How many people do you know who struggle with mental health?

Chances are someone close to you does, whether it be a neighbour, family member, coworker or even yourself.

The demand for mental health services has doubled since COVID-19 entered our lives, and the need for counselling, outreach and peer support services will only continue to grow as we cope with the lingering effects of the pandemic.

In fact, 1 in 3 BC residents reports worse or much worse mental health compared to pre-pandemic.

Thankfully, there are resources out there that can help, such as the BC211 online directory, and those in need can also dial or text 2-1-1 for help finding community programs and services.

In light of the above, United Way Southern Vancouver Island has launched their Help A Neighbour campaign, which connects local needs with local hearts.

The campaign features an interactive map, allowing people to look up their community—where local data will show information on how neighbours in your community may face additional barriers.

You can see right on the map how much good you can do by supporting your neighbours, through programs and initiatives powered locally by United Way.

You could make a donation today knowing that you’re changing a neighbour’s life—from youth struggling with mental health to isolated seniors, you can help your neighbours when they need it most.

United Way looks to raise $300,000 to fund critical services and supports in the community, and the impact of this fund could reach 15,000 individuals in our region—you can donate here!

Erik’s Story

“It’s nice to be an uncle, a brother and a son again.”

To say that Erik’s life has changed for the better would be an understatement. A few years ago, Erik’s was always chasing his next drink. For a decade he had struggled to stay sober, spending some time homeless, some time in jail.

“I was like a zombie. Constantly sick. I just got so hopeless. I was so sick of being sick,” said Erik.

Erik got help through an outreach worker from the Umbrella Society for Addictions & Mental Health, funded by United Way. He stuck it through detox and was introduced to Foundation House, a recovery house for men.

Now, Erik’s self-esteem and confidence are up.

“There is so much happiness on the inside, it’s hard to describe. Good things just keep on happening since I’ve been sober.”

He adds, “My mom and sister are super happy. It’s nice to be an uncle, a brother and a son again.”

Erik is now the Housing Coordinator for the Umbrella Society for Addictions & Mental Health and part of their outreach team.

“It’s a good way to give back,” he says.

You can help transform a life right here, right now—donate today and help a neighbour, just like Erik.

United Way’s Help a Neighbour Campaign

Donate online here

Instagram | Facebook 

We know this city. You should too. 👊

We uncover the best of the city and put it all in an email for you!