SFT is offered at least twice per year to caregivers, family members, professionals and students at no charge. There are 10-12 two-hour sessions covering topics such as different kinds of mental illness, local services available, legal issues, advocacy and self-care. The class is facilitated by a staff member from CR and NI Schizophrenia Society and a family member of someone with lived experience.
The program empowers family members to help them help their loved ones get the best care possible. SFT participants add to their support network by gaining friendships with each other. The program gives them a safe place to share their stories such as dealing with loved ones who refuse to take their meds or not getting the help they need from “the system”/what does work.
The Nutritional Learning Program takes place every Wednesday at the Campbell River Beacon Club where adults with mental health issues learn valuable life skills while preparing a nutritious lunch for themselves and their peers. They work alongside the Beacon Club staff and sometimes practicum students and community volunteers.
The participants learn how to shop on a budget, which is important for those whose income is their monthly disability cheque. Many have to supplement their diet with what the items they get once per month at the food bank. They gain proper food handling and clean up skills in accordance with Food Safe guidelines. The participants also learn to work as a team and to take initiative when something needs to be done in the kitchen.
In addition they learn socialization skills while working with their peers, Beacon Club staff, students and volunteers. It helps them open up and talk about their illness and any problems they are having. They support one another and encourage them to seek help through their Mental Health and Addictions Services clinician, psychiatrist or physician.