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EDUCATION at Forward House

" I am not afraid of storms, for I am learning to sail my ship." Aeschylus

At Forward House, we understand that individuals are empowered to heal, to grow and to thrive who are equipped with relevant information and liberal opportunity to discuss ideas.
Education for our client-, volunteer-, staff- and community-partners constitutes our primary purpose in concert with activities to enhance social connection.

Every Wednesday morning, our Education Co-ordinator facilitates discussions about subjects chosen to help motivate, instruct, unburden and expand outlook. These classes pack the room to the rafters! Included among many issues explored are these:
compassionate communication
constructive emotions
music and the mind
stress reduction
personality development

Our students also stretch their comfort zones and self-awareness by facilitating classes for their fellow students in areas of personal interest and general importance, such as these:
core beliefs
emotional awareness
psychology of science fiction
organic chemistry

Basic skills for healthy autonomy and employment readiness are enhanced through weekly fun, hands-on instruction. Our participants gain experience in these and other key areas:
budgeting and banking
management of special diets
personal cleanliness
first aid
emergency preparedness

Our volunteers and staff benefit from monthly in-service instruction about these and other subjects important to self care and responsible service delivery:
boundaries/limit setting
grieving loss
cognitive disorders
personality disorders
affective and thought disorders
'care for the caregiver'
healing touch

Additionally, staff are financially supported in the development of professional skills.


Resource directories: Paths to Wellness I and II provide information about mental health and addictions issues. The client-partners who have written the directories also offer personal insights about coping with illness and practical tips on preparing for medical and legal appointments.

Personal Stories: There and Back Again and Self-Portrait illuminate the process of recovery and reconnection with self and community through the powerful subjective voice of some of those on that challenging journey.

These volumes are published through Human Voice Press, a program of Forward House

Documentary films: Our 'First Contact' series was written and crewed by our client-partners to inform persons recently diagnosed with mental illness or addiction issues and to encourage them to reach out to appropriate supports. Films now available are:

Pickin' Up the Pieces
(about depression)
Up and Down with Bi-Polar (about bi-polar affective disorder)
Looking in the Mirror: Facing Addiction
Living with Panic and Anxiety
Living with the Voices
(about Schizophrenia)
Mental Health in Perspective (provides an overview of the influence of social constructs, philosophical and religious beliefs and medicine on the treatment of persons with mental illness, and follows one patient who has been unresponsive to conventional treatments)

These films are available through the public library system, Sprott-Shaw Community College, Vancouver Island University and Amazon Books. Living with the Voices is used by permission by the International Schizophrenia Foundation to help raise awareness and funds for treatment.

Members of a graduating class of
Forward House University