Maintaining a routine can help to normalize your day-to-day during social distancing amidst COVID-19. (Corey Bullock file)

Maintaining a routine can help to normalize your day-to-day during social distancing amidst COVID-19. (Corey Bullock file)

Group offering support to Surrey, White Rock residents who are dealing with anxiety

Recovery International hosts virtual meetings every Thursday

A group of peers who meet once a week to work through the challenges of everyday life are looking to expand.

Recovery International North Delta chapter co-leader Anita Parmar contacted Peace Arch News this week to raise awareness about her group, which is looking to attract members from the Surrey and White Rock area.

While it’s not a replacement for therapy or professional help, Parmar said the discussion and tools offered through the group can help settle people during times of anxiety, stress or depression.

“Often, people that are anxious, it’s the little things that work them up,” Parmar said. “And then when the big things happen, it’s even worse. Because we’re lay people, we just focus on the small, everyday things that can work us up more than it really needs to.”

The examples Parmar offered include waiting in traffic or knocking over a glass.

SEE ALSO: Free mental health support offered to South Surrey/White Rock residents

Parmar said the group helps people manage everyday stress without minimizing their experiences.

The group follows a four-step method created by renowned neuropsychiatrist the late Dr. Abraham Low.

“There’s a lot of cognitive behavioural methods out there, and they’re all great,” Parmar said. “This one actually helps you the moment you’re upset, or scared, or anxious.”

While the group was meeting prior to COVID-19, Parmar said some could benefit, due to the stress induced by the virus.

“People are feeling more isolated and if you have stress of a job changing, or losing it, or kids in and out of school…. Just the threat of COVID itself. There’s been a lot of upheaval.”

People interested in joining the weekly virtual meetings, which are held Thursdays from 7-8:30 p.m., can contact Gilles at 778-872-8069 or email

Participation is free and confidential. To learn more about the program, visit

mental healthSurreyWhite Rock

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