New website gathers all mental health resources

New website gathers all mental health resources

Golden has a new resource to promote mental health, offering urgent help, services, and answering big questions.

The website, will take you to a website hosted through the Golden Family Center (GFC). Clicking on the link for urgent help will take the user to a list of resources from the local RCMP, through abuse and neglect of children, drug and poison information, crisis lines, kids help phones, support for First Nations and Indigenous people, mental health, suicide, and many more helpful links and phone numbers to call or text.

By clicking all services, a categorized list comes up to help the user find specific information they are looking for. By clicking big questions, the link takes users to a page of possible issues someone might have, with the resources categorized underneath. It covers a lot of ground from safe places and suicide to being just bored.

The website is connected to the Golden Family Center website, but it was created by the Child and Youth Mental Health and Substance Abuse Use Golden (CYMHSU) local action team, explained GFC executive director Helena Oosthoek.

The website has been in the making for more than a year, and was created by Dave Best, the technician, in partnership with CYMHSU.

When the local action team first began thinking of what type of resource they should create, they first sent out a survey to youth and parents in the community, and then worked with high school students to discuss what their needs were.

“What we discovered through that is right off the bat, wow, even in a small town, people don’t know all the services,” explained John Denham, a child and youth mental health clinician. “People don’t actually know what the resources are. They don’t know what we have in Golden, and secondly they wanted to access it in an easy fashion.”

The I’m Not Fine website can be changed and updated easily as services change in Golden.

The purpose of the website is to allow access for anyone to a central source of information. This way doctors, counsellors, caregivers, parents, youth, and children can all access the long list of services offered in Golden.

“One of the big goals of the local action team is to make it easier for children, youth, and their families to access resources,” she said. “For any worker in any of the programs, it can be hard sometimes to keep track of what is available. We felt if we put this online, we could have all that information in one spot. We have the ability to just update it as things change.”

Doctors of BC and the provincial government developed the local action teams, and parts of the new website were built using resources from those entities, with their permission.

“There’s often a misconception that you’re either mentally healthy or you’re mentally ill,” explained adjunct professor and research consultant at University of Calgary Stephanie Knaak. “That’s really the wrong way to think about it. We like to think about it that everybody has mental health… the same way everyone has physical health.”

When people require the resources to ensure they are mentally healthy, Knaak says there are a couple of issues that go along with seeking help.

“One is stigma. The second is they don’t actually know where to go,” she said. “This website helps a lot with that piece.”

One of the things she finds nice in Golden, is that there are multiple entry points for mental health support that might not be found in a larger city.

Because the town is smaller in size, many of the healthcare professionals are aware of other services offered in town.

In a city, there can be a level of disconnect between providers because there are so many of them.

“The advantage of being a small town is they are connected with all other available supports,” she said. “They are equipped to get you set up with a scaffolding of supports that will meet your needs.”