Hello everyone, I’m Kaitlyn Loomis! I am a fourth year Bishop’s University student entering my final year of clinical psychology. I’ve recently joined Townshippers’ Association through the Department of Canadian Heritage’s Young Canada Works (YCW) program.
This program allows thousands of students across the country, like me, to put our skills to work for a local non-profit organization while gaining valuable work experience, learning how to preserve and promote our cultural heritage while sharing my own insight with the organization.
The Eastern Townships has always been a big part of my life. I was born in Fleurimont and moved to Courtice, Ontario at the age of six. I chose to study at Bishop’s to feel like having a piece of home with me, that, along with having family in the area, made my transition to university much easier.
During my summer with Townshippers’ as the Communications and Culture intern, I’ll be updating our social media accounts, producing print and digital materials, and managing our website content. I’ll also be sharing a series in this space, detailing helpful and interesting things that I’ve discovered while working with the Association.
In my first week, I discovered that Townshippers’ head office in the Borough of Lennoxville is in a community building with several other organizations serving the English-speaking community. One of those very useful groups is Mental Health Estrie, a non-profit community organization dedicated to helping families and individuals with issues surrounding mental illness. They provide support, information, education, and advocacy.
Mental health is an issue that certainly hits a strong part of my heart, as numerous family members and myself have suffered. As we work to lessen the stigma around mental health, we must also work to improve access to services which currently are not easy and readily available for everyone.
From my experience as a student, Bishop’s has a great mental health counselling centre but the wait times are long and sometimes it just does not fit into our busy schedules.
Mental Health Estrie, which accepts members at just $10 annually, offers group support or one-on-one support. Services that are offered to the public includes information sessions, free literature, guest speakers, telephone assistance, referral in finding services and much more.
Being aware of your mental health is extremely important because it affects every single other facet of our daily living and functioning. If you or your loved one are affected by a mental illness, reach out to Mental Health Estrie by phone at 819-565-3777, email [email protected] or visit their website for more information at www.mentalhealthestrie.com.
Don’t ever be afraid to ask for help. It’s a sign of strength.
If you know someone worthy of special recognition for their positive and inspiring contributions to our Eastern Townships community, nominate them today for the 2017 edition of Townshippers’ Association’s Outstanding Townshippers (OT) and Young Townships Leader Award (YTLA).
Townshippers’ wants to put a spotlight on those deserving people and groups who are making a difference in the community through acts of kindness, both subtle and more noticeable, with these two community leadership awards.
The OT recognizes the dedication, generosity, and talent of individuals, couples, and groups, from all walks of life, who help make their community a better place to live, work and raise a family. Nominations can be made, or forms can be downloaded, at www.Townshippers.org/OT.
The YTLA’s are for young leaders aged 15-35 who are changing their communities by being inspiring and involved. Nominations and details at www.Townshippers.org/YTLA.
Nominations for both awards are due by noon, Friday, August 25, 2017. Nomination packages can also be picked up at Townshippers’ offices in Sherbrooke, at 257 Queen, or Lac-Brome, 584 Knowlton Rd. For further details about these awards, contact Cathy Turner at 819-566-5717 (toll-free 1-877-566-5717), [email protected]
For more on Townshippers’ Association and our activities, keep reading this weekly column in The Record and visit our website www.Townshippers.org. You can also follow us on Twitter @Townshippers and Facebook.com/Townshippers. Connect with Townshippers’ offices in Sherbrooke at 100 – 257 Queen, 819-566-5717, toll-free: 1-866-566-5717, or Lac-Brome at 3-584 Knowlton Rd, 450-242-4421, toll-free: 1-877-242-4421.
Published: Keeping in Touch column, Sherbrooke Record, Wednesday, June 28, 2017
Photo Credit: Townshippers’ Association
Photo Caption: Kaitlyn Loomis, a summer intern at Townshippers’ Association, learns what Mental Health Estrie offers the community from the mental health organization’s Executive Director, Tanya Gibson.