May 7-11 is National Mental Health Week, and the Forward House Community Society is inviting the public to join them in a celebration of a recent expansion of its services in Parksville Qualicum Beach.
Forward House began offering services in Parksville in 1982, and for the past 36 years has provided psychosocial rehabilitation, support, understanding and a safe place for people who live with mental health challenges. It has recently launched a new initiative in Qualicum Beach that will provide more services to more people in the greater Parksville Qualicum Beach area, said Sharon Welch, executive director.
“It can be a challenge for some clients to access our Parksville location, especially those living outside of the city and seniors who live in isolation,” said Welch. “When the Town of Qualicum Beach generously donated a space in Qualicum Commons, we set up a one-year pilot project to better serve Qualicum Beach, Bowser, Errington, and Coombs residents.”
If this project is successful, Welch said, Forward House Community Society plans to continue outreach services at Qualicum Commons on an ongoing basis. In addition to the services that will be provide there, the society hopes to connect clients from these communities to its Parksville location and provide transportation so they can access the full array of Forward House programs.
The pilot project, Forward House Fridays, was officially launched on April 13. The Qualicum Commons Forward House team, including an outreach worker who is a registered nurse, an outreach assistant who is both a Forward House client and a volunteer, and two other highly experienced volunteers who have worked with vulnerable clients for many years, will be available from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. every Friday, except on stat holidays, said Welch.
“Depending on the success of this initiative, we hope to extend these hours on Fridays and eventually add other days.”
— NEWS staff/Forward House release