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Calendar of Events

Family Support
Groups in West Vancouver, Tri-Cities,
Squamish, and Whistler

Family-to-Family education courses - North Shore, Squamish,
Vancouver, and

January 27, 2015
Family-to-Family begins on the North Shore; registration required

January 28, 2015
Public Lecture Education Series at Lions Gate Hospital, 7:30 p.m. Topic: Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, with Dr. John Wagner

February 10, 2015
Family-to-Family begins in Vancouver, Tri-Cities, and Squamish; registration required

February 28, 2015
Estate Planning, Discretionary Trusts, and Strategic Giving Workshop; led by Bill Murdock, financial security advisor; registration required

March 25, 2015
Annual General Meeting and 20th Anniversary Celebration of the Family Support Centre, Lions Gate Hospital


Families Helping Families
You are not alone.

The North Shore Schizophrenia Society is here to help you cope - with support, information, education, and advocacy.

The NSSS consists of family members and friends of those with mental illness who know what others are going through, and can help by sharing their experience.

At the heart of our operation is the Family Support Centre: 205 - 1865 Marine Drive, West Vancouver, open between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., Monday to Friday. Please call us at 604-926-0856 to arrange an appointment. If you're not free during those hours, we'll meet with you when you can make it.

The Centre provides personal support and information on major mental illnesses - schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, depression, and anxiety disorders. We also provide a wide range of programs, plus education and information for schools and the general public. To find out more about these programs and our other activities, please explore this website.

Basic Facts About

Bipolar Disorder









What's New?
Follow NSSSoc on Twitter   
Read the most recent issues of NSSS publications:
The Notepad
NSSS Advocacy Bulletin

View a short film of family members sharing their experiences of coping
with serious mental illness. More short films are available on our
YouTube channel.
Estate Planning, Discretionary Trusts, and Strategic Giving Workshop
Saturday, February 28, 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
West Vancouver Library (Welsh Hall)
Offered free of charge; registration required

Led by Bill Murdock, a financial security advisor who himself has an ill relative, the workshop is designed for families of those with a mental illness. Bill will explain how to make the most of your options to help secure the financial future of your loved one, and also ensure future caregivers have the support they need.

Topics to be covered include making a will, fund provision and management, RDSPs, discretionary trusts, and reducing tax burden.
The Family Support Centre is Turning 20!
Join us at the Annual General Meeting, March 25, at 7 p.m., at Lions Gate Hospital for a special 20th anniversary celebration of the Family Support Centre. For the past two decades, the Centre has been the hub of our support activities, helping hundreds of families who are coping with their loved one's mental illness.

Walking through the Centre's doors means family members are no longer alone, that they have a space to share their feelings with others who can empathize because they have been through similar experiences.

Please mark your calendars and help us celebrate the many members and volunteers who keep the Centre running year after year. We look forward to seeing you.

Changes to Disability Assistance Makes it Easier to Calculate Earnings
People receiving disability assistance in B.C. are now able, as of January 1, 2015, to calculate their earnings on an annual basis instead of monthly. This will make it easier for those receiving disability assistance to earn more money and may help reduce barriers to employment.

Annualized earning exemptions are helpful for people with disabilities whose ability to earn fluctuates during the year. If a person earns more than $800 in one month, they can keep all of that money up to $9,600 for the year. There is no monthly maximum.

Earning exemptions are in addition to monthly disability assistance and other supports such as discounted bus passes, free MSP, medical supplies, dental and optical care, and employment services through the Employment Program of B.C. 

This change supports Accessibility 2024, the government’s 10-year plan to make B.C. the most progressive place for people with disabilities in Canada.

Learn More about Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT)
Dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT) is the topic of our next Public Education Lecture, Wednesday, January 28, at 7:30 p.m., at Lions Gate Hospital Auditorium. Dr. John Walker, clinical psychologist and director of the DBT Centre, in Vancouver, will explain how DBT, a modified form of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), can help adults and adolescents manage borderline personality disorder, depression, and anxiety, as well as complex problems such as addiction, self-harm, and suicidality. This lecture is free to attend; no registration required.
Register Now for Family-to-Family, Beginning Early 2015
The Family-to-Family education course provides family members coping with a close relative's serious mental illness the tools to better understand all aspects of mental illness. This comprehensive 12-week course covers the symptoms of mental illnesses, how the brain works, medications, problem-solving and communications skills, self-care, the potential of recovery, dealing with the system, and advocacy. Taught by trained family members who themselves have an ill relative, Family-to-Family is equally about education and empowerment. This course is free; registration is required. Please see the Calendar-of-Events sidebar for locations and start times. To register, call the Family Support Centre at 604-926-0856.
NSSS Responsiveness to Families Award Presented to Dr. Steve Mathias
The Family Support Centre held a small gathering Tuesday, December 16, in honour of Dr. Steve Mathias, this year's recipient of the NSSS Responsiveness to Families Award. This award is presented annually to a healthcare or service provider who demonstrates outstanding responsiveness to families and includes family members as part of their ill relative's care team. Dr. Mathias was nominated by several families who feel their lives would not have been the same without his treatment and attention. More on this event will appear in the January 2015 issue of the Notepad.
Thank you to all our members, friends, and volunteers for helping to make the 2014 Christmas Banquet such a wonderful success. Over 120 guests joined NSSS on Saturday, December 6, at St. David's Church, West Vancouver, for a live musical performance by Dominique Hogan, a roast beef dinner catered by Cheers restaurant, and an early visit from the Man in Red, Santa himself. We'd also like to thank Terra International Food for their donation.
My Story Through the Mental Health System: A Peer Support Worker Shares Her Journey with Mental Illness.
At the last NSSS Public Education Lecture Series evening, on Wednesday, November 26, at 7:30 p.m., in the Lions Gate Hospital Auditorium, NSSS welcomed Debbie Sesula, a North-Shore-based peer and education support coordinator. Debbie discussed her own experiences living with a mental illness and how she helps others on their individual roads to recovery. A recap of the evening will appear in the January 2015 issue of the Notepad.
Find a variety of North Shore health programs, services, and practitioners, including those for mental health and addictions, quickly and easily using the new Health Connection online resource, also available as an app. For mobile users, the app is available to download from Apple's iTunes App Store (works on iPhone and iPad with iOS7 or later; optimized for iPhone 5). This helpful resource was developed by the North Shore Division of Family Practice and Vancouver Coastal Health.
What's New in Mental Healthcare on the North Shore, and Where Do We Go from Here?
For our first Public Education Lecture Series of the season, NSSS held an informal question-and-answer session, The Future of Mental Health on the North Shore, on Wednesday, September 24, at 7:30 p.m. in the Lions Gate Hospital Auditorium. Presenters Dr. Apu Chakraborty, Adult Community Mental Health (left), and Dr. Allan Burgmann, Acute Psychiatric Services, Lions Gate Hospital (right), shared their insights and perspectives on the new HOpe Centre and other issues. A recap of the evening can be found in the November 2014 issue of the Notepad.


Family Support Group
The NSSS Family Support Group meets once a month in Squamish, Whistler, and at the Family Support Centre in West Vancouver. For information and to confirm the next date call 604-926-0856. The Family Support Group provides an opportunity for those whose loved ones have a mental illness to share their experiences and insights. For details, see our Support group page.

If you wish to support the North Shore Schizophrenia Society's programs and services, you can do so through Canada Helps, the online donations agency for non-profit groups in Canada. Please visit our page to donate. Your generous contribution helps us continue to offer peer support and crisis counselling, as well as education programs and events, and provide community outreach and advocacy. If you would like to make a donation or membership payment by credit card, you may also contact the office directly at 604-926-0856 (for your own security, please do not email credit card information).

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