MDABC Photo Contest is in Full Swing!

It’s been one week since we launched our contest at, and we are off to a great start. We’ve had a phenomenal response and a lot of amazing photos have been submitted. We still have a long way to go if we want to meet our fundraising goal by June 10th when the contest closes so make sure that you submit your photos, donate to vote, and tell everyone you know about this contest! Our top three fundraising photos will win brand new i-pads and have their photos included on an MDABC annual wall calendar. Here are the three photos that are currently in the lead for the top spot:

Changes, Renewal, Transformation by Michael
Summer on the West Coast by Tim
Yamnuska by Ashleigh




Get Involved in MDABC’s First Ever Photo Contest Fundraiser!

You don’t need to be a professional photographer to enjoy taking photos of the beautiful things that nature offers us everyday. So, why not grab your camera or phone, take a few shots and submit one or two to our new fundraising photo contest? And then don’t forget to ask  everyone you know to DONATE to VOTE. All donations will go to mental health programs and services offered by the MDABC in BC. And of course, you could win one of three brand new I-pads donated by  Click on the poster below to go directly to the contest page.

MDABC's First Ever Photo Contest Fundraiser

Meet Jake Palmour – One of MDABC’s Wonderful Volunteers

jake p

How did you come to be a volunteer at the MDABC?

A dear friend of mine had been volunteering at the MDABC. Her positive experiences there inspired me to connect with the staff and management at the MDABC.

What kind of volunteer work have you done at MDABC?

I volunteer once a week as a Greeter in the Robson Psychiatric Clinic. 

What do you find most rewarding about doing this work?

I really cherish the opportunity to welcome new clients to the practice in a warm and empathic manner. It is also really rewarding to witness the positive transformation that clients undergo as a result of the various therapies that are offered by the MDABC.

What kind of programs would you like to see offered in the future?

I am really excited about the MDABC’s proactive and inclusive approach to Youth who experience various mood disorders. More robust Youth programming would be beneficial.  I also appreciate some Psychiatrists’ use of therapies that do not involve pharmaceutical intervention.

What are three things that you need to feel happy and well?

Self-care is integral to my continued well-being. I am an avid cyclist and skateboarder; I also LOVE coffee.


Why Mindfulness?

Why are more and more people drawn to the practice of mindfulness? We see thatstones mindfulness centres, groups, and classes are popping up everywhere…is this just a trend that will soon fizzle out?

In fact, mindfulness has been practiced for centuries and although it may have recently seen a  surging in popularity in the West, it is certainly not a flash-in-the-pan Wellness trend. People who practice mindfulness find that they feel happier, more content, and more relaxed. Studies have shown that this practice can also help you to increase your self-compassion and your compassion for your fellow beings. This compassion can often lead to more altruistic behavior which creates a better society for everyone.

Very simply, mindfulness can be defined in this way:

Mindfulness means paying attention in a particular way; On purpose,
in the present moment, and nonjudgmentally.”   Jon Kabat-Zinn

Kabat-Zinn is a famous Buddhist monk and teacher of mindfulness meditation and the founder of the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction program at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center and many of the strategies and exercises that counsellors use when they teach mindfulness are based on his teachings.

If you would like to learn more about the practice of mindfulness and how it can help you to recover from anxiety and depression, we invite you to consider registering for MDABC’s Spring 2016 Mindfulness Course. Click here to start the application process.

mindfulness group april

MDABC Board Member Jon McComb Receives GG Award

In a ceremony that took place at the Chan Centre in Vancouver on March 4,2016, MDABC Board of Directors member Jon McComb was presented with the Governor-General’s Caring Canadian Award.

Created in 1995, the Governor General’s Caring Canadian Award recognizes living Canadians and permanent residents who have made a significant, sustained, unpaid contribution to their community, in Canada or abroad.

Jon was nominated for the award for his volunteer efforts over many years to increase mental illness awareness and help reduce the stigma associated with mental health problems. Jon McComb has been a talk-show host on CKNW  Radio for more than 30 years  and consistently offers his listeners respectful, smart and passionate opinions.

The MDABC would like to congratulate Jon McComb on his award and wish him continued success in all of  his endeavors.

Visit to Vancouver


The MDABC invites you to come and add your wish to our Wellness Wishing Tree

singapore tree
Wishing Tree in Singapore

We are all so excited here at the MDABC as we get ready to participate in the Wellness Show at the Vancouver Convention Centre this weekend. We will have a booth set up for all three days (Feb. 12th, 13th, and 14th), and MDABC Counsellor Valentina Chichiniova will be presenting a workshop on “Mindful Relationships” on the Living Well stage on Friday, February 12th at 5:15 pm.

spain wishing tree
Wishing Tree in Spain

We are also going to be bringing the tradition of the Wishing Tree to the show and we will be inviting people to write down their wellness wish or goal and join us by hanging it on our tree.

A Wishing Tree is an individual tree that is chosen by a community as a space to offer notes and offerings in order to gain fulfillment of a wish. It is a centuries-old tradition that is cross-cultural. Wishing trees can be found all over the world and are common in Scotland, Ireland,Holland, Japan, and China among other places.​

The capacity for hope is a universal human trait, and the act of writing a note on a piece of paper, cloth, or wood, and placing it on a tree with other people, gives a sense of unity in support of the cause, dream, or blessing. ​

All over the world the tradition of the Wishing Tree is taking root as way of promoting good will and positivity so we hope that you will visit our booth and take part in this activity!



MDABC Self-Care and Self-Compassion Workshop is Now Open for Registration

Self-care isn’t selfish!

Have you given much thought to the role that self-care and self-compassion plays in your overall health and wellbeing? Join Caer Weber,  a self-care and self-compassion advocate, educator, and blogger for a workshop that explores how this practice can bring you increased feelings of wellness, a calmer mind and body, and a more positive self-concept.


New Self-Help Group is Open for Registration

If you have been experiencing stress and anxiety and want to get together with others who are struggling with the same concerns,  check out our new self-help action group starting in February. You will learn simple practices such as mindful breathing and visualizations to help you relax and calm  your body and mind. MDABC self-help action groups are offered in our Counselling and Wellness Centre, and you will find yourself in a warm and accepting environment in which you can meet new people and find support and connection.

ryan schick group

MDABC Will be at the 2016 Vancouver Wellness Show!

Save the Date!

The MDABC is excited to announce that we will be at the Vancouver Wellness Show on February 12th, 13th and 14th so if you are in the area make sure you stop by and visit our booth. We will have tons of mental health information to give out and an interactive activity to keep you busy! (More details on the activity to come in a future post).

Valentina Chichiniova, MA, CCC

In addition to our booth, MDABC Counselor Valentina Chichiniovia will be presenting a “Mindful Relationships” seminar on the Living Well Stage at 5:15 pm on February 11th.

The Wellness Show is in its 20th year and attracts over 30,000 guests each year.  There is definitely something for everyone at this event -you can check out seminars, demos, displays, samples, and raffles. There will be everything from Acupunture to Zumba! For more information about the 2016 Wellness Show and tickets go to .

mindful relationships


Highlights of the 2015 MDABC Holiday Volunteer Appreciation Party



The MDABC hosted our annual Volunteer Appreciation Party on December 14th at The Counselling and Wellness Centre. Our guests enjoyed a buffet of treats, a craft room, some holiday-themed games and some enthusiastic (if a little bit off-tune) Christmas caroling. Check out the photos!

holiday party