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 type.
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:
- 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.
- We provide support to individuals on their journey to reach mental wellness and recovery in the form of resources, tools, and activities.
- 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 since expanded to offer an Undergraduate Student support group, a support group for Professional Undergraduate and Graduate students (PUG), and a support group for Douglas College students.
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