Connections Place executive director Chris Forester (left) and Saanich Mayor Fred Haynes enjoy a discussion just outside the non-profit’s site on Oak Street at Saanich Road. (Megan Atkins-Baker/News Staff)

Connections Place executive director Chris Forester (left) and Saanich Mayor Fred Haynes enjoy a discussion just outside the non-profit’s site on Oak Street at Saanich Road. (Megan Atkins-Baker/News Staff)

Funding from Saanich boosts non-profit’s mental health programs

Connections Place in Saanich helps clients through free workshops and support

Saanich is supporting Connections Place with over $18,000 for mental health programs through the district’s strategic initiative fund.

The funding will help the organization balance its budget and provide services to more people this year and in 2022.

Connections Place, located on Oak Street near Uptown, provides a communal approach to helping residents with mental illness. Their key focus is to remind clients through workshops and support that their skills and talents are innate and separate from their illness. All services offered are free.

“Together with community contributions from residents in Saanich who have family members similarly dealing with mental health, it was realized that this type of facility is needed,” said Mayor Fred Haynes.

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Connections’ services include employment assistance, education and recreation initiatives to help people diagnosed with any mental illness. Those include but not limited to psychosis, PTSD, bipolar disorder, anxiety, depression, OCD and schizophrenia.

Chris Forester, executive director at the organization, said they’re trying to promote the message of disrupting isolation by staying connected.

“(We’re) working to collaborate with other mental health service providers to really bring people into the community and help them understand that mental health is ubiquitous,” he said.


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District of Saanichmental health