Mona Cooley’s daughter had mood swings as a
teenager, but at the age of 22, she was hospitalized.
Doctors made an immediate diagnosis of bipolar
“We had no idea what it was,” Cooley says. She
sought help from the CMHA and a support group
for people living with mental illness.
“The family did come together, regardless. In
crisis, what shows up is what isn’t working and
that’s what you have to pay attention to.”
Cooley developed a six-week mental health
education program, started a peer support
program at the CMHA, and, in 2008, founded
Cool Family Solutions to help families navigate
mental illness. Cooley’s daughter—now an MBA
student and mother of three—is able to manage
8 WAYS TO BE MINDFUL
• Accept your feelings and experiences
rather than judge them.
• Let go of memories and thoughts that
weigh you down.
• Be open to experiences.
• Be patient and allow things to happen
• Be present in the moment and your
• Trust your emotions.
• Be kind to yourself and give yourself
• Try yoga, meditation, tai chi, focused
breathing or other activities that focus
For free guided meditations to practice
mindfulness and exercises to relax, visit:
• MyHealth.Alberta.ca and search for
relaxation audio tracks
• Ualberta.ca and search audio relaxation.
Mona Cooley developed
programs to help families
navigate mental illness