CMHA-CVB Community Newsletter
July 2019
Thank you for subscribing to our Quarterly Newsletter. We hope that you find the information here useful in learning more about
CMHA-Cowichan Valley Branch.
Feature Programs -
BikeWorks, ArtWorks & DiscoveryWorks

One of CMHA-CVB's 30+ programs and one that has been operating for 15 years is a familiar landmark located on Trunk Road. BikeWorks & ArtWorks is a youth counselling services disguised as a bike shop. There, amidst the backdrop of repairing and rebuilding bikes, youth learn basic mechanics, create social connections and acquire the life skills necessary to build a better future.

An ArtWorks program runs alongside BikeWorks also enabling youth to participate in a variety of creative individual and group projects. 

Providing these critical “communicative spaces” is often the first step in helping youth to escape the spirals of addiction, poverty and homelessness. 

This year, we created a third program - DiscoveryWorks - in partnership with Cowichan Valley School District #79. Khowhemun School has a particularly high population of students that often struggle with physical health and well being, social competence, language or cognitive development. This group of kids have difficulty finding success with traditional ways of learning and as a result, student disengagement is a frequent reality.

Through DiscoveryWorks, groups of students attend BikeWorks during school hours for 90 minutes once a week for 6 weeks. The program creates a sense of belonging and safety and promotes increased resilience and self confidence. The students are encouraged to engage in non-traditional learning where mental health literacy, capacity building and social-emotional learning is paramount.

CMHA-CVB is looking to increase DiscoveryWorks programming next year and invite students from other schools to participate.
Our fabulous Bikeworks & Artworks team of staff and volunteers. From left to right we have Melissa, Cameron, Desiree, Joan, Nick, Cliff, Madi, Michelle, Luke, Ryan, Kaska, Lindsay, Matt, Kieren and Kim (behind Kieren).
A small sample of the artwork created by youth, volunteers and staff over the years. Art supplies are most recycled or repurposed materials. Donations of art supplies, bicycles parts and snacks are always welcome!
Clean Up Day at Warmland
Many thanks to our shelter clients (inside and out) for showing a great attitude of support for last week's clean up. Thank you for understanding the pressure that we are under and for taking responsibility for moving your belongings off the sidewalk. Most people do not realize that we are unable to move things on your behalf so your show of support today was especially appreciated.

Warmland House was originally built to accommodate 15 clients, with another 24 transitional housing units. Presently, we have over 75 people each night using the shelter. For some, this does not mean a bed, but only a chair to sit in at night. For those that are unable to sleep inside, the sidewalk is the next safest place for them. Everyone is welcome to have breakfast and dinner each day. Showers are available on request and towels and toiletries are supplied.

To say that our need is great is an understatement. We need more beds, we need a ‘wet shelter’, we need more transitional housing so that we can move more people through our programs when they are ready, we need a treatment centre, recovery beds and more. Our staff are the Best - patient, kind, non-judgemental and hard working. The pressure to do more with less can be overwhelming, and yet they take it all in stride.

Thank you to all those who support our work. Thank you for helping us to help others.
Sharing our Caring Staff

CMHA Cowichan Valley Branch continues to grow to serve the rights and needs of those in the mental health system. We now have 80+ employees delivering service through over 30 programs. Our newsletters are the perfect place to introduce valuable team members.
Meet Brenda
Brenda has been the Data Administrator for CMHA for two years. She is responsible for collecting the data for many of our programs, reporting to management and our funders.

Brenda also does youth outreach for the House of Friendship, connecting with the youth weekly. She loves her husband, her cat, music, nature, reading a good book, and coffee.

Thank you Brenda, for all that you do!
Meet Nick

"My name is Nick, and I have worked under the CMHA umbrella for close to two years now, working at Warmland shelter and now the Overdose Prevention Site. In my role as a harm reduction worker at Duncan’s OPS for over a year now, I have learned a lot about people, the community and myself. Helping to offer people a safe, non-judgmental environment to use and be monitored in the case of an overdose, we resuscitate individuals using oxygen therapy primarily and in some cases opt to using naloxone to reverse overdoses. We also offer clean, safe supplies and referrals to services around the Cowichan Valley and Vancouver Island.

One of the biggest things I have learned is that this frontline role offers a very unique perspective that many people throughout this life may never get to see. 

In my spare time I make hiphop music and love to perform live. I’ve self released two projects and about six videos on Youtube. My music has always been made with my surroundings in mind, “will my friends bop their head to this?”. Many clients have caught word of my music and are very supportive. I try to keep them in mind when creating, thinking...”how would they feel about this one on the street?”

The connections with clients built in my day to day role has positively affected my life forever. I am very thankful and humbled by my role in this community, it just feels right."

Thank you Nick. We are thankful to have you as part of our team.
Mental Health Week 2019 - Results
A big Thank You to everyone for supporting our Mental Health Week Events (May 6-12, 2019). Thanks to those staff that helped organize, stayed late, came in early, organized donations and especially those that came in on their days off! What a team!

Our community and business engagement was solid. We received over $1200 in cash and donations for our Open House Events. These came from the Knights of Columbus, the Duncan Kinette Club, Catalyst Paper Private and Public Workers Local 2, The Valley Voice, Starbucks on Trunk Road, Tim Hortons on Trunk Road, Save On Foods and Island Bakery.

On social media, we increased our following by 142% on Facebook. We received over 49k page views and we had 1,875 visits to our Open House Event pages in the weeks preceding Mental Health Week. Our new Instagram feed now has over 130 followers and our Twitter growth is steady. In other words, people in the Cowichan Valley know much more about the valuable programs we provide than they did a few months ago! If you're still not following our social media channel, please see Social Media section above.

Here is a summary of our Open House results:
BikeWorks/Artworks
Monday, May 6
Attendance: 22
Daily Social Media Reach: 2,747

Overdose Prevention Site
Wednesday, May 8
Attendance: 52
Naloxone Training: 27
Daily Social Media Reach: 2,007
Open Door Youth Services Centre
Friday, May 10
Attendance: 50
Daily Social Media Reach: 1,717
Warmland House Shelter
Sunday, May 12
Attendance: 35
Naloxone Training: 15
Daily Social Media Reach: 2,656
CMHA Social Media
As part of our goal to increase community engagement, the CMHA-CVB is working to grow our social media presence as it is vital that the community become more aware of the good work that is coming out of our organization. This helps us to reduce stigma, increase understanding of mental health issues and raise funds to support programming.

How can you help?  Please take a minute to Follow and/or Share by clicking on the links below.

CMHA CVB  Facebook Page
CMHA CVB  Twitter Account
CMHA CVB  Instagram Account
And Don't Forget...
Job Opportunities at CMHA-CVB
Our current job opportunities include:


Please click on the link to learn more and please share these job postings with anyone that might be interested.
CMHA Membership
Please invite your friends to become a member of Cowichan Valley Branch of the CMHA . As a member they are:
  • Providing hope to the 1 in 5 Canadians who are directly affected by mental illness
  • Supporting specialized services in your community
  • Joining a movement to build a community of hope, support and inclusion for people with mental illness
  • Showing you care about mental health in your community
Your membership includes:
  • A CMHA membership card
  • Membership with your local CMHA branch, CMHA BC Division and CMHA National
  • A free subscription to the award-winning Visions Journal
Annual membership fees:
  • $20 Individual
  • $5 Individuals on limited income
  • $50 Organization

Download our membership form here .