Video series launches that gives mental health tools

Community COVID-19 Featured Shine On

Sometimes, your brain can be a real jerk. Particularly during these days when dealing with a health pandemic.

But a new video series has been created to provide tools to alleviate some of the anxiety and stress of the current situation.

United We Stand Pictou County, the grassroots group that formed to help people in various ways during the pandemic, has partnered with two clinical psychologists at New Glasgow’s RiverStone Psychology and Counselling – Tammy Kontuk and Greg Purvis.

The collaboration resulted in Jerk Brain, a new video series based on a program Kontuk created when she worked with Mental Health and Addiction Services. Quick Start was a series of workshops that helped people cope with mental health issues.

UWSPC’s Jonathon MacKay was familiar with Kontuk’s Quick Start program and asked her about creating something to help people cope with the current health pandemic.

“I eat, live and breathe remote medicine,” chuckles MacKay. That’s why he was impressed with Kontuk’s Quick Start program which he lauds as a “skills-based program that can help people who need it immediately.”

That set in motion a chain of events:  Kontuk collaborated with fellow psychologist Greg Purvis, UWSPC connected with freelance videographer Danny Harvie who is a UWSPC member, and a graphic designer in South Africa – where there is a sister group of UWSPC – was contacted to create the logo. Jerk Brain is the product of all of those connections, is being produced under the United We Stand Pictou County banner and being promoted by UWS Pictou County.

Episode 1 of Jerk Brain was launched on May 12 and can be accessed on YouTube; the approximate five-minute long video deals with anxiety and provides tools for coping with it.

“Our goal was to bring a little bit of comfort and mental health information to anybody who has access to a screen,” says MacKay.

Read more about this initiative in the May 20 edition of The Advocate.