addressing the issue of transportation.

These are the new Sea to Sky Mental Health Partnership’s top 3 priorities, to improve mental health in the corridor over the next five years.

“In order to work and sustain one’s self — which contributes to mental wellness — one needs to be able to get to and from work in a way that’s affordable and reasonable,” project facilitator Christine Buttkus told Alyssa Noel of the Question.
“We know these are complex issues. Having a longer term plan allows us to look at what resources we need in the community. None of the actions proposed as big priorities are quick-fix items. There are major systems involved. There are budgets involved. These are things that require thoughtfulness, collaboration and lots of dialogue in order to figure out what the best solutions are to bring about improvements over time.”The group’s 2015 goals focus on raising awareness and reducing stigma.

“There’s been a big change over the last five years that I’ve been involved,” said Buttkus. “People are speaking openly and being supportive of one another.”
A speaker series in partnership with the Pemberton Public Library on various mental health topics launches on Tuesday, February 24, at 6pm.