‘We are here to cheer you up’: Richmond association offers online mental health support

“We’re here to cheer you up,” is how Richmond city councillor Chak Au describes the online support group he has helped launch.

 “Everyone is welcome to attend, even if you are feeling lonely and hope to talk to someone,” he added.

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The non-profit organization, Community Mental Wellness Association of Canada (CMWAC), of which Au is a member launched the weekly online support group to lift people’s spirits amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Au, along with other members from CMWAC, is volunteering his time to set up the free wellness support workshop for people using the video conferencing app Zoom.

“We just did a workshop this Wednesday morning and it went well. Everyone left our conversation group with happiness,” said Au.

The support group was set up in response to people feeling stressed out from being bombarded with COVID-19 related information and rumours, according to Au.

“We are exposed to trauma caused not only by the direct consequences of the coronavirus pandemic (physical illness) but also by indirect impacts, such as losing jobs and quarantine stress.

“Many people feel anxious, insecure and overwhelmed, but they have no one to share these feelings with when they are isolated.”

Au also noted that, along with the weekly support group, they are considering setting up an emotional support hotline to help ease people’s nerves.

People can join the workshop each Wednesday from 9:30 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. The Zoom ID is 725-498-8470. People who need help downloading Zoom, can contact CMWAC at info@cmwac.ca or 604-273-1791.

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