• Mona Cooley

Anchor of HopeN E W S L E T T E RAOH Update What a year! Amid the stress of this year, Anchor

Anchor of Hope

N E W S L E T T E R

AOH Update

What a year!Amid the stress of this year, Anchor of Hope has played a key role in the establishment of a new health initiative pilot project in Airdrie and surrounding areas called Harmonized Health and we have secured limited funding to prove our concept and compliment the existing health care system. We also successfully moved the head office of Anchor of Hope to Steinbach, Manitoba and have been able to establish a virtual presence within Care First Medical in Airdrie, Alberta. This allows clients of Anchor of Hope to get out of their homes, attend a clinic setting, and not have to worry about setting up virtual rooms, passwords, talking through a phone or smaller screen... all of that will be taken care of for you and clients need only show up for their scheduled appointment and I will already be on the screen waiting to see you. Kinda cool and a huge THANK YOU to Care First Medical at the corner of Yankee and 8th Street for partnering with us like this to better serve the Airdrie / Calgary area. Finally, for those of you hesitant to try an online counselling session, the feedback I have been receiving around my use of the White Boardin my sessions now has been overwhelmingly positive. I promise you an engaging, interactive experience, even through a virtual platform so if you are curious... GREAT. Let's Reconnect.

Depression and the COVID Blues

If only I could keep the upbeat tone in this newsletter but 2020 has been... Wow! If you have NOT been affected by disease (DIS-ease), fear, economic changes in your work or business, relationship strains with partners or children, restrictions within our faith communities, or the rise in depression, suicidal ideation, or hopelessness then you are a truly fortunate and blessed person. 2020 is ending (about time I know) but we are still not out of this season of life that we all woke up in, wishing it were nothing more than a bad dream, and pinching ourselves but alas, we do not wake. This is real. The restrictions are real, the mental health crisis is real. Christmas is supposed to be a season of hope, love, laughter, and faith... but this is also not the case for many of us this year. There are old memories of loss, new stresses of isolation, financial hardships, and for many, Christmas has lost some of its shine. Depression can be a familiar, unwelcomed companion this time of year and I want to share a message of hope for anyone struggling with depression during this season by using the questions that I love most... "So what?" can we do about this and "How?" do we get through this season together?

"Treatment for depression begins with a decision to STOP accepting your life and to START designing it instead."

Battling depression means moving without motivation initially, being intentional in our mindset, words, and actions... even simple things like making your bed can begin your day with a small dose of accomplishment when everything else seems to be bleak. We are social creatures by nature and we NEED connection. Even introverts can only handle so much isolation before they too need a hug, a kind word, a walk in -20 just to feel like we are alive. For the extroverts? We are really hurting. I get it... I'm one of you. Many of you will remember that I have taught you that there IS an opportunity in crisis as well as a danger and this is still true but we need to embrace the mindset of the detective and not the judge and get back to asking better questions. With depression, this makes this process so much harder because of how depression affects us. Here are 5 "A-list" symptoms to watch for when it comes to depression: Anhedonia: a loss of pleasure... the fun is just not fun anymore. I used to love it... but I couldn't be bothered right now. The hobbies don't excite me, the people don't either... everything is just... vanilla. Avolition: a loss of motivation... getting stuck in the knowing / doing gap. I know WHAT I need to do but I will not do what I KNOW. I'm torn within and I hate it. Anergia: a loss of energy... somewhat different than motivation, this feels more like "I'm so drained all the time." I just want to sleep, close the curtains, and ignore the world and let it pass me by. Alogia: a loss of speech... while not a complete inability to speak, you are noticing that 1-word answers are your new normal. You are a minimalist in conversation now and you may not even care. Apathy: a loss of emotion, feeling, or concern... I'm indifferent. I really don't care that I don't care. If these symptoms resonate with you and if the walls of your life seem to be pressing in and everything is getting darker... if you have lost motivation in the things that once gave you pleasure... if you have decreased energy, increased irritability or anxiety, or even poor sleep... or if you struggle or have considered hurting yourself or committing suicide... if you have lost your hope... then reach out to someone you trust. Do not suffer in silence! Depression is dangerous. Sometimes it attacks us when we expect it... other times, it seems to make no sense. There is a way out of depression and begins with taking this one step toward healing. It takes courage to talk about these things and this journey is a lot easier when you know that the person you are talking to cares about your journey and is willing to listen and walk with you through that tunnel, offering support at your speed, creating a safe place, without judgement, within the storm that you are in. As a client of Anchor of Hope, I hope you know how we want to walk this journey with you. Whether it is a Zoom session which seems to be our new standard for care, a telephone session, or a live session in person at our Steinbach, Manitoba home-office or a virtual session at our Airdrie clinic location with Care First Medical (corner of 8th and Yankee Valley), we want you to find rest in the midst of this storm. No one should have to walk this journey alone. You've read this much, so let me encourage you to change something... anything!

"If you want something you've never had, you have to be willing to do something you've never done."

Let's figure out your next step together. Let's break the silence of 2020, reconnect however it makes sense for you, and let's create a plan that helps you LIVE and not just exist through this pandemic and the fallout it has caused.

An Opportunity

If finances are a significant barrier AND/OR you are looking to get started on something RIGHT NOW, there is an opportunity for select people in the Airdrie, Crossfield, Beiseker, Irricana areas to become participants in a fully funded 10-week course designed to help those of you struggling to cope with someone else's mental health in your circle. We have room for 70 participants and this 10-week fully funded course will allow families to experience results and "how to" have honest healthy conversations about difficult situations. If you are curious about this, PLEASE respond to this newsletter and indicate your willingness to participate and further details will be communicated to you directly about next steps.

Merry Christmas

In closing, regardless of the circumstances that we all face right now, I want to wish each and every one of you a veryMerry Christmas to you and yours. I am here for anyone who wants to reconnect, I am accepting new clients if you wanted to refer me to your friends or family, and if you have found value with Anchor of Hope services, if you are open to it, leaving me a Google Review is welcomed and very much appreciated. Finally, for those of you who already have left reviews... Wow! Thank you all for your validation and encouragement over the past few years. May 2021 be a true "new" year for each of us.


Warm Regards,


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Anchor of Hope Counselling · 37 Cutlass Dr. · Steinbach, MB R5G0A6 · Canada

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