It began as a ward in the former St. Joseph’s Hospital building in Comox, and is now a permanent fixture on 4th Street in Courtenay as a resource centre for adults with persistent mental health issues.
The Eureka Support Society’s new executive director, Troy Dunham, is the next guest on The Record’s Off The Page podcast set to be released April 27.
Dunham says people can access their services for mental health primarily through referrals, but his goal is to bridge gaps in services, relationships and communications so that people are able to access the supports they need.
“We all know — at least if we’ve experienced the last two years — that mental health is an important aspect of life, what once was almost taboo to even mention has become sort of forefront of conversation in the community,” he explained.
“I think in the discussion around mental health it’s still one of those aspects of life that people are a little bit afraid to speak about… even in my own experience being in a position where I can talk about mental health, I was still hesitant to talk about my own experience with mental illness and having my own diagnosis and being on medications myself and those types of things. And it’s a scary prospect when you don’t know what kind of response you’re going to get. I think it’s less scary now. But we’re really just starting to scratch the surface.”
Dunham talks about the impact of the pandemic on mental health, and how the situation created the “perfect storm” with higher recorded rates of depression and anxiety in certain age groups. He notes there has been a gap in services for some time, but it has become more pronounced within the past few years.
He believes that’s where Eureka can help — he envisions the organization finding ways to support the larger community by making connections and closing the gap for services.
As for where he sees Eureka within the next six months to a year? You’ll have to listen to the podcast to find out.
To listen to the full episode, download Off The Page on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts and everywhere podcasts are heard, or visit omny.fm/shows/off-the-page. New episodes of Off The Page drop every Wednesday.
To submit podcast topics or guest ideas, email email@example.com.