Pathways SMIS family members and volunteers

Pathways Serious Mental Illness Society (SMIS) is a pioneering, volunteer-led and membership-based family support organization working on the front lines to deliver programs and services centered around education, support, and advocacy to families, significant others and friends of a loved one with a mental illness across British Columbia.

Pathways SMIS was born organically out of a need among families caring for a relative with a serious mental illness for information, resources and support that formal channels have not provided. It was established in 1983 originally as a branch of the BC Schizophrenia Society.

Our core programs and services are based on a peer support model. This means that the programs and services we offer such as one-on-one support, peer support groups, skills-building workshops and our Family-to-Family educational program, are provided/delivered by trained supporters with living experience of caring for a family member, partner, friend or relative with a serious mental illness.

Our Vision

Our vision is to be a vibrant, innovative centre of support, education, awareness and advocacy for families and others affected by serious mental illness.

Our Mission

Our mission is to alleviate the suffering caused by serious mental illnesses, including anxiety disorders, bipolar disorder, borderline personality disorder, concurrent disorders, post-traumatic stress disorder, depression and schizophrenia.

We achieve this mission through our programming and services, which are free of charge and include:

a mental illness and health education course: “Family-to-Family”
– weekly peer support groups
one-on-one peer support
skills-building workshops
School Presentations, “first-hand stories”, delivered in schools, colleges and universities
public lectures
advocacy work to help families overcome obstacles, advocate for more meaningful family involvement in treatment planning and greater information sharing, and defend and strengthen provisions in our legislation that allow for timely access to treatment.