The Canadian Mental Health Association says 20 per cent of Canadians will personally experience a mental illness in their lifetime

Mood Disorder support group coming to Campbell River

Are you living with depression, anxiety or one of the many mood disorders?

So are many other people. That is why Douglas Sewell, through the Mood Disorder Association of B.C., is starting a support group right here in Campbell River.

“Mainly it’s a support group run by the people for themselves,” he said. “It’s important. I’d love to get a lot of people. The more people we have the more effective we can be.”

Sewell himself is bipolar and he is also living with anxiety. He has participated in many support groups and said he found them helpful. Not only did he meet people in similar circumstances as himself, he learned different ways to manage symptoms that he hadn’t discovered yet.

Sewell will be facilitating the group himself. He had to read through the 400 page manual as well as participate in around seven sessions via Skype to be certified to lead the group.

In the beginning Sewell just wants to gauge interest. He is hoping that over time the meetings will branch into smaller focus groups to put people with similar mood disorders in the same group, to create a youth group as well as to create a group families and caregivers.

Sewell said that the long term plan is to create several groups in the north Island area.

The MDABC is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing support, education and hope of recovery for those living with a mood disorder or other mental illness. They support those who have been diagnosed with a mental illness and they also serve to build awareness and understanding in the greater community.

There are more than 40 Peer Support Groups in cities across B.C..

They are needed.

According to the Canadian Mental Health Association 20 per cent of Canadians will personally experience a mental illness in their lifetime and suicide accounts for 24 per cent of all deaths among 15 to 24 year olds.

The first peer support group will take place on June 30 at 2:30 p.m. at the Campbell River Community Centre in room 2.

Everyone living with a mood disorder as well as their family members or caregivers invited to attend. For more information contact Sewell via email at nimooddisorders@gmail.com.