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New non-profit in the works aims to give support to those suffering from mental illness and/or addiction

 

“We all know someone or of someone who has somebody in his or her life that suffers from a mental illness and/or addiction. It’s so prominent out there and it’s not talked about enough. We’re trying to change that,” said Jen Frizell, as she explained her reasons for wanting to start the non-profit company, Colour Me Worthy.

Currently, Jen is in the process of raising funds so that she can officially register and license the organization. She is expecting to need around $500 and is selling t-shirts that feature the company logo, a colourful tree, and inspirational words to reach her goal. “There’s paperwork and lawyers and that type of stuff involved in registering, and being that I don’t have that type of money to put in, I’m trying to raise funds for it.”

The reason Jen decided to create Colour Me Worthy is because her oldest daughter Brooke had a long journey with mental illness and addiction over the last nine years.  “We’ve walked a long journey with her from depression, borderline personality disorder, anxiety, and she is a recovering addict, as well. Through the journey we’ve realized how lost you feel when your family members are suddenly finding themselves in this position and not knowing what to deal with first. Do you fix the mental illness first or do we try and fix the addiction first?”

Jen says there are other programs and organizations that deal with concurrent disorders but adds that there are not many. She also felt that it took a long time to reach all the information they needed in treating their daughter. “I didn’t see that there was a one-stop shop where you could go to one place and they would help you with everything.” Jen would like to be able to provide a vast amount of information in one place so that people starting a journey like what her family went through wouldn’t have to search high and low to find support services.

Brooke is doing well now and is in recovery. She is healthier with her mental illness and has everything under control thanks to support including counselling and trauma therapy. “We aren’t saying there aren’t supports and services out there, we just feel that there aren’t enough and that they aren’t as readily available as they need to be.”

The short-term goals include opening a space locally where sufferers could receive support as well as take part in activities such as yoga and art. “Being able to talk to someone or just come for somewhere to be, to get out of the house.” Long-term, Jen hopes to be able to open an all-encompassing holistic treatment centre. She would like to have a bigger space with many beds to be as supportive as possible. “As big as we can make it! It’s our biggest dream.”

The biggest focus for Jen is to get people talking and to reduce the stigma that often surrounds those who suffer from mental illness and addiction. “If we don’t lower the stigma, the services and supports aren’t going to be there. We need to stand together.  We’re all colourful and we’re all unique no matter if we have a mental illness or not. Everyone is worthy of love and compassion.”

To support Colour Me Worthy in its mission to become a registered non-profit company, and to move forward with its goals to support those who need it most, join their Facebook Page. To purchase a t-shirt, visit www.bonfire.com/colourmeworthy2. You can also reach Jen by email at [email protected].

 

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