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When Rebecca Steinhubl moved to Kelowna a few years ago with her her boyfriend Michael Nolan, she went through a mental health journey that eventually resulted in the launch of a new business with a philanthropic aspect.
Last quarter, they were able to give $173 to Foundry Kelowna thanks to their clothing and lifestyle brand You Are Collective.
You Are Collective is an Okanagan apparel company that is hoping to reduce the stigma around mental illness and provide support for the community.
The apparel company promises 10% of each item sold will go towards local mental health initiatives, like the Foundry.
Steinhubl says that she’s always struggled with her own mental health, but never dealt with it until recently due to the lack of awareness around the subject when she was growing up.
“Mental health wasn’t really talked about. It wasn’t really a thing,” she explains. “And it’s not like my parents neglected me, it was just not something you thought ‘well that must be it.’"
She describes once being completely “stricken with anxiety” just trying to enter a board game cafe in Kelowna after first moving here.
“Finally I was like, ‘I’m an adult and I don’t want to feel like this for the rest of my life.’”
So, she went and got help.
She says she ended up at a walk-in clinic, where the doctor recommended she go to Interior Health. She says she visited their walk-in mental health facility on Doyle Avenue and was eventually set up with a family counsellor in Kelowna.
“I felt completely grown. I want that for everyone,” she says. “To have that self awareness and self care aspect, it just made things so much easier.”
Both Steinhubl and Nolan are continuing their mental health journeys, she says, and are trying to help others by spreading the word about what resources are available to them.
“Now we know where to go, whereas a couple years ago we would have been lost,” she says.
She adds that their main goal is to break down barriers that prevent people from reaching out for help.
They even have a place on their website called "Yac At Us" where you can contact them for support, whether you want to talk to someone, if you need a pep talk, or if you “just need to hear a joke.”
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