Island Community Mental Health is pleased to announce they have received a Service Innovation Grant from the Community Action Initiative to develop support circles for unpaid caregivers of people living with dementia.

The Community Action Initiative provides grant and training opportunities for community-based organizations across BC to develop and deliver innovative projects that respond to the needs of individuals and families experiencing mental health and/or substance use challenges.

Island Community Mental Health is teaming up with M’akola ILBC Housing Society, Cowichan Family Caregivers Society, BC Centre for Elder Advocacy and Support, Family Caregivers of BC and Island Health to strengthen family caregivers of people living with dementia by creating support circles. We take a localized, collaborative approach by creating networks and encouraging dialogue within and across sectors to develop the most person-centred care possible.

Unpaid caregivers are often an invisible part of the British Columbia Health Care system. These people are an integral part of the day to day care of loved ones and as our population ages, so does the prevalence of unpaid caregivers. These caregivers allow people to stay at home longer and enjoy a higher quality of life. As fulfilling and rewarding as caregiving can be, it is also extremely challenging for caregivers physically, emotionally, and financially.

The services will be based on a successful model developed by Cowichan Family Caregivers Society. The support circles will be offered through genuine connection in the spirit of community and neighborliness. We will be offering training for different organizations that identify that this could be helpful with the population within which they work.  They will then be able to implement support circles for caregivers that can best support their community.

We will be hosting our first “Train the Trainer” event on December 12th and will be launching the first support circles in January of 2017.

If your organization is interested in becoming part of this exciting project or attending the first “Train the Trainer” event, please contact:

Click here for more information on the training

Pam Lewis

Project Coordinator/Director of Program Development

Island Community Mental Health

250 888 7833/ 250 389 1211/ pam.lewis@icmha.ca