University of Victoria holds workshop for volunteers of self-management programs to share experiences  


Participants at the self-management skills workshop.

DR. Patrick McGowan, Director of Self Management Programs and Professor, Centre on Aging, University of Victoria, arranged a special workshop at the university on May 11 of experienced and trained volunteers of self-management programs to share their experience of working within their community for raising awareness of self-management skills for maintaining good health and improving their lifestyle.

The workshop was held on May 11, in the Fine Arts Building of the University. This significant program is run by the University of Victoria and funded by the Ministry of Health. Jay Bains, who is coordinator for the entire province, explained in detail that the purpose of organizing such workshops is to help the seniors with chronic illness to explore ways and means by making them aware about self-management skills to deal with their mental and physical conditions for living a healthy life.

McGowan invited trained volunteer leaders of self-management programs from the Punjabi-speaking South Asian community from Vancouver as well as Aboriginal community volunteers from Vancouver and other places. Raminder Pal Singh Kang, Gian Singh Kotli, Raminder Kaur, Harbinder Kaur Bains, Avtar Kaur Manak and Aboriginal community coordinator June along with other volunteer leaders shared their vast experience of meeting and interacting with community members, particularly seniors.

More than 15 university students from different cities and provinces of Canada specially attended this workshop and were quite curious to know about the experience of running self-management programs in the communities, the challenges faced, the development of ‘trust’ with the participants, the implementation of the process and the facilitation of workshops, and the empowerment of the participants to learn new prevention and management skills to bring about positive changes in their lifestyle.

Almost all the speakers converged on the point that by interacting with seniors they can be brought around to pay more attention towards learning self-management skills to improve their health. This interaction session ended with a question and answer session.

Jay Bains (Jagdev Singh Bains) may be credited for arranging several such well managed workshops in various organizations and senior centers in almost all the cities of British Columbia.


(Information and photo provided by GIAN SINGH KOTLI)