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Wednesday
Jun262019

Helping Others to Help  Ourselves

Can-Voice Community Support Services Centre 450 Spruce St., London, ON“Helping others to help ourselves”, is an apt motto for Can-Voice, a London, Ontario agency “dedicated to the educational and social support of consumers/survivors of the mental health system in their struggle for wellness and to increase public awareness regarding mental health”. Sister Esther Lucier and I saw this motto in action as we answered an invitation to tour Can-Voice (I can have a voice) program quarters and the recent renovations to their nearby Willow Creek House.

Esther and I were greeted warmly by Betty Edwards, pictured lower right, the well qualified, volunteer executive director.  We were soon to learn that the entire undertaking is staffed by generous volunteers who have kept this valuable, community support service alive and active for thirty years!  In every room we viewed, proud, friendly volunteers explained the programs offered in the modest Can-Voice building. They spoke about outreach services, self-help groups, support services and activities which assist the consumers/survivors in achieving quality of life.

A special focus of our visit was touring the Willow Creek House next door where several men and women with mental health issues live and form community.  We were impressed with recent renovations such as new windows and flooring throughout the home.  This was due to the generosity of kind donors. More improvements need to be done as other donors become aware of areas calling for attention.

As we took our leave, it was obvious from the smiles and friendly handshakes extended to us, that those who live at Willow Creek House are happy to have found stability, comradery and support.  On the way home, Esther and I reflected on the Can-Voice initiative as another example of how selfless volunteers and bighearted donors can uplift spirits and change peoples’ lives.  How blessed we are to live in a city of caring people.

- Sister Jean Moylan, csj

Can-Voice    is a local member-run, peer support, self-help organization for the education and empowerment of consumers and survivors of the mental health system.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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