Revelstoke’s Stacie Byrne is ready to showcase the various different ways people can practice self care for mental health. The project lead for the local Child and Youth Mental Health and Substance Use (CYMHSU) team, Byrne spent the morning at the Revelstoke Community Centre, where residents could drop in to find the resources they need to help support themselves or others.
What was really unique about the event, Beyond the Blues, was the amount of Revelstokians who took part. They were there demonstrating the methods they have found that helps keep them feeling healthy. Diversity in methods of keeping oneself healthy is key, because every person is different and what works for one may not work for another.
“Finding ways to practice self care is really important,” says Byrne. “We have people who hoop, crochet, and whittle. There are people who create art, do yoga and sound therapy, reiki, sun worshipping, and exercise.”
A talented crocheter was there, working on a complicated looking blanket. Karen Millard, a local painter, was showcasing watercolours and encouraging attendees to try their hand at it.
Kya Dolton was on hand to showcase hula hooping.
“It’s like movement meditation,” she explains. “It’s called flow arts – there are a lot of different kinds, and they bring about a flow mindset. It’s kind of like you’re dancing.”
In addition to people sharing their own strategies, the room was filled with information. A public health representative from Interior Health was there to talk about tobacco nicotine addiction. There is, the display explained, a rise of vaping in local youth. The industry’s advertising has been heavily skewed towards youth, though the long term effects are still unknown.
“Events like today are about showing people that there are many faces of mental health and many faces of addiction. It’s not what we necessarily think that it is,” says Byrne. “The event is also about preparing ourselves for the unexpected. I might be okay today, but I don’t know if I’m going to be okay in five days. I can’t predict that, none of us can. None of us know when we might have that dip or lull or experience a trauma that affects us, so finding resources now when you’re feeling good can be really helpful for preparing you for later on. You can have some more tools in your tool belt for yourself or for supporting someone else who might come to you.”
If you missed Beyond the Blues and are looking for mental health resources, take heart, http://www.revelstokelife.ca/ is an online resource that is easy to navigate and ready to help you get the information you need.