It’s the Canadian Mental Health Association’s mental health week and this year let’s not just get loud but #getreal. It’s affecting nearly everyone. You don’t need to suffer alone. Regardless of ability to pay to access supports, there are many social purpose organizations and social enterprises who respond directly and indirectly to strengthen our mental health.

One in five Canadians will experience a mental health problem or illness in any given year (CMHA). Nearly 50% of Canadians will have or have had a mental illness by the time they are 40 years old. If it’s not affecting you directly, it’s certainly affecting your friends, family, or colleagues.


Making Mental Health More Accessible


Many organizations make their services available at low or no cost for vulnerable members of our community. Those who do have the means to pay, are contributing to a sustainable social enterprising model that powers services and support for those with payment barriers. This circular model enables people to get the help they need while building resilient communities.

Below is a short, and incomplete list of a handful of social enterprises working directly and indirectly on helping to improve mental health in our communities. There are many more to choose from.


Mental Health Week Social Enterprises

Photo Credit – Connect Counselling (Facebook)


5 Local Mental Health Social Enterprises


1. Connect Counselling

The intersection of men, masculinity, and mental health is being forced into the spotlight during COVID with men being “trapped” in the home for this length of time. They need to know there is support out there in our community and that it is easy to access without stigma. Connect Counselling has a unique program specifically for men. But all are welcome as they provide a wide variety of programs for the community. Yes, it’s available virtually.


2. Healthy Essentials

Healthy Essentials Clinic offers unique, integrated care from multiple practitioners who work together to help support your wellness. They offer both individual and family care with personalized programs for mild, moderate or acute need. Yes, it’s available virtually.


3. Elevation Outdoors

Outdoor activity is proven to help support a broad range of physical and mental wellness. Elevation provides mountain biking, rock climbing, snowboarding, and hiking programs and summer camps focused on helping youth find a passion to help them lead a healthy happier life. They offer free programs for income restricted youth as well as paid seats for families with the means to pay. Yes, they plan on having safe, social distanced outdoor programs for youth this summer.


4. Canadian Mental Health Association

CMHA has a presence throughout Canada and is well known for shelter, housing, suicide prevention, community wellness programs, and recently a developing suite of workplace wellness training delivered for businesses and organizations. Some services are offered for free while others, like the training & consultancy for businesses provided by Thoughtfull, is usually a paid service, which helps to provide financial sustainability for CMHA. Take a look in Kamloops, Vernon, Kelowna, South Okanagan, or find your local here.


5. Big Brothers and Sisters of Central and Southern Interior (BBBSCSI)

Looking to support youth? BBBSCSI offers evidence-based mentoring and social-emotional learning programs in schools throughout the Central and Southern Interior of BC. These programs are designed to increase empathy, self-awareness, and self-regulation helping children to reach their full potential. Their programs have been powered by a social enterprise for 20+ years; Through their Renew Crew business they sell used clothing to their for-profit client Value Village to fund a large part of the revenue needed to deliver programs. They have offices in Kamloops, Kelowna, and Cranbrook.


Big Brothers and Sisters Social Enterprise

Photo Credit – BBBS CSI (Facebook)


Positive Impact in Mental Health

These social enterprise models to address mental health issues may differ, “but all are driven by a deep sense of empathy, an unwavering drive to scale their impact, and an understanding of how to creatively mobilize resources.” – Allen Hammond Director, Global Health Program Ashoka

Purppl is proud to be a part of this movement and to celebrate the positive mental health impact being made by our clients and community.

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