Welcome all of those who are joining me as I chronicle this journey with The VK Wellness Initiative. We are at the initiation part of this journey and I hope this written piece helps to explain the theory behind the journey. The idea for this initiative comes from many personal and professional experiences and I would like to touch on a few of them in this blog entry. I will pre-warn those who are reading (thanks btw) that this particular post may come across as bold, opinionated, and a little preachy, because I deeply desire to see change in the way we treat each other and a redefining of how we become well.
I passionately believe that wellness is not something people should be deprived of, especially in the “land of plenty” that we live in in North America. Even on a global scale, we can see that income disparity between our richest and poorest global family members is utterly unacceptable. Family members? Yes. We all share the same DNA, we all came from the same ancestors, and we have all been a part of creating this world we now share. And…. we are all participating in maintaining the good and the bad that happens. Every day we have many choices we can make. These choices are impactful; they impact someone else, or they impact us, which in turn we then impact others. Is that clear as mud 😉
Now that that is out of the way, I’m going to write briefly about how this came about. I experienced depression for the first time when I was 24. I was a long way from home with no one I really trusted. I knew in that experience that I just needed somewhere I could go where I knew someone was going to stick with me until I had figured this out. I desperately needed to feel safe. I did not find the safety that I needed in the mental health services I was referred to. I did, however, find a doctor who told me that what was happening to me happens to people sometimes and that if I needed anything I could call the office and get in right away. His promise brought much needed relief. I did feel in that moment that someone was in this with me. I began to dream one day of offering that kind of safety in a bigger way, a different way, to those who needed this experience.
My other inspiration for this initiative comes from many experiences as a professional when our public sector could not live up to its promises to those dependent on public funding for various reasons. I appreciate the country I live in and all of the sincerely committed individuals working in our public health system, however, this system has so many points of inaccessibility. I have witnessed youth homeless with nowhere to live, and our most lonely people denied mental health support because the publicly funded service cannot accommodate their needs. This is not a blame situation; I truly appreciate public services and our government that funds them. But I truly feel that there is always something we can offer people if we are able to give them a safe space to help them sort things out.
The VK Wellness Initiative is built around the idea that wellness CAN and IS accessible, that it does not have to cost a lot of money or take a lot of time. It is also a place where people can take a bit of the load off their shoulders while someone works with them to sort it all out. I believe wellness is something anyone can access if they are given the tools and feel safe enough to be a little vulnerable. Change does not have to be complicated or an impossible task, it can be one small turn that takes you down a different road. I want to support people to discover what it is they need, not what it is that our culture or different systems might tell them they do. I want our clients to be central in our supports and to guide our programming. I also sincerely hope to involve our clients as much as I can in this initiative and that together we can figure out unique ways of sharing wellness with all people, not just those who qualify for funding support or those who can afford it.
This month I really hope to focus on how special I think each individual is and get the word out there that I believe you have something incredible to contribute to your life; that you are worth so much more than you were likely taught to believe. We are each so precious and unique in our own ways, and I truly hope that through your experiences with The VK Wellness Initiative, you can shine a light on what you have to give and just how incredible you are.
I hope to use this blog as a space to explore various topics related to suggestions from all of you. Please let me know in the comments section what you may be interested in learning more about.
Finally, I wish to welcome all to come alongside me on this adventure and see where it takes us, our communities, and the world.
May you be well,