As the days get shorter and sunlight decreases many of us will catch a case of the doldrums, but for some, the darker months of winter can bring serious mood changes called Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). About 2 to 3% of Canadians will experience a major episode of SAD in their lifetime, while another 15% will experience a milder form. One proven treatment for SAD is Light Therapy, or sitting with a special light for about half an hour a day. The bright light stimulates chemicals in the brain that improve mood and relieve SAD symptoms. 60 to 80 per cent of people with SAD find substantial relief from light therapy. Light therapy lamps can be expensive, however, and the Canadian Mental Health Association’s North and West Vancouver Branch is helping to make these lights available to borrow. We have purchased 3 lamps with community support, and are making them available in our Kelty Dennehy Mental Health Resource Centre lending library, in partnership with North Vancouver City Library. Although our “Light Reading” program is only in its third week, users’ feedback has been positive. Light Reading is the first known program of its type in Vancouver.
Want to see how light therapy works for you? Talk to your doctor and then visit us in the Centre to sit with our light therapy lamp. We’re open Monday-Friday 10am to 4pm, or you can even borrow a lamp for two weeks. All you need is a library card! Come find us off the atrium of the HOpe Centre, 1337 St. Andrews, North Vancouver.