Summer & Fall Update

To All Our Friends and Supporters,

Today, September 10th, is World Suicide Prevention Day. In Canada, approximately 4,000 people die by suicide each year, 11 people die by suicide everyday, and suicide is the second leading cause of death among youth and young adults aged 15-34 years old.

And so today, we are here to promote Mental Health Awareness in our community, talk about mental health services, and let you know that we are here to help.

Over the past 6 months, the COVID-19 pandemic has challenged us like never before. On both a global and local level, our communities have been affected by and felt the impact of this virus—economically, politically, socially. For many, the impacts of the pandemic have been most felt through their mental health.

For those who already struggle with their mental health, reduced access to services and the need to practice physical distancing dramatically increased their experience of anxiety and social isolation. For some, this resulted in a general decline in wellness leading to crisis and hospitalization.

Virtual Clubhouse

From March 16th to June 5th we launched our ‘Virtual Clubhouse’, replicating the Work-Ordered Day Program in a virtual setting. We also expanded our Outreach Program and launched our very own Member Outreach Program whereby a peer-based network offered phone and digital support to our clubhouse community. Our clubhouse made:

  • 455 outreach contacts via phone and email
  • 394 virtual contacts over 11 weekly online meetings
As the world slowly re-opened its doors in early June, people were given the opportunity to re-connect to services and supports. However, for many, the mental health impacts of the pandemic and subsequent shutdown have been long lasting and profound. Reports of mental health relapse are common and recovery has been hard fought. Disrupting social isolation and rebuilding wellness isn’t easy, but we have the tools.Community and connection through meaningful relationships and the ability to engage in daily programming have played a huge role in helping people on their mental health recovery journey. And at Connections Place, we’ve been busy.


On June 8th, we re-opened our doors to our member community! With a comprehensive safety plan and modified service provision in place, we welcomed back our team to once again reconnect and take part in meaningful programming. Connections Place:

  • 213 attendees in the month of August
  • 200+ lunches served
  • Expanded hours to include Fridays
  • Membership has grown to 170 members

As we move into the fall, life is only getting busier at Connections Place. We continue to offer our programming through the Work Ordered Day with two shifts a day, five days a week. We are slowly expanding our hours of operation as well as developing our Employment Program through a new and successful collaboration with Work BC.

Our mission has always been to disrupt isolation, offer opportunity, and build wellness in our community through connection and engagement. We will continue to provide our evidence-based programming, grow our membership, and develop our programs as we move through the fall and into the new year. The pandemic may have slowed us down, but it taught us that we can stay well by staying connected, and that’s just what we’ll be doing!

Chris Forester
Executive Director

Dates to Remember:

  • October 4th – 10th — Mental Illness Awareness week
  • October 10th — International Mental Health Day
  • October 7th — Connections Place Society’s Annual General Meeting (to be held virtually over Zoom; invitations to be sent by September 23rd)

Help is Available:

  • 9-1-1
  • Kids Help Phone: 1-800-668-6868
  • Text CONNECT to 686868
  • Chat Services (6pm–2 am EST):
  • Trans Lifeline: 1-877-330-6366
  • Hope for Wellness Help Line: 1-855-242-3310
  • Online chat:
  • Indian Residential Schools Crisis Line: 1-866-925-4419
  • Canada Suicide Prevention Service (24/7): 1-833-456-4566

Contact a Crisis Center Near You:

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Growing Connections Friendraising Gala