Society picks descriptive name

NANAIMO – Vancouver Island Mental Health Society hosts a fundraising event at Vancouver Island University.

Just call it the Vancouver Island Mental Health Society.

The Columbian Centre Society has changed its name for the first time in 40 years to make it easier for people to search for its organization online and better represent the mental health services it offers.

Forty years ago, the society was named after its founder, the Knights of Columbus, which has worked well over the last 15 to 20 years when there was shame about mental illness and a desire for confidentiality, according to Dr. Barnabas Walther, executive director.

Now there’s a push to make mental health more publicly understood.

Walther also found that when he was doing presentations no one actually knew what his non-profit did.

“The name was misleading,” he said, adding the organization wouldn’t come up online if someone searched for mental health services. “We provide mental health services and we should be open about that.”

The non-profit provides services to people who have been discharged from hospital psychiatric units across Vancouver Island as well as public education. The newly named organization will be holding a screening event of My Father and the Man in Black at Vancouver Island University Friday (May 29). The film will be shown in building 310 at 7 p.m.

For more information, please contact 250-758-8711.