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Fall 2014
Calendar of Events

Family Support
Groups in West Vancouver and

September 16, 2014
Family-to-Family Education Course begins on North Shore and in Tri-Cities

September 23, 2014
Family-to-Family Education Course begins in Vancouver

September 24, 2014
Public Education Lecture Series at Lions Gate Hospital, 7:30 p.m.; topic: The Future of Mental Health on the North Shore, with Dr. Apu Chakraborty and Dr. Allan Burgmann

October 18, 2014
Support-for-Families Workshop at Caring Circle, Bowen Island

November 26, 2014
Public Education Lecture Series at Lions Gate Hospital

December 6, 2014
Annual NSSS Christmas Banquet


Families Helping Families
You are not alone.

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

The NSSS consists of family members and friends of the mentally ill 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, anxiety disorders and eating 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









News and events
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.
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, join NSSS for 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), will share their insights and perspectives on the new HOpe Centre and other issues. This event is free, no registration required.
Register Now for the Fall 2014 Family-to-Family Education Course
The Family-to-Family education course is a comprehensive 12-session program for family members of people with any serious mental illness. The course covers all aspects of mental illness and is taught by trained family-peer instructors who have ill relatives themselves and know first-hand what families go through when caring for someone with an illness.

In addition to holding the course on the North Shore this fall, NSSS is partnering with New View Housing Society in Port Coquitlam, and RainCity Housing in Vancouver, to offer the program in those communities.

For more information, please contact us at 604-926-0856. Space is limited and pre-registration is required. View the full course curriculum here.
Celebrating Canada Day the NSSS Way
Thank you to everyone who walked with NSSS in the North Vancouver Canada Day parade - and to those members and friends who cheered from the sidelines! We appreciate your support in helping to raise awareness of serious mental illness. Thanks also to North Shore Kia for the use of a red-and-white Kia Soul. Pictured are NSSS ED Nancy Ford with volunteers Herschel Hardin, Susan James, Sean Stewart, Agnes Whinnie, Philip Wright, Michelle Garvock, and Michael Maki (photographer is Lisa Stringle).
Support NSSS on Canada Day
Everyone is invited to join us for the North Vancouver Canada Day Parade, Tuesday, July 1. Help raise awareness of serious mental illness, while enjoying the excitement of Canada's 147th birthday. We're assembling at Grand Blvd. and 13th at 9 a.m. (ID #84). The parade begins at 10 a.m. If you would like to participate, please call us at 604-926-0856 or email
Get Ready to Walk the World!
It's almost time for the second in a series of three fun summer walks to raise awareness for serious mental illness - the 23rd annual Walk the World for Schizophrenia, Sunday, June 22, at 10 a.m. Lace up your shoes and walk with us from John Lawson Park to Dundarave Pier and back again. Bring the entire family, even the pets, and get ready to celebrate. Assembly time is 9:30 a.m. at the foot of 17th St., West Vancouver. Just look for clusters of blue and yellow balloons.
Raising Awareness at the West Vancouver Community Day Parade
NSSS would like to thank everyone who joined us at the West Vancouver Community Day parade, Saturday, June 7, especially our participants (from left to right): John Nixon, Byron Giraud, Marti Sevier, Herschel Hardin, Gill Santo, Heidi McLane, Janelle Bielecki, and Philip Wright (and official photographer, Nancy Ford). The weather outside was delightful and helped make for a wonderful event! A special thank-you to North Shore Kia for the use of a bright-yellow 2015 Kia Soul.

Walk with NSSS in the West Vancouver Community Day Parade, June 7
Join NSSS in spreading the word about who we are and what we do at the West Vancouver Community Day Parade, Saturday, June 7. Everyone is welcome to walk with us along the parade route - or cheer us on from the sidelines - in support of families and individuals dealing with serious mental illness. The parade starts at 10 a.m. at West 13th and Marine. We'll be gathering at 9:30 - 9:45 a.m. at the starting line, the foot of West 13th. The parade continues along Marine to West 17th, moves down to Bellevue, and then loops back to West 13th. Please call us to register - 604-926-0856. We look forward to seeing you!
What is the Role of Primary Care in Treating Mental Illness?
Join NSSS on Wednesday, May 28, at 7:30 p.m. in the Lions Gate Hospital auditorium for"It Takes a Team:" Primary Care in Mental Illness." Guest speakers are Dr. Dean Brown, GP, and Chair of the North Shore Division of Family Practice, and Dr. Betty Tang, North Shore child and youth psychiatrist. A team approach to treating and managing mental illness, where GPs, psychiatrists, families, and other healthcare and service providers work together, along with the ill person, allows for stronger continuity of care and helps to ensure better outcomes. Drs. Brown and Tang will discuss primary care and the GP's role, the coordination of acute and primary care, and family involvement. 
Creating a Circle of Strength that Cannot be Broken

Circle of Strength, our annual fundraiser, will take place Saturday, May 3, at the Hollyburn Country Club, in West Vancouver. In only one hour, guests will learn more about serious mental illness and hear from family members helped by NSSS and the Family Support Centre. We're pleased to announce this year's sponsor is Fulmer Capital Partners, and our Master of Ceremonies is Jon McComb, host of CKNW's The World Today.
NSSS Annual General Meeting Offers "A Year in Review"
Thank you to all who attended and took part in the Annual General Meeting - "A Year in Review" - on Wednesday, March 26, at Lions Gate Hospital. We appreciate your support and involvement in NSSS activities. A recap of the AGM appears in the March issue of the Notepad.
Calling All Members!
The NSSS board of directors would like to invite new and long-time members to the Getting-to-Know-You Membership Luncheon, Saturday, March 8, at the Deep Cove Yacht Club, from 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
Gather with friends for conversation and celebration, and to learn more about all NSSS activities. The cost of the luncheon is $10 (if you require assistance, NSSS will cover this cost). Please RSVP by Monday, March 3. We look forward to seeing you!

Register for a Free Workshop on Providing for the Future, February 22
When it comes to wills, trusts, and estate planning, it's important to understand and 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.

Join Bill Murdock, financial security advisor (left), and Herschel Hardin, NSSS vice president (right), both with an ill relative themselves, for a special workshop designed for families and individuals living with an illness or a disability, Providing-for-the-Future: Estate Planning, Discretionary Trusts, and Strategic Giving. Bill and Herschel will cover topics such as the preparation of wills, fund provision and management, RDSPs, discretionary trusts, strategic giving, and tax-burden reduction.

This free workshop will be held Saturday, February 22, from 10:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m., at the Capilano branch (Edgemont) of the North Vancouver Public Library. To register, please email or call 604-926-0856.
Nominate an Exceptional Healthcare or Service Provider for the 2014 Responsiveness to Families Award
If you've had an outstanding experience with a psychiatrist, psychiatric nurse, case worker, social worker, or other service provider - someone who listened to you and your family's concerns about your ill relative and included you in treatment and rehabilitation plans - please consider nominating that person for a Responsiveness to Families Award. See the nominations page for more information. The deadline for submissions is Monday, February 17.
Assertive Community Treatment (ACT) "Like a Dream Team"
With a client ratio of approximately 10 healthcare professionals for every one patient and a proven track record of producing better outcomes for those with severe, persistent mental illness, assertive community treatment (ACT) teams offer a strong model of individualized care. Joining us in the Lions Gate Hospital auditorium on Wednesday, January 29, for a panel discussion on ACT was George Scotton, manager of ACT Vancouver; Drew Ryan, clinical supervisor with ACT VPD; Beverly Nolan, a social worker with RainCity Housing First; and Chelsea Bromley, an occupational therapist, also with RainCity. "ACT sounds like a dream team," said one attendee. More on the presentation and on ACT is found in the May issue of the Notepad.
Next Public Education Lecture Series Night Looks at Assertive Community Treatment (ACT)
Join us Wednesday, January 29, at 7:30 p.m. in the Lions Gate Hospital auditorium to learn more about assertive community treatment (ACT). Long promoted by NSSS, ACT teams go out into the community to provide intensive care for those with serious mental illness, including psychotic disorders, addictions, and other complex physical health problems. The lecture  is free, everyone welcome.

Family-to-Family Program the Focus of North Shore News Article

Families supporting families through education on serious mental illness is the subject of a North Shore News article by Erin Mcphee, appearing in the paper Sunday, January 19, and available online. NSSS president and Family-to-Family teacher Cheryl Zipper and ED Nancy Ford describe the value of all aspects of the program, including the sense of community and support participants receive as they deal with a family member's illness.

Mobile Outreach Psychiatric Team Needed on the North Shore
NSSS responded to North Shore News reporter Jane Seyd's powerful two-part series on suicide and the Lions Gate Bridge, in a letter to the edtior, Friday, December 13. While Seyd draws attention to the crucial need for barriers or netting on the Lions Gate Bridge to help prevent suicide, NSSS raises another serious issue - the importance of addressing serious mental illness and being as proactive as possible in getting someone who is ill into treatment, using involuntary admission where appropriate. On the North Shore, this process would be strengthened by the establishment of a mobile outreach psychiatric team, similar to those already in place in Vancouver, Richmond, and Surrey.

NSSS Celebrates the Holidays!
Thank you to all the volunteers who gave their time and helped make our Christmas party on Saturday, December 7, such a wonderful night. Volunteers play an intergral role in our annual holiday event - buying and wrapping gifts, decorating the church hall, helping set up and take down tables and chairs, driving guests to and from the party, greeting people at the door, serving food, distributing gifts to guests, and cleaning up afterwards. We appreciate all their efforts.

The Benefits of Individual Placement and Support
Gill Walker (right), an occupational therapist with North Shore Adult Community Mental Health, and her client, Rob Lockhart, shared their perspectives on supported employment at our Public Education Lecture Series, on Wednesday, November 27, at Lions Gate Hospital.
Gill uses the Individual Placement and Support model, linking those with a mental illness who show a strong desire and motivation to work with employers in the community. More on Gill and Rob's presentation will be featured in the January edition of the Notepad newsletter.

Public Education Lecture Series night at Lions Gate Hospital!

On Wednesday, November 27, please join us for another Public Education Lecture Series presentation at Lions Gate Hospital. The topic is supported employment programs for those with a serious mental illness, with guest speaker, Gill Walker. Gill works as an occupational therapist at North Shore Adult Community Mental Health, and will discuss individual placement and support on the North Shore. This program assists those with a mental illness who are ready to transition into the workforce. The presentation begins at 7:30 p.m.

NSSS Receives Unity in Diversity Award
NSSS was honoured to be this year's recipient of the Baha'i Community of West Vancouver's Unity in Diversity Award, after being nominated by a member of the community, Nadia Vargha-Majzub. Herschel Hardin, vice president and advocacy coordinator, and Marguerite Hardin, support coordinator, accepted the award at a reception at the West Vancouver Library on Nov. 13. The award was given to NSSS "in recognition of its work to educate, counsel, and support families with mental illness."

Stand Up for Mental Health
For a fun night out, join NSSS as we co-host the comedy troupe Stand Up for Mental Health, Wednesday, November 20, at 7 p.m., at the Whistler Conference Centre. Created and led by David Granirer - a counsellor, stand-up comedian, and author - Stand Up for Mental Health teaches stand-up comedy to people with a mental illness as a way of building confidence and fighting stigma, prejudice, and discrimination. Admission is by donation.

Hidden Pictures Global Web Screening
A filmmaker who grew up with a father with a serious mental illness set off on an around-the-world journey to uncover and document the personal stories of others whose lives are affected by mental illness. The result is the film Hidden Pictures. To mark World Mental Health Day this year, the film was available to view online for free over a 24-hour period.

Understanding Her Mother's Struggle with Schizophrenia
Our first public education evening of the fall featured speaker Debbie Palmer telling her story of growing up with a mentally ill mother. Debbie discovered a box of journals in her late mother's home in 2011 that turned out to be a treasure trove of insight into her mother's mind and her struggle with the hallucinations and delusions caused by schizophrenia. The entries went back 34 years, describing in detail the daily torment by her perceived adversaries, "The Tin Gods." This event is part of our ongoing lecture series on mental illness and related topics.

Seymour Golf and Country Club Breaks Fundraising Record
The annual Seymour Golf and Country Club Charity Invitational Tournament raises funds each year for a single charitable organization on the North Shore. We were honoured to be selected as the beneficiary for this year's tournament and very excited to learn they have broken their all-time record for funds raised this year with a grand total of $47,500. Our thanks to the many volunteers from Seymour Golf and Country Club who put in an incredible amount of work to make this event possible and congratulations for achieving a new record! It was a pleasure to work with these wonderful, dedicated women every step of the way. Thanks also go out to the club staff for all their help and the team of NSSS volunteers who helped set up and staff the silent auction.

Family-to-Family Course
The Family-to-Family education course is a powerful twelve-session program for family members and close friends of people with any serious mental illness. The fall session in West Vancouver is underway with a full class. The next sessions will be in early 2014 in Squamish and West Vancouver. For more information or to wait-list for an upcoming session, please contact us at 604-926-0856. Space is limited and pre-registration is required. See the full course curriculum here.

Walk the World Celebrates its 22nd Year
The rain held off just long enough on June 23 for our 22nd annual Walk the World for Schizophrenia. Volunteers gathered in John Lawson Park for a few words from our special guest speaker Dr. Cindy Holdsworth, recipient of our first NSSS Responsiveness to Families Award. Then they were off down the West Vancouver Seawalk with signs, balloons and t-shirts to spread awareness about schizophrenia and the Family Support Centre. After the walk, we had a demonstration of Zumba Fitness courtesy of DestinoZumba. Thanks to all the volunteers for helping make this year's Walk the World a great success!

Parade Time!
It was time for t-shirts, banners and sunscreen as we joined in on the fun and raised awareness in the community about serious mental illness and the Family Support Centre. On June 1, we got started with the West Vancouver Community Day Parade and then wrapped up the season on July 1 with the North Shore Canada Day Parade. The West Vancouver parade was back after a year off and the Canada Day parade was saved at the last minute by the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 118. The North Shore parade is the largest event we take part in over the summer and it would have been a shame to see it disappear after over 100 years. Thanks to the volunteers who carried our banner, handed out information sheets and marched wearing our t-shirts to raise awareness. We're looking forward to next year!

NSSS Responsiveness to Families Award
The NSSS Responsiveness to Families Award recognizes healthcare providers with a proven track record of including families as an integral part of the treatment team. Please see nomination criteria and rules for more information and read the news release here. The deadline for 2014 nominations is February 17.

NSSS Video on YouTube
Please see our videos on our channel on YouTube.

Family Support Group
The NSSS Family Support Group meets once a month in Squamish 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 experiences and insights with each other. For details, see our Support group page.

If you wish to support the work of this website or the North Shore Schizophrenia Society's programs generally, you can do so online using the facilities of Canada Helps, the online donations agency for non-profit groups in Canada. It's the quick and easy way to help us continue to offer counselling, education and other support services. Click here to view our page on Canada Helps. 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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