Support for peers

Peer Support Services at the Canadian Mental Health Association offers help from those who have been there and who understand

Dan and Jackie were married a year ago and had a baby 10 months into the marriage.

Dan had been noticing that Jackie was coming to bed at 2 a.m. and rising at 6 a.m. He did not say anything to her about it because she said that she has never felt so good. Dan thought Jackie was experiencing hyper sexuality because she was always frisky.

Jackie was a stay-at-home mother but she was seldom home for most of the day. She would talk to Dan in the evening with grandiose ideas about starting a business in her home. Dan began to wonder seriously what was happening with her.

One day it bothered him so much he left work early to talk to her about this. When he came home she was not there so he checked the mail. The Visa bill came in and Dan opened it. He usually did not see it, as Jackie handled the household expenses. The bill was more than $5,000. Dan thought there was a mistake as he was not expecting anything more than a couple of hundred dollars. Jackie came home and Dan immediately asked her how the Visa got to be so much. She began talking in an accelerated speech that she did not realize that it was so much.

Dan was at his wits’ end and he said to Jackie that she needed to go to the doctor to find out if anything was wrong with her. He decided to come with her to make sure all the details were explained.

The doctor diagnosed her with mania and asked Jackie if she had any symptoms of depression.    Jackie said that she was teary-eyed just before the birth of their son. The doctor was not sure if she had bi-polar but asked her to fill out the depression screening form. She said that she felt worthless during that time and had suicidal thoughts. The doctor put her on some mood-stabilizing drugs.

Jackie felt isolated because she could no longer spend money like she had. She needed to talk to someone who had been through the same thing. The Canadian Mental Health Association was the place for her. At Peer Support Services she was understood and supported by individuals with lived experience as well as given further information as well as resources that help the manic symptoms.  Dan was thankful that she was receiving help.

For more information, email, call 250-542-6155 or drop by 3100-28th Ave.

Elisheva Benjamin is assistant to the coordinator of Peer Support Services at the CMHA, Vernon branch.


Vernon Morning Star