Healthy Mind, Healthy Body, Healthy Spirit – in Coat­i­cook

Stanstead Journal - - FORUM - Vic­to­ria Vanier, Coat­i­cook

When you live in an area like the Coat­i­cook MRC where the English­s­peak­ing pop­u­la­tion is a lit­tle small at around 11.6%, it’s some­times as­sumed that health and so­cial ser­vices, in English, may be hard to find. In or­der to dis­pel this myth and have some fun at the same time, last Wed­nes­day, Town­ship­pers’ As­so­ci­a­tion hosted an all­day event at Coat­i­cook’s

Pav­il­lon des Arts, call­ing it “Healthy Mind, Healthy Body, Healthy Spirit”.

Dur­ing the morn­ing, the au­di­ence of about thirty heard about lo­cal ser­vices di­rectly from those ser­vice providers, be­gin­ning with Judy Ross from Men­tal

Health Estrie, which is based in Len­noxville but pro­vides ser­vices to the en­tire Estrie area. Get­ting closer to home, Lynn Lacroix of the L’Eveil or­ga­ni­za­tion, a men­tal health com­mu­nity re­source based in Coat­i­cook, spoke in French about her or­ga­ni­za­tion’s ser­vices. Many of those ac­tiv­i­ties, like art work­shops, yoga and walk­ing groups, al­though pre­sented pri­mar­ily in French, are also open to the English pop­u­la­tion and can eas­ily be en­joyed in

any lan­guage. Ms. Lacroix also stressed that, at L’Eveil, there was one in­ter­vener who could speak in English with English clients and that group ac­tiv­i­ties, in English, could be or­ga­nized for groups as small as two or three.

Pa­trick Morin, of the Coat­i­cook CAB, spoke about the avail­abil­ity of English ser­vices at that or­ga­ni­za­tion. “There is al­ways some­one on the team who can speak English. We have no group ser­vices in English right now be­cause there is no de­mand. But for some­thing like a Com­mu­nity Kitchen, you only need three or four English peo­ple; we once had a Com­mu­nity Kitchen group in English.” The Coat­i­cook CAB is be­gin­ning an im­por­tant pro­ject to reach all se­niors liv­ing in iso­la­tion and Mr. Morin com­mented how they needed the help of the English com­mu­nity for this. The goal is to make sure these se­niors are aware of all the ser­vices and gov­ern­ment fi­nan­cial sup­ple­ments and tax cred­its that are avail­able to them.

Len­noxville and District Com­mu­nity Aid serves a part of the Coat­i­cook MRC, the mu­nic­i­pal­ity of Water­ville, and so Di­rec­tor Sylvie Fowlis in­tro­duced her or­ga­ni­za­tion. “We mainly pro­vide ser­vices to se­niors so they can stay at home as long as pos­si­ble. We have about five hun­dred clients and about two hun­dred vol­un­teers,” she ex­plained. Ms. Fowlis also men­tioned the pos­si­bil­ity of work­ing with the Coat­i­cook CAB in the fu­ture so that English peo­ple from the Coat­i­cook area might take part in some­thing like the Care­givers Sup­port Group of­fered in English at Len­noxville and District Com­mu­nity Aid.

Miche­line De­mers was one of sev­eral health pro­fes­sion­als from the CSSS Coat­i­cook who in­tro­duced them­selves and their ser­vices to the au­di­ence. “We can help with teen prob­lems, when couples are get­ting on each other’s nerves, me­di­a­tion, cou­ple’s ther­apy, grief coun­sel­ing, all kinds of abuse, and we have ser­vices for peo­ple with ADD,” said Ms. De­mers, giv­ing just a few ex­am­ples of some health and so­cial prob­lems that peo­ple can get help deal­ing with.

The fi­nal speaker of the morn­ing was Dr. Natasha Bird who, judg­ing from the com­ments around the cof­fee urn seemed to be the doc­tor of al­most ev­ery­one in the room. Dr. Bird spoke about how the treat­ment of peo­ple suf­fer­ing from men­tal ill­ness had changed dras­ti­cally over the last thirty years, thank­fully, for the bet­ter. “Peo­ple di­ag­nosed with a men­tal ill­ness would end up dis­ap­pear­ing – go­ing to Sher­brooke…These peo­ple can now stay our neigh­bours and they’re not put aside in a back room. It’s very grat­i­fy­ing to see this as a doc­tor,” said Dr. Bird, who also works with the CSSS-IUGS and has been rec­og­nized for her work with home­less peo­ple. “The English com­mu­nity has suf­fered and we’re fewer in num­ber. We used to take care of our­selves but with less peo­ple now, we must turn to oth­ers. I hope you will ask for help if you need it; we’re all vul­ner­a­ble,” Dr. Bird con­cluded. “I feel that this is a ‘WOO WOO’ mo­ment – Dr. Bird you’re liv­ing proof that things have changed!” added Judy Ross.

By the time the last pre­sen­ter had fin­ished speak­ing, the Town­ship­pers’ As­so­ci­a­tion’s staff mem­bers who had helped or­ga­nize the event, Deb­bie Bishop, Shan­non Keenan and Eric Manol­son, had set out a buf­fet lunch for ev­ery­one. Af­ter lunch, which was en­joyed to the live mu­sic of Jan Graham, the au­di­ence took part in an art work­shop to cre­ate man­dalas an­i­mated by Shan­non Brown.

photo Vic­to­ria Vanier

Some of the pre­sen­ters at last Wed­nes­day’s event in Coat­i­cook were (l. to r.) Judy Ross of Men­tal Health Estrie, Sylvie Fowlis of the Len­noxville & District Com­mu­nity Aid, Dr. Natasha Bird, so­cial worker Cyn­thia Pel­letier and other health care providers from the CSSS Coat­i­cook.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.