Mission, Vision, and Values

The Kaleidoscope began in 2010 as a mental health peer support group at UBC’s Vancouver Campus. Kaleidoscope has had periods of expansion to Douglas College in New Westminster, and the Cambie Community Centre in Richmond. With Kaleidoscope now running over Zoom, we hope to reach individuals across the province of British Columbia, and beyond.

Kaleidoscope Mental Health Support Society strives to provide a mutual aid model of peer support for individuals who identify with having lived experience of mental health concerns in a safe(r), non-judgmental, stigma-free environment. We recognize that different types of treatment and coping work for different people, and we are neither for, nor against, any particular paradigm.

Many attendees of Kaleidoscope have reported feeling isolated in their experiences with mental health concerns; however, meeting others with similar experiences can mitigate the stigma and feelings of discrimination, and replace feelings of isolation with a sense of belonging. We believe that by creating a growing support network by connecting with a group of individuals on a weekly basis, we can have a powerful impact across British Columbia and beyond.

Our hope is that attendees of Kaleidoscope can both listen to, and share, personal experiences, gain knowledge about available resources, and learn skills and strategies conducive to everyday health and wellbeing.

Our facilitators are not medical professionals, and we do not offer medical advice. All of our facilitators identify with having some kind of personal lived experience with mental health concerns, and are trained in suicide prevention, mental health literacy, active listening, facilitation skills, and resource-sharing.

We aim to foster a community for individuals who may feel isolated by their experience with mental illnesses or problems through the following approach:

  1. We facilitate (and encourage users to participate in) an open dialogue, so that anyone with questions and concerns can come and talk with others in a safe, non-judgmental atmosphere.
  2. We provide support to individuals on their journey to reach mental wellness and recovery in the form of resources, tools, and activities.
  3. We maintain an atmosphere of confidentiality out of respect for all group participants.

In addition to Kaleidoscope’s General Support Group, which is open to everyone, Kaleidoscope has a College and University Student support group. 

Please do not hesitate to email us anytime at [email protected].


The Six Types of Courage

by Dragana Djukic

Courage is something that everybody wants, yet courage is not just physical bravery. In general, there are six types of courage we may need to face life challenges:

1. Physical courage – Feeling fear yet choosing to act. Involves bravery at the risk of bodily harm or death; and, developing physical strength, resilience and awareness.

2. Emotional courage – Following our heart. Open us to feeling the full spectrum of emotions – pleasant and unpleasant – without attachment.  

3. Intellectual courage – Expanding our horizons, letting go of the familiar. It is about our willingness to learn, unlearn and relearn with an open and flexible mind.

4. Social courage – To be ourself in the face of adversity. Involves the risk of social embarrassment or exclusion, unpopularity or rejection. It also involves leadership. 

5. Moral courage – Standing up for what is right. Involves doing the right thing even when it is uncomfortable or unpopular.

6. Spiritual courage – Facing pain with dignity or faith. It helps us live with purpose and meaning through a heart centred approach towards all life and oneself.


Recent News

Recent News: Two Kaleidoscope facilitators attended Pathway for Assisitng Life (PAL) Suicide First Aid. In this two-day workshop, we learned to invite connection and communication to those experiencing suicidal thoughts and behaviour. These skills are valuable and integral for our facilitators to develop and maintain a safe(r) space in our support groups. In this training, we learned: that suicidal thoughts and behaviors are more common than one may think; skills on how to ask people if they are suicidal; and how to intervene and help a person who is experiencing suicidal thoughts and behaviours. You are not alone if you feel moments of distress, and our Kaleidoscope facilitators are now more comfortable to provide this support.


Coping with Uncertainty

Course facilitated by the VCH Peer-led Workshop Program

Feeling stressed by the news of the day? Join others to explore strategies to help cope with uncertainty and manage stress.

Developed during the pandemic, this virtual 4-session series will look at stress and anxiety, and common thinking traps that can affect our mental wellbeing. This course also includes a workbook with many additional tools. Two consecutive sessions of the course will start in January 2022.

The course is being offered as part of a research study on peer-led mental health education using the Recovery College model. 

Participants’ involvement in the research will include:

  • Completing a questionnaire before and after the course
  • Completing a measure of fidelity to the Recovery College model
  • Participating in a 2-hour focus group
  • Sharing basic information about themselves (e.g., age, location, gender identity). Participants are welcome to skip over any questions they don’t want to answer

There is a small honorarium for participating in the research.

If you’re interested in participating in the course and research, email Tracy Windsor: [email protected]

If you have specific questions about the course itself, email Sue: [email protected]

 We hope to see you there!


Peppermint Party

Join us on December 2nd to learn how to make peppermint bark, no baking required! 🎄

You might be wondering: what is peppermint bark? It’s a holiday treat made with two types of chocolate (semisweet/dark and white chocolate), along with chopped candy canes!

The list of ingredients will be posted tomorrow so you can follow along with the lesson.

The first half of the session will be general support group check-ins, and the lesson will take place in the latter half of the session.

Here is the Zoom link:


UBC Thrive Event Screening of “That’s Just Crazy Talk” by Victoria Maxwell

November 19, at 7:30-9:30 pm at UBC in the Nest viewing room 2601

Kaleidoscope is excited to present ‘That’s Just Crazy Talk’ for UBC Thrive 2021. The screening will be followed by a one-hour discussion facilitated by Kaleidoscope Support Group Facilitators.

Victoria Maxwell’s critically acclaimed theatrical keynote That’s Just Crazy Talk’ looks at both the light and dark side of living with bipolar disorder, anxiety and psychosis. It describes one woman’s journey of coming to terms with mental illness within herself and in her family, uncovering long kept secrets. An intimate, yet universal story exploring the judgment we face not only from others, but from ourselves and the mysteries of family secrets. This funny and achingly truthful presentation both entertains and educates, exploding stigmas and portraying the love and resilience it takes to stay together as a family in the midst of illness and the beauty that can result when we face our fears. ‘That’s Just Crazy Talk is endorsed by the Mental Health Commission of Canada (MHCC) as one of the most effective anti-stigma tools in Canada.


Rice Krispie Pumpkins: Ingredients

Join us this Thursday from 6:30-8pm to learn how to make Rice Krispie Pumpkins!

Here is the list of ingredients and supplies you will need to complete the recipe and follow along with the lesson.

Zoom link for the session 🙂


Rice Krispie Pumpkins

Fall is finally here! Celebrate the new season with Rice Krispie Pumpkins!

Join us on October 7th to learn how to make Rice Krispie Pumpkins, no baking required! The list of ingredients will be posted tomorrow so you can follow along with the lesson.

General support group check-ins will take place from 6:30-7:30 PM, and the Rice Krispie Pumpkins tutorial will start at 7:30 PM.

Here is the Zoom link:


Become a Peer Support Facilitator!

Interested in becoming a Kaleidoscope Facilitator, or curious about how to become a better listener? Join us for our next training!

To view the full volunteer position description for Facilitator, click here.

If you are interested in becoming a Peer Support Group Facilitator, please send your resume and cover letter to [email protected], and come check out one of our groups (our current schedule is here).

Or for more details email [email protected]

For other volunteer opportunities, see our volunteer page, as well as our resource page for a list of other mental health-related organizations on campus and in the community who also may have volunteer opportunities.

September 9, 2021. 5-8pm.