According to the Canadian Mental Health Association, in any given year, one in five Canadians will personally experience a mental health issue or illness.

What is sometimes forgotten is the toll that illness can have on family members, friends or work colleagues.

Jenna Warren and Sam Eady are peer facilitators with the CMHA in Calgary who help run an 8-week course called Finding Your Balance.

They help provide caregivers with with emotional support and provide access to resources. They also have personal experience in caregiver roles.

Sam EadySam Eady, a peer facilitator with Calgary Canadian Mental Health Association, discusses the emotional support issues she faces in her role as a mental health caregiver. Photo by Gabriel Reed.

We understand how hard and tough it can be sometimes, and that the family as a unit needs support,” says Warren.

Eady explains how peer-supporting isn’t just about giving advice, but also listening.

“It’s really about meeting people, [and] where they’re at in their journey,” says Eady

Jenna WarrenJenna Warren (left) Jayme Crosser (right) and , of the Canadian Mental Health Association, discuss Jenna’s personal experience as a caregiver and her own struggle with mental health, as part of the Journal’s mental health podcast series.Photo by Gabriel Reed.

The caregiver course is part of the CMHA’s Recovery College program, which requires pre-registration, but is free to the public.

In partnership with the Calgary Canadian Mental Health Association, we’re publishing podcasts and news stories about mental health issues in our city. Track these stories using #CalgaryJournalHealth.

Editor: Mariam Taiwo | 

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