New online platform provides early intervention for people with mental illness

January 27, 2021 / by United Way

A  United Way initiative through the Government of Canada’s Emergency Community Support Fund

VICTORIA, BC – Mental Health Recovery Partners (MHRP) South Island has launched a new virtual support program with the goal of providing quick and easy access to peer-led support for people with mental illness.

With the pandemic taking a toll on mental health in Canada and with Bell’s Let’s Talk initiative helping to put the spotlight on mental health, the timing for this program couldn’t be better. Half of Canadians1 report worsening mental health due to COVID-19.

MHRP’s Peer Services Calendar provides programs free of charge on Zoom focusing on a different topic each day of the week. For example, “Welcome Mondays” shows people how mental health recovery is possible. Fridays are “Inspiration Fridays” where participants can hear a guest speaker share a story about overcoming adversity and what helped them achieve greater wellbeing. The weekly sessions will continue to the end of March 2021.

Financial support for the program was made possible thanks to a grant from United Way Greater Victoria through the Government of Canada’s Emergency Community Support Fund.

MHRP currently has a waitlist of 48 people who are in need of extra personal peer support, clinical consultation, navigation and/or advocacy. This new program will help reduce that waitlist and provide extra support for South Island residents.

“Many people with mental illness don’t know where to even start to get help,” said Hazel Meredith, Executive Director, Mental Health Recovery Partners, South Island. “Our goal is to provide easy access to people with mental illness to peer support and outreach to ensure early intervention, relapse prevention and to build connection and wellbeing.”

“The COVID-19 pandemic has amplified the mental health crisis in our community,” said Mark Breslauer, CEO, United Way Greater Victoria. “This initiative is a welcome and much needed service to many in our community as we build and recover through the pandemic.”


For more information:

Hazel Meredith, CEO
Mental Health Recovery Partners, South Island

Heather Skydt
Director, Marketing & Communications
United Way Greater Victoria

About Mental Health Recovery Partners, South Island

With over 30 years of community service and leadership with expertise in mental health recovery, MHRP provides services for people with mental illness, regardless of their diagnosis. While most people served have early psychosis, bipolar and schizophrenia, others are welcome. We help family member caregivers and people with lived experience of a mental health issue with or without substance use. We are committed to work from a recovery-oriented philosophy, meaning we can expect recovery. Hope is the first step to move towards desired aspirations of individuals in our community, despite mental illness. Our mental health peer service has helped thousands of people explore wellness and recovery from peer supporters who “have been there”.

About United Way Greater Victoria:

United Way is a trusted leader, influencer and catalyst for change. In response to COVID-19, we are focusing our efforts on urgent community needs such as mental health outreach services and counselling, meals and companionship for isolated seniors, and essentials for families in need. United, we accelerate change to improve the lives of our neighbours who need it most, making our local community stronger. We believe everyone in Greater Victoria should have the opportunity to reach their potential. Our vision is to build a safe and resilient community where happiness and belonging connect us. Last fiscal year United Way raised $4.7 million thanks to over 7,000 donors and over 250 workplaces opening their offices to run employee giving programs. These funds allowed United Way to support over 90,000 people. Show your local love today by making a gift to United Way at

1Angus Reid Survey