Lesley Lutes, UBCO professor of psychology and director of the Centre for Obesity and Well-being Research Excellence. (Submitted)

Lesley Lutes, UBCO professor of psychology and director of the Centre for Obesity and Well-being Research Excellence. (Submitted)

UBCO psychologist part of Bell Let’s Talk virtual panel tonight at 6 p.m.

Panel will talk about coping under the stress of this pandemic

As part of Bell Let’s Talk Day, a UBCO professor of psychology and other clinical psychologists are hosting a virtual mental health panel tonight, Wednesday, Jan. 27 starting at 6 p.m.

According to the Canadian Mental Health Association, 38 per cent of Canadians say their mental health has declined due to COVID-19—indicating that now, more than ever, people need to feel empowered and comfortable asking for help.

“Every person has been affected in some way by COVID-19,” says UBCO’s Lesley Lutes, a psychology professor in the Irving K. Barber Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences and director of CORE. “Our new normal isn’t normal, and it’s OK to not be feeling like our usual selves today or any day.”

The event takes place on the eve of Bell Let’s Talk Day—a mental health awareness initiative launched by the company to reduce the stigma around mental illness.

Lutes, alongside her UBC and community colleagues, have joined the conversation by organizing a panel event to provide a safe space for community members to learn about mental health, and this year, ask anonymous questions to clinical psychologists from the comfort of their homes.

The 90-minute virtual session will cover a number of topics including COVID-19, social media, substance misuse and prioritizing self-care. Advice will also be given on how to become more comfortable with mental health dialogue.

Lutes says attendees can expect an open, honest, meaningful discussion on what stress, burnout and risk looks and feels like, effective coping strategies, how to improve mental wellness and services that are available locally to support BC residents.

READ MORE: Learning to listen for Bell’s Let’s Talk

“We, as a society, have been through so much this past year. But sadly, suffering, loss, trauma, abuse and tragedy are not new—we just see and feel it more because of what’s been happening,” says Lutes. “What if it took all of this to finally realize that everyone deserves to feel loved, supported, and valued and that nobody should suffer any longer?”

Lutes will also be announcing, in partnership with Simon Fraser University’s Scott Lear, the launch of a social media competition aimed to encourage British Columbians to share the ways they are staying socially connected, reaching out and providing support for people’s mental health during the current challenges of COVID-19.

“Let’s make all of this matter. Let’s make the events of the past year be the reason to finally make that call or reach out for help. And remember, no matter how insurmountable something may seem, just know that you are not alone. Everyone needs support. Everyone.”

Those interested in attending the event are invited to register and submit their questions anonymously by clicking here.

On Jan. 28, Bell Let’s Talk Day, Bell Canada will donate five cents to Canadian mental health programs for every applicable text, local or long-distance call, tweet or TikTok video using the hashtag #BellLetsTalk. It will also donate five cents for every Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Snapchat, TikTok, Twitter and YouTube view of the Bell Let’s Talk Day video, and every use of the Bell Let’s Talk Day Facebook frame or Snapchat filter.

READ MORE: No out-of-province quarantine allowed

To report a typo, email: editor@pentictonwesternnews.com.


 

@PentictonNews
newstips@pentictonwesternnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The Independent Investigations Office of B.C. has cleared the Lumby RCMP of any wrongdoing after a missing person was found deceased in December 2020. (IIO photo)
Police watchdog says Lumby RCMP played no role in missing person’s death

The body was found by a family member shortly after the RCMP suspended their search

The Dixie Fried Hep Katz are featured in episode four of the Focus Online Series, March 4-7. (Vernon and District Performing Arts Centre photo)
Okanagan talents shine under Vernon spotlight

12-year-old from Lake Country, Enderby singer-songwriter-guitarist and Kelowna duo in Focus

School bus fees are being charged to all riders in the Vernon School District. (Courtesy photo)
Parents pressure Vernon school board to curb bus fee hike

More than 1,200 signatures on petition against $200 rider fees, to be discussed at board meeting

Vernon’s Vasek Pospisil has been named one of five winners of PacificSport Okanagan’s Community Sport Hero 2021 athletic excellence award. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue)
Vernon’s Vasek Pospisil, Elena Gaskell, honoured for excellence

Tennis player and freestyle skier win PacificSport Okanagan awards

An off-duty Vernon Taxi driver got a 24-hour licence suspension, vehicle towed, after failing a standardized field sobriety test around 1:40 a.m. Tuesday, March 2, 2021. (John E Green - Facebook)
Vernon Taxi towed after driver suspected impaired

Off-duty cab towed from McDonald’s drive-thru early Tuesday morning

The images are of Bald Eagles feeding.
Photos: Birds of prey

Princeton photographer captures compelling photos of a Bald Eagle breakfast

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Older rental apartments are prime candidates for renovations, and could result in lost affordable housing stock. (Zoë Ducklow photo)
B.C.’s renoviction overhaul a good start, but won’t preserve affordable stock, lawyer says

And still no protection for people who can’t pay rent due to COVID-19

Kamloops This Week
Cause of Kamloops landfill fire may never be known

Fire investigators are dealing with too much destruction in too large an area

(Photo by Marissa Baecker/Shoot the Breeze)
B.C. WHL teams to hit the ice with Kelowna, Kamloops hub cities

Kelowna, Kamloops centres chosen to host B.C. WHL teams for 24-game regular season

Okanagan College
Okanagan College holds March Madness fundraiser

Money from the fundraiser will go to support the Okanagan College Foundation

Most Read