Toby Coupe has been the coordinator for the BV Schizophrenia Society for the past eight years and is now hanging up her hat. She will be retiring on June 12.
“I have mixed feelings, its been a wonderful personal growing experience and I’ve met wonderful people but I’m also looking forward to catching up on some of the lifelong pursuits my husband and I would like to do,” she said last week at her retirement party.
She has been supporting those with mental health illnesses and their families through education and advocacy throughout her career.
“It is a very varied job. A lot of people are nervous when they hear the word schizophrenia but the society was designed and built for family members to support them. We are here to help anyone that needs support.”
She also goes to high schools to talk to students about what she calls youth’s greatest disabler, which is schizophrenia.
“Around the ages 13-15, we can see schizophrenia begin to manifest. We like to educate teens to what psychosis is and who the resources are that can help. We find that after our one hour long presentation the youth have a complete change of understanding and a great level compassion.”
Northwest Regional Manager for BV Schizophrenia Society, Dolly Hall, who is based out of Terrace, said Coupe will be greatly missed.
“Toby is amazing. She does public education, she sits on a ton of committees and hosts a radio show. She has a couple of different support groups on the go. She is kind, giving, warm and leaves big shoes to fill.”
Clara Donnelly will be taking over this week.
“Clara has a background in working with children and teenagers and she will really be drawing on the community to bring programs for early intervention with younger people,” said Coupe.