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HOPE Centre sets slate of "recovery" courses


Echo Housing in Dauphin is known to provide emergency, transitional and affordable housing opportunities, but the HOPE Centre in Echo 3 also has some courses coming up in November.
“It’s the HOPE Learning Centre and HOPE stands for Helping Others Through Peer Education. Because the whole idea is that it’s peer-led courses and that the courses have actually been developed in partnership with peers,” explained James Wigley, executive director for Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) Swan Valley.
“We actually curriculum share with CMHA Winnipeg Manitoba, as well as CMHA Central, which is in Portage. So we share curriculum with them and all the courses have been co-developed with peers and with CMHA staff.”
The idea behind a learning centre, or a recovery college, he said, is to offer courses on different recovery-oriented subjects for the community.
“And again, I like to stress that these courses are for the entire community, so it’s not just for somebody who is experiencing mental health distress, or mental illness themselves, but rather just anybody who is interested in their own wellbeing and recovery of whatever that may look like,” Wigley added.
While the exact dates the courses will run have not been determined, he said, the first course is Well-Being 101, a foundational course for anyone interested in exploring their own mental wellbeing and learning tips and techniques on how to have positive mental wellbeing.
Well-Being 101 is a three-session course, Wigley explained, with each session about 90 minutes in length.
“Well-Being 101 is a foundational course and from there, they’d (Echo 3) be looking at offering an abundance of courses,” he said, noting courses cover different subjects such as, What is Depression, or What is Anxiety, understanding psychosis, how to communicate better, journaling as a therapeutic technique, self-esteem or art-based courses.
“There’s an abundance of courses and the best thing in my mind about this, is the fact that there’s something for everybody and people can register for courses that they have an interest in and that’s great.”
CMHA decided to put out the courses, Wigley said, after discussing how it could do more peer support across the community.
“And one of the things that has been fairly evident, as far as other areas that have implemented the recovery colleges, or learning centres is just the fact that it gives us, the CMHA Swan Valley branch the chance to reach so many more residents of a community,” he said, noting the office receives requests for presentations on many different topics and often may not have the capacity to do them, but can hold a course in a HOPE Centre and invite the community.
“And we hope that it just spreads that education around mental health and recovery and that sort of thing, that much more so.”
There are no costs for most courses, Wigley said, with the exception of courses requiring manuals, or a facilitator, such as Live Life to the Full, or anger management.
The courses will run between one and eight sessions, he noted, and each session will be approximately two hours in length.
For more information, contact Terra Matthews in Echo 3 at 204-701-0153.

M. A. Nyquist