Five years and counting: RAOP celebrates an anniversary

By David F. Rooney

The Revelstoke Awareness and Outreach Program quietly celebrated its fifth anniversary Friday with a party that was well-attended by its members and many supporters in the community.

Aimed at Revelstokians with mental illness, the program offers them an opportunity to better interact with each other and the general public.

“RAOP has been extremely successful,” says Community Rehab Support Worker Lorrie Rogers. “There has been a core group that has always been active and involved and many others who participate depending upon how they’re doing.”

Remaining committed and involved with a group can be difficult for some people with mental health and addiction issues, “people whose experiences are still too raw,” she said.

“But this is a safe place, a comfortable place for them,” Rogers said. “People who are on a healing path, rather than in the throes of their illness do well here.”

RAOP, which has a tiny office in the alley beside the Regent Inn, has also gained a fair amount of acceptance within the broader community. Most people may not ¬†know much about it, but those who have some kind of regular contact with its members understand what it’s really all about: providing adults suffering from mental illness with a safe place to be and a regular set of activities that keep them engaged.

Members and supporters gathered at the Revelstoke Awareness and Outreach Program office in the alley beside the Regent Inn on Friday to celebrate the group's fifth anniversary. David F. Rooney photo
Lorrie Rogers (left), Community Rehab Support Worker, talks with RAOP supporter Linda Wright during the party. David F. Rooney photo
Here's a switch: Jackie Heppell snaps a photo of a photographer taking her photo during the RAOP anniversary party. David F. Rooney photo