As COVID-19 fatigue and loneliness sets in, a pair of Manitobans are hoping to bring light to a time of darkness.
"I think we all have been feeling it, and we all have been feeling different things at different points throughout the last year or so," Trevor Lehmann, co-founder of Shared Hope says. "We have seen a sense of solidarity among people. While we are physically isolating and physical distancing, we certainly do not want emotional isolation."
Lehmann says everyone is experiencing their own pandemic-related struggles, and knowing they are not alone can be comforting. While not a substitute for counselling, Lehmann says being in a group setting shows people they are not alone.
"What we often talk about from a mental health standpoint is it can impact you, it can impact you physically. It can reverberate through all different areas of our lives."
Finding hope in the uncertainty and exploring gratitude is helpful during these times, he says.
"We do not inherently hope for things we know will happen," he says. "Hope often comes from a space of uncertainty and what that looks like for each person is going to look a bit different."
Since December, Lehmann and his co-facilitator Curtis Lowton have been leading small groups of Manitobans, discussing pandemic fatigue support and Manitobans face loneliness and varying degrees of fatigue symptoms.
As it is a free online meeting, Lehmann encourages people to only share what they are comfortable with.
Groups are eight to 10 people, as the duo wants the group to be interactive and not feel like a webinar.
The groups have been following a structure, including sharing moments where they found gratitude and hope.