Note: This story has been altered to maintain the privacy of our member

Norma has lived in Calgray for 20 years. She is a regional programming officer that helps Bow Valley College students accomplish their dreams. Norma has raised a family in town and has a son living with her while he is in pursuit of an education. Recently mental illness became a challenge in their lives. Her husband of 30 years has left the family. “The person that they know and love has disappeared. “The person I know and love, the person that you feel comfortable around has become hyper aggressive to my family.”

“This was a shock to me. I am not a rich person, I always said my family was my riches. We always had a beautiful relationship but my husband became mentally ill and destroyed everything. I love him but safety is not an option in my life.” “I am grateful that we live in Canada and have some support.”

Wellness Association has never been approached with a situation like this before. However, we understand the kind of stress Norma is facing and have taken action to help her gain Mona Cooley’s peer to peer support services. This member has modest income but has been “cleaned out” by her spouse and is unable to afford the basics, including grocery. We have agreed to pay 50% of the total cost of Norma’s treatment. She has agreed to pay the remaining amount through our microloans program. The program has a very reasonable repayment amount of $8 per month so she can focus on spending her money elsewhere. We will also be providing Norma and her son with a $100 gift card from SPUD Organic Food Delivery so she can get some nutrient dense foods in her cupboard this week.

“Mona’s peer to peer counselling will help me stay sane as I am going through all this. It helps me not feel alone and providers me with coping mechanisms that are useful.” “Since this has all happened my anxiety level has skyrocketed. So, this is extremely helpful for mental and emotional support and stability.”

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