Let’s Talk, it gets better – March

Suicide Matters - Let s talk, it gets better March’s article – reprinted with permission from the Gabriola Sounder letstalk@phcgabriola.org

“I know what it feels like to want to die. For me, it’s devastating to think that problems spiral out of control, that the best option is to kill myself. There are no other options. It wouldn’t make a difference anyway.”

Though some of us have a hard time imagining what it feels like to give up, for Seth (not his real name), it is a familiar feeling. Seth is presently a strong, independent man. At 29 years old, he lives with his new partner on Gabriola and thrives on the positive energy he absorbs here on the island. It wasn’t always like that for him though.

“My family life didn’t help me. I was picked on as a kid and I was never allowed to talk about my feelings. I had constant fear and an ongoing sense of loss. I always wanted to get away from it. In my worst moments, there seemed to be no other outlet than suicide. I never seemed to learn about other choices.

“My mom was there for me. We talked about things when events in my life made it difficult for me to go on. For me, talking helps a lot. I let people know how I feel and I ask them to talk to me. I realize now that many people feel sad. I can be helpful to them too.

“I love… video games, talking to others. On-line relationships help me get close to people faster. We talk about serious things.

“I realize, now, there really isn’t anything wrong with me. Now when I get depressed, I just talk to people I trust and those I know really care.”

Seth sounds like any of us. We all feel sad sometimes. We all need someone to talk to, and activities that make us happy. There are so many people on Gabriola who are caring, loving individuals. If you want to talk… there’s always someone who can listen!

In the meantime, if you or someone you know is contemplating suicide, here are some important phone numbers to note:

Crisis Contact Info

Let’s Talk – it gets better.

Lets Talk, it gets better – February

Suicide Matters - Let s talk, it gets better

February’s article – by Joood Heather
reprinted with permission from the Gabriola Sounder

Over the last year, we on Gabriola have lost three of our members to suicide: three precious human beings with parents, partners, children, siblings, friends, colleagues, and neighbours.

As losses go, suicide is staggeringly painful to the people left behind, who are additionally burdened by stigma, often making it more difficult for them to openly grieve and heal. What makes it even harder to bear, for many of us, is the knowledge that suicide, the deadly last symptom of a treatable illness, is usually preventable.

With this in mind, some people in this community have come together to see what we can do to make suicide more preventable on Gabriola, and to find ways to enable help to more easily reach people who may be contemplating this permanent solution to a temporary problem.

Under the aegis of People For a Healthy Community (PHC) this group will be taking some actions in the next few months to promote understanding of mental illnesses and to lessen the stigma surrounding them.

As a part of this effort, Sarah Holmes, Publisher of the Gabriola Sounder, is partnering with PHC, and will be printing a series of articles on this topic, written by different community members.

Some articles will be educational, and some anecdotal. We hope that you will read them and find them informative and useful.

We trust as well, that they will expand your awareness of the barriers that people face in accepting help, accessing treatment, and finding support. We believe that the more people know and understand these issues, the more likely it is that people in despair can find the path back to health and happiness.

In the meantime, if you or someone you know is contemplating suicide, here are some important numbers to note:

Crisis Contact Info

Lets Talk, it gets better

Transportation Tuesdays

Are you a senior or a person on disability without transportation?

Is getting to Nanaimo a major challenge?

The Circle of Care Program at People for a Healthy Community (PHC) will be offering rides on Tuesdays to Nanaimo.

A rotation of volunteers will drive to doctor’s appointments or for shopping.

  • Departure on the 10:05 am ferry with the aim to return on the 2:30 pm ferry.
  • Driver’s will contact participants to arrange drop off and pick up and discuss travel plans.
  • minimum $5 charge for gas plus passenger fare. Please bring your TAP form (“pink slip”) for medical appointments. http://www.health.gov.bc.ca/tapbc/tap_patient.html

Contact the PHC Seniors Resource Centre for more details: 250-325-2273
or email: resources@phcgabriola.org.


Press Release: PHC Hires New Executive Director

The Board of Directors of People for a Healthy Community (PHC) is delighted to announce that Brenda Fowler has been hired as the new Executive Director (ED), effective immediately. Charlie Cheffins, Chair of the PHC Board, says, “Brenda brings many years of non-profit and management know-how to the job, including extensive community development and fundraising experience. We’re lucky to have someone of her calibre in a leadership role at PHC.”

Fowler, who previously served as President of the Gabriola Health Care Society and currently sits as a Board member with the Gabriola Auxiliary for Island Health Care Society, says, “I’m looking forward to working with the experienced staff and committed volunteers at PHC to continue to create a safe, healthy community for everyone on Gabriola. I’ve always admired the work that PHC does, and I am honoured to have an opportunity to make a contribution.”

Fowler takes over from Interim ED Stephanie Rossel, who recently launched the innovative ThinkGiving fundraising campaign, and developed social enterprise and microlending models for PHC. Cheffins says, “The Board wants to acknowledge Stephanie’s significant contribution to PHC over the past three years, and especially in her role as Interim ED. Stephanie brought enormous energy, heart and commitment to the organization.”

PHC, the sole non-profit social service agency on Gabriola, operates the Food Bank, the Circle of Care (including the monthly Seniors’ Luncheon and Seniors’ Resource Centre, and counselling services), the landlord-tenant matching program, community gardens, and much more.

The ThinkGiving campaign attracted a number of new monthly and one-time donors, which has made a big difference in this time of need. The Board would like to thank all who contributed over the past few weeks. Cheffins says, “Fall is always a particularly difficult cash-flow period, and this year is no exception. We’re grateful for the support.” It’s not too late to contribute to the campaign—see the PHC website (www.phcgabriola.org) for details.

PHC ThinkGiving Campaign

Watch the ThinkGiving Campaign Video

ThinkGiving is a grassroots fundraising campaign for People for a Healthy Community.

On Oct. 1, 2013 PHC launched a ten-day fundraising campaign with the goal of increasing regular monthly donations by 1,000—that’s ten-times-ten-times-ten—by encouraging all Gabriolans to commit to a minimum $10/month donation by October 10th, 2013.

Imagine 1,000 Gabriolans donating $10 on 10/10/2013: $10×1000 or 10x10x10x10=$10,000.
Imagine 1,000 Gabriolans committing to donate $10 per month: 10x1000x12=$120,000.
Imagine 1,000 Gabriolans each asking one friend to donate $10.

ThinkGiving banner new versionIt just keeps multiplying!

Please make a $10/month donation to PHC between October 1 to 10, 2013 and watch our imagination become a reality.

Click here to see all of the ways we’ve made it easy for you to make a donation to PHC.

To learn about other ways you can support PHC throughout the year go to our Home page and click on “Support Us”.

Other ways to support our campaign:

Your help today:

• Helps keep our Gabriola Food Bank open and operating
• Helps keep our Food Bank gardens growing
• Helps ensure that PHC continues to offer Monday, Tuesday, and Friday free soup socials
• Supports the Seniors’ garden program
• Supports the Circle of Care program for seniors
• Helps keep Gabriolan seniors connected though the seniors’ monthly luncheon
• Supports free counseling and outreach
• Supports caregivers support groups
• Helps link landlords with tenants on Gabriola
• Supports Moms ‘n Babes program
• Supports seniors’ comfort on computers programs
• Supports Transportation Tuesdays for seniors

Thanks for your support.

Gabriola Automotive’s Car Clinic Fundraiser scheduled for September 28, 2013!

The  4th Annual Fundraising Car Clinic for PHC brought to you by Gabriola Automotive is scheduled for September 28th from 10 til 4pm.

  • Stop by for a fall car inspection, (by donation)
  • Check out the large silent auction 
  • Enjoy a cup of Gabriola Coffee Co. coffee, tea or hot chocolate
  • Snack on delicious gourmet cookies
  • Get a chair massage from Yaz (all day)
  • Watch a children’s magic show (3 pm)

 No appointment necessary!

See you on Saturday, September 28th

Gabriola Automotive 4th Annual Car Clinic Fundraiser

Changes Afoot At PHC

Kathryn Molloy, Executive Director at People for a Healthy Community (PHC), is leaving to pursue a new opportunity; her tenure comes to a close exactly four years after it started in September 2009. Molloy’s new role is Executive Director of Heritage BC, a province-wide charitable organization providing funding, awards and education in the BC Heritage Community.

“It’s been a pleasure and honour to have lead Gabriola’s only non-profit social service agency for the past four years,” says Molloy. “I’ve laughed, cried, struggled and learned a great deal, and have such appreciation for those who exist with so few resources and so many barriers.  Healthy food, a listening ear and safe, affordable housing are what’s needed for everyone to survive—PHC not only helps Gabriolans survive, but thrive.  PHC will continue to grow and change, and they can count on my support as a donor and volunteer.”

Stephanie Rossel, Operations Manager, will take over as Interim Executive Director, filling in until the Board launches a formal hiring process immediately.  Rossel served in this role earlier this year when Molloy was travelling. Rossel says, “Kathryn Molloy’s legacy is an organization that operates with values of respect and dignity for all, with exemplary support and programs for seniors, families and individuals – whether that’s help finding a decent place to live, or counselling, or a bowl of hot soup and a bag of food. I look forward to working with the rest of the committed staff here to carry on this important work in the community.”

Besides the Food Bank and Soup Socials, PHC also runs a Community Gardens project, the Community Resource Centre, the Seniors Luncheon and other programming for seniors, low- or no-cost counselling services, and much more.  For more information, see their website at www.phcgabriola.org.

PHC Gabriola 15th Annual Home & Garden Tour, June 23, 2013

HG poster June 23, 2013Satisfy your curiosity about some of Gabriola’s unique homes and gardens on the 15th Annual Gabriola Home & Garden Tour on June 23rd, 10-5pm. This day-long event offers visitors an exciting opportunity to take a self-guided tour of the selected sites, featuring uniquely designed and built homes and glorious west coast gardens.The beautiful homes and gardens chosen for this special tour will awe, delight and inspire you. Proceeds from this event help fund many community programs and services delivered by People for a Healthy Community. This tour involves walking down rural driveways and on uneven ground. We regret it is not wheel chair accessible.

Tickets are $20/person, and are available in Nanaimo at Dig This, Diana’s Garden Centre, Blue Poppy Garden Gallery, Buckerfields and on Gabriola at Artworks, Wild Rose Garden Center and Wheelbarrel Nursery. For additional information contact Wendy Shaw at 250-247-7558 or visit PHC website http://www.phcgabriola.org/?p=380

Want to leave your vehicle in Nanaimo!

Elly Hallam of Chemainus Tours (BC Reg. 55371) invites you to the Gabriola Home & Garden Tour as a passenger aboard the recently purchased Gabriola Community bus.

Tickets are $69 for the day and include:

  • pickup on Gabriola from the 9:30 am Nanaimo ferry, a visit to each of the tour sites and dropoff at the 5:35 pm ferry
  • ticket to the Home & Garden Tour ($20)
  • lunch at one of our excellent restaurants
  • knowledgeable tour guide

For more information, contact Elly at 250 247 8792 or ellyhallam@gmail.com



Who will speak for you in the event of illness or injury?

Speak Up Now!

Advance Care Planning Workshop

 Directing Your Health Care

Thursday, May 16 at 3 p.m.

The Women’s Institute

BC’s law has recently changed. If you have not prepared a written declaration of your wishes, health care decisions may be made without regard for your personal choices.

 Facilitator Judy Hancock Holland, with Nanaimo Hospice Society, will give a presentation to explain the regulations of this end-of-life issue and lead a discussion on Advance Care Planning.

 For more information or to register, contact the PHC Community Resource Centre at 325-2273 or resources@phcgabriola.org

Comfort on Computers

People for a Healthy Community is running a 4-week course called Comfort on Computers at the PHC Community Resource Centre.

Date: ongoing 4 week sessions  • Call for dates
Time: 1:00 to 2:00 pm

Instructor Denise Leduc, a professional teacher specializing in Teaching Technology,  offers hands-on instruction in computer basics.

Denise  responds to individual needs, whether it’s how to bank online, how to send an email or how to Skype with your family.

The class is limited to 4 spaces. This allows for individual attention for all participants.

There is a  waiting list for future sessions.

If you are interested, call the PHC Community Resource Centre: 325-2273  or email: resources@phcgabriola.com