Care for those who need it

Free wellbeing workshops start Sunday

The local not-for-profit Tantalus Wellspring Society is continuing its mission to bring affordable mental and wellbeing services to Squamish residents with a series of workshops for those who may not otherwise be able to access the care they need. 

Starting Sunday, Jan. 22, the society is offering the Winter 2017 Workshop Series with four free seminars: two in January, one in February and one in March to be held at various locations around Squamish. 

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The workshops include a dental seminar for those who are afraid of the dentist, embarrassed by their teeth or unable to afford adequate dental care. 

“Like mental health, it is one of those topics that there’s a lot of fear and misunderstanding around, as well as it’s expensive and hard to access,” said the society’s Elizabeth Grant, who is a public health nurse. “One of the ongoing things I see is the need for accessible and affordable dental care.” 

An aspect of the dental seminar, presented by well-known local hygenist Yvonne Smith, will be tips on accessing care. 

“She helps people daily to navigate the system,” Grant said of Smith. “To apply for subsidies and how to afford dental care.”  

Smith will also explain simple ways to stop decay, strengthen teeth and improve overall dental health.

It is never too late to start addressing dental health, Grant added. 

A returning popular seminar is Walking the Medicine Wheel. 

“In this workshop you will gain insight into the sacred teachings of Earth Based Wisdom and ways to assist your own path towards physical, mental, emotional and spiritual balance and enlightenment,” the workshop’s online description states. 

Another free workshop is Mindfulness: An introduction, which aims to help people move from “doing mode to being mode.” The session will also include an introduction to Yoga Nidra, which involves reaching the relaxing state between waking and sleep.

The forth seminar is Music Therapy, which will include “drumming exercises, improvisation, group songwriting, as well as a presentation on case study research,” according to the society’s website.

The society partners with the Squamish Nation, Squamish Savings and the Child and Youth Mental Health and Substance Use (CYMHSU) Collaborative to help fill the gaps the society sees in the community. According to the society’s Ashley Lightfoot, the hope is the organization will be able to offer more services once it gets its charitable status, something currently in the works.

“Squamish requires a service hub that enables access to services that are responsive and affordable and holistic and there needs to be more variety of services offered,” said Lightfoot. “The optics is that there are services available [in Squamish] but when it comes down to the reality for a lot of people those services are not meeting their needs, they are inadequate or they are difficult to access, whether it be geography or some sort of financial requirement.” 

For more on the society or to register for the workshops, go to

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