How We Can Help

The Bounce Back: Reclaim Your Health Project

Bounce Back offers mental health support to patients coping with chronic health conditions. Through psycho education and guided self-help, Bounce Back can help primary health care practitioners to help patients improve their quality of life. Approximately 1 in 3 British Columbians suffer from chronic health conditions such as diabetes, arthritis and congestive heart failure, which are often linked to mental health problems like depression and anxiety. Our Mid Island Bounce Back Coach works out of the Duncan office and services people from Nanaimo north to Campbell River. Canadian Mental Health Mid Island participates in a number of education and community development initiatives. We have representatives who sit on the Nanaimo Mental Health and Advisory Board and on the Central Vancouver Island Regional Mental Health Advisory Committee.

Education and Community Development

The National Depression Screening Day is an annual event held every October where people who feel they, or someone they know, might be depressed, can fill out a questionnare, gain information and , if necessary, a referral to a Physician or other resources. Community development and information projects such as having informational tables in shopping malls, delivering talks for businesses etc. are ongoing when there is a need or request. Staff from CMHA also promote mental health throughout the community in a variety of venues such as media, business speeches, etc.

Homelessness Outreach

Acknowledging that being homeless has a significant impact on a person's mental health and that many people living on the streets or people at risk of homelessness have mental health and/or addictions issues, CMHA, with funding from BC Housing, has four homeless outreach workers meeting and assisting people of the streets of Nanaimo. In partnership with the Vancouver Island Health Authority Downtown Outreach Team, and Ministry of Housing and Social Development outreach workers, these workers assist people with accessing income, health services, find and maintain housing, and work towards a life that does not include homelessness and its causes.

Mental Health First Aid

The Mental Health First Aid program teaches participants how to help someone showing signs of mental health problems or experiencing a mental health crisis. The course aims to teach people to:

  • Identify when a person may be a danger to themselves or others and take steps to preserve life.
  • Recognize the early signs for mental health problems and provide help to prevent more serious problems from developing.
  • Provide comfort to someone with a mental health issue and support them in recovering.

Anyone can benefit from Mental Health First Aid-members of the general public, teachers, health service providers, emergency workers, frontline workers who deal with the public, volunteers, human resources professionals, employers, community groups.

This is a fee for service program.

Peer Support

This program operates with trained Peer Support Workers who assist persons with mental illness in gaining information, advocacy, problem solving,community reintegration, and self-awareness. This program has begun actively educating physicians in the Nanaimo Region about their program and is currently developing a resource library for general public access. Peer Support is funded by the Island Health.

Phoenix Centre

The mission of the Phoenix Centre is to assist adults recovering from a mental illness by building a community that offers a respectful safe and positive environment by supporting individuals to achieve their financial, vocational, social and independent-living goals.

We focus on the individual strengths of people and their own personal goals. We are a community of people working together to achieve a common goal; living meaningful and rewarding lives. This is accomplished by providing opportunities for members to enhance their mental health and live life to the fullest through opportunities and community.


GT Hiring

Canadian Mental Health Association Mid Island Branch, in partnership with GT Hiring, provides a series of workshops called Balancing Work/Life Skills. This is a six week workshop series designed to improve confidence and skills for those looking to head back into the workplace. These workshops can only be accessed through GT Hiring Services.

Recovery Workshops

Recovery is a deeply personal unique process of changing one's attitudes, values, feelings, goals, skill and roles. It is a way of living a satisfying, hopeful and contributing life beyond the effects caused by the illness.

The vision of Recovery from the effects of mental illness began to emerge in the writings of consumers in the late 1980's. In 1991, Dr. William Anthony of the Center for Psychiatric Rehabilitation at Boston University synthesized the above definition from those consumer writings. Since that time, the concept of recovery has infomed service design and mental helath praactice in systems around the world. Mental Health Service providers in the Nanaimo area have embraced the recovery concept in  working with theri clients who experience mental illness. However, there is a little dialogue with clients in Nanaimo about what ``recovery`` means and how to incorporate ideas of recovery into their lives in a practical way. Comprehensive recovery education programs have been offered to people with mental health issues in many communities with great success.

CMHA Mid Island`s program is coordinated and led by a facilitator with education and experience in the recovery process and with assisting people with mental health issues to engage in their personal recovery processes.The program consists of a 12 week educational series designed to provide participants with an introduction to all of the foundations of recovery. The series will be offered three times per year. For its inaugural year, one set of sessions was offered through funding from the Vancouver Island Helath Authority. This program is funded by the United Way, Central & Northern Vancouver Island and BC Lotteries, gaming funding.

Social Housing

In October 2008, CMHA Mid Island purchased the Balmoral Hotel in Nanaimo to preserve the site as low barrier, social housing in the City. A former bar/lounge on the site has been renovated to house HOST- the homeless outreach and support team, which includes staff from VIHA, the Ministry of Housing and Social Development and CMHA Outreach workers. The 20 units of the Balmoral have been renovated without displacing the tenants currently residing there. People who work with the homeless outreach program will have preferred access to suites as they become available. CMHA`s administrative services and our Peer Support Program are now located in the Balmoral's manager's suite.

 For more information, please contact:
Anne Hodge, Executive Director
Canadian Mental Health Association
Mid Island Branch
437 Wesley Street
Nanaimo, BC V9R 2T8
Tel: 250 244 4042
Fax: 250 244 4045