B.R.I.D.G.E.S. Education and Support Program

BRIDGES stands for Building Recovery of Individual Dreams & Goals through Education & Support. BRIDGES is a course taught by consumers for consumers.

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Course and Support Group Information

There are three types of BRIDGES courses. This is a short description of each. Lower down on this page there is more detail on each type of course, with an outline of what is taught in each type.

BRIDGES Course

A 10 session, 2.5 hour course for people with a mental illness

BRIDGES Footsteps

A 5 session, 1 hour course for people in hospitals, residential treatment or jails

BRIDGES Support Group

A support group based on BRIDGES principles and information

For more information or to find out if the course is taught in your area, please contact: outreachmgr@nullbcss.org

Quesnel offers BRIDGES Footsteps: Contact 250-985-5832. It alternates between a support group and the Footsteps education series.

Vancouver offers BRIDGES, Footsteps and the Support Group regularly and the contact info is 604-708-5274.

North Vancouver offers BRIDGES, Footsteps and will be holding the Support Group and the contact info is  604-987-6959.

Kelowna BCSS offers BRIDGES regularly.

About BRIDGES

Why is BRIDGES Helpful?

At BRIDGES, we know from experience that people with a mental illness can and do recover a new sense of self and purpose by accepting and overcoming the challenges of their disability.

BRIDGES was Created by Consumers

BRIDGES was built by more than 100 consumers who shared their experience and knowledge. It is taught by consumers for consumers. Learning from each other empowers people with the tools to build their own bridges of recovery.

What is the purpose of BRIDGES?

BRIDGES helps people learn things that will help them in their journey to recovery. People who have taken the course find it helps them to be part of their own treatment. In the course, students learn about psychiatric diagnoses. They also learn about what mental health treatments work best.

How does BRIDGES help people recover?

Students can imagine a healthier future and move toward their goals. They learn about how recovery works and how to help themselves. Students say they feel more confidence in themselves from this course. They also say they find it helps a lot to see other people who are further along in recovery. It is easier to go after your dreams and goals when inspired by teachers and fellow students. We can all use our past problems and pain to become stronger and wiser.


BRIDGES Course

  • The course has 10 classes
  • Each class lasts 2 to 2 ½ hours
  • Each lesson builds on the one before and includes opportunities for students to use the things they have already learned in discussion and exercises.
  • Students who attend seven or more classes receive a graduation certificate at the end of the course.

This is a List of the Topics for Each Class

Class 1:The Foundation of BRIDGES (Emotional Stages of Recovery, Principles of Support)

Class 2:Mood Disorders: Depression, Bipolar Disorder (Coping Skills: Excerpts from WRAP~Wellness Recovery Action Plan)

Class 3: Thought Disorders: Schizophrenia (Relapse Prevention)

Class 4:Anxiety Disorders and Mini Module Chosen by Class (Use and Misuse of Diagnosis)

Module Subjects to choose from

  • Personality Disorders,
  • Eating Disorders,
  • Attention Deficit Disorder,
  • Concurrent Disorder,
  • Dissociative Identity Disorder

Class 5: Helpful Support (Circle of Support, Mental Health Services, Crisis Planning, Suicide Prevention)

Class 6: Medications and the Brain (Talking to Your Doctor About Medications)

Class 7: Problem Management Method

Class 8: Communication (Active Listening, Non-Verbal Communication, Reflective Response and Assertive Communication)

Class 9: Module Chosen by class: (Healthy Spirituality, Self-injury)

Class 10: Advocacy and Graduation (Patients’ Rights, Do’s and Don’t’s of Advocacy)

For more information and training to offer this course in your region, email outreachmgr@nullbcss.org
In Prince George area call: Tel: (250) 561-8033 Toll-Free: 1-888-561-8055


BRIDGES “Footsteps” Workshop Series

  • This workshop series has 5 different sessions
  • Classes last 1 hour
  • These workshops are for inpatient and residential settings such as hospitals, residential treatment centres and jails.
  • Individual sessions can also be offered as stand-alone workshops.
  • Students can join or leave at any point because each lesson can stand on its own.
  • Students who participate in all 5 sessions receive a graduation certificate at the completion of the course.

Course topics include:

Workshop 1: Recovery and Support (Emotional Stages of Recovery, Circle of Support, Principles of Support)

Workshop 2: Mood Disorders and Thought Disorders (Tips for Recovery)

Workshop 3: Anxiety Disorders and Personality Disorders (Crisis Planning)

Workshop 4: Mental Health Treatment and Medications (How to Talk to Your Doctor About Medications)

Workshop 5: Mental Health Services and Advocacy (Treatment Team, Patients’ Rights)

For more information and training to offer this course in your region, email outreachmgr@nullbcss.org

In Prince George area call: Tel: (250) 561-8033 Toll-Free: 1-888-561-8055


BRIDGES Support Group:

The BRIDGES support group is an ongoing support group open to anyone who has a diagnosis of mental illness. A person does not have to graduate from the course to attend the support group.

The meetings use skills and tools from the BRIDGES course.

BRIDGES Support Groups use these tools from the couse:

  • Principles of Support,
  • Emotional Stages of Recovery,
  • the POW Problem Management Method,
  • and other coping skills from the BRIDGES course.

For more information and training to offer this course in your region, email outreachmgr@nullbcss.org

Contact Information for the Program

outreachmgr@nullbcss.org

Or contact the provincial office

In Prince George area call: Tel: (250) 561-8033 Toll-Free: 1-888-561-8055

Note: BRIDGES was originally created by the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill


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