On Friday, December 16th the staff of the MDABC were pleased to host our annual Holiday Volunteer Appreciation Party at the Counselling and Wellness Centre in Vancouver. This was a chance for the staff of the MDABC to show how truly grateful we are for all of the time, enthusiasm and dedication shown by the volunteers throughout the year.
The MDABC wouldn’t exist without our wonderful volunteers who generously give their time to facilitate support groups, greet patients in our psychiatric clinic, do community outreach, educate the public about mental health, write newsletter articles, and much more! Just thinking about how many lives have been positively impacted by our volunteers is amazing.
Guests at the party were treated to a buffet of holiday treats and a craft room full of art supplies with which to get creative. We then did a Christmas Trivia Quiz (click here to download our quiz) and the winners picked out prizes from beneath the tree. A couple of speeches from our Executive Director Martin Addison and our Operations Manager Catherine St.Denis rounded out the afternoon.
It was great to see everyone come to together at this event, and the MDABC would like to wish all of our volunteers, clients, members, patients, and friends a lovely holiday season!
On Tuesday, May 10th the MDABC hosted a training event for our volunteers and staff in which we explored the ways in which we would like to grow as an organization and how we can all contribute to our organization’s mission. We had a lot of spirited discussion as we attempted to reach a better understanding of how to work together towards our common goals. We ended our session with a gratitude meditation which we’d like to share with all of you.
Get into a relaxed seated posture. Bring your hands together to form a bowl and close your eyes. Take a few deep, calming breaths to relax and centre. Slowly, take three deep breaths and repeat the words “For this day, I am grateful.”
- Next, bring to mind those people in your life to whom you are close: your friends, neighbors, family, coworkers…. Repeat the words, “For the people that I share my life with, I am grateful.”
- Next, turn your attention to yourself: you are a unique individual, and you possess imagination, the ability to communicate, the ability to learn from the past and plan for the future, and the ability to overcome any pain you may be experiencing. Repeat the words, “For all of my abilities, I am grateful.”
- Finally, think about something that you saw or felt today that made you smile. It could be as small a thing as seeing a child laugh or the feeling of a soft breeze on your skin. Repeat the words, “For being able to see the ordinary as beautiful, I am grateful.”
Continue to focus on your breath as you take 3 more deep breaths. Open your eyes and look into the bowl that you have made with your hands. Realize that your bowl is full of all the things that you have expressed your gratitude for. When you are ready, release your hands and prepare to meet the rest of your day with a renewed sense of wellbeing.
By Polly Guetta
It can be tempting to overspend at this time of year but research is clear that debt is related to poor mental and physical health. There are many ways to give generously without spending beyond your means and one way is to give personalized coupons as gifts. My kids make these for me often and I have to say that it feels great when they take the time to make something that is just for me.
You can download these simple coupons, fill them out with that special person in mind and tie them together with a ribbon. Or make your own with your own artwork or photos! Great gifts don’t have to cost an arm and a leg!
Click here to download the coupon template.