Close to 1,000 people a year will have their sight restored thanks to the delivery of two high-tech surgical units purchased on behalf of the Ophthalmology Department at LGH. The phacoemulsification units, which cost $85,000 each, are used to remove cataracts — one of the leading causes of blindness in Canada. The busy ophthalmology department had been relying on units more than a decade old, that used old technology and were in need of constant repair.

Ophthalmologist Dr. Carolyn Isbister is grateful for the arrival of latest cataract extraction technology at LGH.

The new phacoemulsification (also known as phaco) systems include an ultrasonic probe with a tip small enough to make incisions that are self healing. As well as benefiting patients, the new units are easier to set up, are better for more challenging operations and have built-in capacity for future upgrades. The two new phaco units were delivered in the summer just as surgical services were being ramped up at the hospital.

This optical upgrade, which was generously funded by a donor who wants to remain anonymous, is just one example of the donor-driven improvements that have enhanced patient care at LGH. Dr. Carolyn Isbister, Division Head of Opthalmology at LGH is thankful for the donor generosity that made the purchases possible. “The difference is night and day”, she says. “We were one of the only hospitals in BC still using that technology. It had been in the capital budget for a long time and it was nice to finally get the upgrade.”

To support members of our community dealing with social isolation and experiencing mental health difficulties, the Foundation has created this free webinar series to share the knowledge and expertise of our mental health professionals based at The HOpe Centre.

As we enter the second year of living in a pandemic, the necessary restrictions on everyday activities have created extra burdens and taken a toll on many. In addition to the webinar replays which are available below, we’ve assembled a list of mental health resources available in the community.

These webinars feature advice, practical tips, and resources for everyone whose mental health has been impacted by the pandemic.

Watch the Replay of Session 1: Coping with COVID

Linda Latham the Manager of the Older Adult Mental Health Team on the North Shore is featured in our first episode in conversation with Louise Campbell, VP of LGH Foundation. Linda shares ideas on how to thrive, not just survive during this challenging time.

Watch the Replay of Session 2: Breaking Down Barriers

Gail Harrison, Mental Health Substance Use Clinical Nurse Educator from the HOpe Centre is featured in our second episode in conversation with Louise Campbell, VP of LGH Foundation. More people than ever before are turning to North Shore Mental Health teams for support, and yet, we know there are many people still out there who are reluctant to seek help. Feelings of shame and stigma or a lack of information are preventing many people who are dealing with mental health challenges from getting the professional support they need. This webinar will address how we can learn to prioritize our mental health without fear, shame or embarrassment.

Watch the Replay of Session 3: Home Alone

Dr. Allan Burgmann, Medical Director of Acute Psychiatry for Lions Gate Hospital is featured in our third episode in conversation with Louise Campbell. Loneliness and loss of workplace and social structure, the difficulty of maintaining work/life balance, fear of job loss, financial worries and boredom are all stressors impacting our mental health. For people who live alone, retirees and those out of work, the lack of face-to-face contact and loss of a social and family life can be even more distressing. This webinar will provide you with strategies to feel more connected and empowered during these challenging times.

Watch the Replay of Session 4: Kids Coping with COVID

As young people continue to experience disruption to their education, home, and social lives, the webinar focuses on supporting their mental health and helping them access the right local resources to navigate the challenges they face. We interview Julie Zimmerman, Manager of Mental Health and Substance Use at North Shore’s Foundry, to get her tips and tricks.

Discover Mental Health Resources Mentioned in our Webinars here.