Support centre for mental health reopens in Penticton

Return of mental health hub

The new branch for the Canadian Mental Health Association South Okanagan Similkameen had its grand reopening on Wednesday afternoon, after having to find a new space to offer their services when they lost their first.

The ribbon cutting ceremony was held alongside speeches from local political leaders and representatives from the Chamber of Commerce.

“We had so many clients that were really concerned that we wouldn't find a space and they wouldn't have the local support," said Leah Schulting, the executive director of the local CHMA branch.

"So we're just so happy to be able to offer services seven days a week for people that are struggling with mental health. It's a big day.

“So much sweat and tears went into making sure that this place could open up. So we're thrilled.”

CMHA continues to see an increased demand for their services.

The building, which is right on a bus route, hosts unity clubhouse – a seven-days a week program for anyone who has a diagnosed mental illness to participate in recreational activities, cognitive behavioural therapy, psychosocial rehab and daily lunch meals program.

“We have a mental health advocate who's available for one-on-one appointments and a supportive employment program for folks that also have a mental illness that want to work just a couple of hours a day.

The building also has tools for community education with mental health, first aid and suicide prevention.

The space used to be an office building space, so the CMHA team spent hours renovating the building to make sure it would address their clients needs.

Shulting said the completion of the new building wouldn’t have been possible without the help of the South Okanagan Similkameen Community Founding, Summerland Auxiliary and Interior Health.

CMHA will be hosting an inaugural pickle ball tournament in September to support mental health.

The new branch is located at #103 – 1873 Main Street in Penticton and is open from Monday to Friday 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

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