Alberta Primary Care Networks offer support for those suffering at home
This year has been a doozy, and no matter where we live, what we do, or who we are, we can all have feelings of anxiousness, loneliness, low mood or depression, and exhaustion.
With this context in mind, Alberta’s Primary Care Networks (PCNs) are here to help you get through the tough times. PCNs are organizations that support family doctors with a team of health professionals, programs, and services, and they are offering free evidence-based mental health workshops.
The workshops teach people how to develop skills needed to help manage their anxiety, boost their mood, see them though loss, and improve overall health. Workshops are offered virtually and, when safe to do so, in person.
“Alberta’s primary care networks include family doctors and a team of health-care professionals to ensure people are getting the right assistance, and PCNs offer a range of workshops across the province,” says Lorna Milkovich, Executive Director, Red Deer Primary Care Network.
“The online workshops are proving popular because it opens up more options for people no matter where or how remote they are.”
Learning to savour life
Evelyn, from central Alberta, suffered from anxiety and depression for some time, but generally
had it under control until a family incident last summer. Her family doctor suggested she see a PCN mental health counsellor. After working with the counsellor, she enrolled in the Anxiety to Calm Program.
Evelyn said, “It was amazing. When I did the assessment at the start of the class, all my answers rated low and, when I did my final assessment, all the answers were amazingly better. I couldn’t believe that had been me just eight weeks before.
“As I went through the program, I thought of how I spent the last years with my mom before she died. I would always say to her, ‘I pray for your comfort and joy.’ Last Christmas, I got a card from children I used to babysit and the words comfort and joy were prominent on the card. That prompted me to look for comfort and joy. Now I realize it is right in front of me. I get it from a nice walk, touching the trees, a steaming cup of coffee, or a hot shower. I have learned to savour all the wonderful everyday things in life. I have a much healthier mindset—I have come so far.
“I thank the counsellor for his patience and for nudging me to the Anxiety Program. I would recommend it to everybody!”
Living with persistent chronic pain
Matt, whose battle with persistent pain left him unable to work for nine years and dependent on opioid medication, says the Moving on with Persistent Pain Workshop changed his life. He described it as “amazing, incredible, and super helpful.” He uses the skills he learned in the workshop every day, particularly mindful meditation, self-compassion, and pacing.
Inspired by his success in the first workshop, Matt also enrolled in Anxiety to Calm. The support he gained and the comfort of knowing he wasn’t alone significantly improved his outlook and his pain control to the point he felt confident enough to successfully apply for a job.
He also highly recommends Moving on with Persistent Pain to anyone struggling with pain.
- Alberta Anxiety to Calm
- Alberta Health Basics
- Alberta Happiness Basics
- Alberta Relationships in Motion
- Alberta Journey through Grief
- Alberta Moving on with Persistent Pain
To learn more about the workshops offered in your area, talk to your family doctor or search for one by location, gender, and languages spoken at AlbertaFindaDoctor.ca. You can also find a workshop near you at https://albertafindadoctor.ca/workshops/home
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