The Overcoming Obstacles Handbook – Vancouver, B.C. edition

Whether it’s physical, financial, professional or psychological, everybody goes through tough times in their lives. Lifestyle Citizens’ founder Josh Martin was 28 years old when he experienced his biggest challenge yet: an aggressive form of leukemia. Inspired by his journey, the Overcoming Obstacles Handbook is a free collection of real-life stories, practical advice and local resources in the Vancouver community geared at helping people who are facing adversity.

Scroll below to download your FREE copy and to find local resources.


This project is made possible by the generous support of the following local businesses.

Improve your fitness, mobility, flexibility, strength and balance. Tsquared Personal Training gives you a personalized, professionally lead, low-impact workout.  Whether you’re looking for post-rehab training to recover from injury or to gain an edge in your fitness training, Tsquared will give you the mental and physical benefits you’re looking for.

Dr. van Poelgeest is a naturopathic doctor integrating traditional and current medical practices with evidence-based research to individualize treatments for digestive, hormonal, and autoimmune conditions, and adjunctive cancer care. She understands that health is not merely the absence of disease and is committed to restoring equilibrium to body, mind, and spirit. 

Jordan Bruce, RHN, is a holistic nutritionist and wellness educator in Vancouver, BC and by video all over the world. She specializes in increasing energy for those with burnout, plant-based eating and everything liver. Visit her site for 1:1 consults, DNA testing, group programs or custom meal plans. @brucesroots

Are you tired of struggling with your weight? We can help! At Fit Body By George, we will help you not only to get in the best shape of your life but we will also teach you all you need to know about weight loss and weight maintenance.

Join a community of inspired students, joined together by our love of yoga, our commitment to protecting the earth, and of course our passion for long walks on the beach. Whether you are an absolute beginner or a more experienced student, we offer accessible classes that are challenging, healthy, and fun!  

Self-defense and fitness aside, at The Powerhouse kids are coached to learn how to set goals, with a smart plan in place created all by themselves. With it, they can achieve any goals they set in life, and bring their best performance to every aspect of their life. It is truly a life-changing experience.

Trikinetic Massage Therapy

You are the focus of our work and healing space. We facilitate your healing journey using touch and therapeutic massage techniques. We are 7 unique Registered Massage Therapists who, together, have over 100 years of hands-on experience. We have been serving East Vancouver since 1993. We want to support your body, mind and spirit.

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    Download the Vancouver Overcoming Obstacles Handbook

    The Overcoming Obstacles Handbook

    Click here to download your FREE copy of the Overcoming Obstacles Handbook [PDF 2.0 MB]

    Click here to purchase a print version of the handbook ($20)

    Community Resources in the Vancouver area

    One of the most important lessons Josh learned from his health crisis was the importance of community. Whether it was accessing peer support programs, using the Cancer Society’s shuttle service to get to appointments or tapping into educational materials from the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, community resources played a big role in his success.

    Whatever obstacle you face in life — personally, professionally or otherwise — be sure to consider the resources available in your community. Fortunately, the Vancouver area boasts all kinds of organizations and programs focused on helping folks overcome a variety of obstacles.

    Below, you’ll find information about some of them. This listing is by no means exhaustive, but it will hopefully give you a flavour of the kinds of resources available in your own backyard.

    Mental health

    Crisis Intervention & Suicide Prevention Centre of BC
    Mental health support line: 310-6789

    Here to Help
    (BC Partners for Mental health & Substance Use Information)

    Online crisis support for youth

    Online crisis support for adults

    Suicide prevention helpline
    1800SUICIDE (1-800-784-2433)

    Community mental health services
    (Vancouver Coastal Health)

    Local mental health and substance abuse programs

    HealthLink BC – Mental health resources

    Local therapists

    Anxiety therapists and counsellors

    Depression therapists and counsellors

    Physical health

    Find a local physiotherapist

    Find a local registered massage therapist

    Find a local chiropractor

    Alzheimer Society of B.C.

    Canadian Cancer Society – B.C.

    Heart and Stroke Foundation of BC & Yukon
    885 Dunsmuir St Suite #200, Vancouver

    Deaf, hard of hearing, & deaf-blind well-being program

    Special needs programs

    Special needs caregivers in Vancouver

    Accessibility programs and services
    (City of Vancouver)

    Seniors First BC

    Seniors’ programs and support
    (City of Vancouver)

    Families and individuals

    Family Services of Greater Vancouver

    Family Services North Shore

    Vancouver Family Connections
    (community programs for parents, children and youth)

    Westcoast Family Centres
    (family programs, workshops, counselling and more)

    Youth engagement and support
    (City of Vancouver)

    Local grief counsellors and therapists

    BC Bereavement Helpline

    Lower Mainland Grief Recovery Society
    (grief support groups)

    LGBT2Q+ programs

    Divorce counsellors

    Emergency shelters and support

    Homeless shelter locations throughout Vancouver

    Downtown Eastside Women’s Centre

    Bridge Housing for Women

    Powell Place
    (The Bloom Group)

    The Rice Block
    (housing program for women)

    Greater Vancouver Food Bank

    Find a local food bank

    Financial and professional

    Career guidance counsellors

    (career planning programs)

    Employment programs and services
    (YWCA Metro Vancouver)

    Employment services – YMCA of Greater Vancouver

    Drive Youth Employment Services

    Vancouver credit counselling


    (services and programs for newcomers)

    (settlement, employment, language, refugee and other programs)

    Getting started in Vancouver
    (resources prepared by Immigrant Services Society of BC)

    Immigrant services
    (YMCA of Greater Vancouver)

    Newcomer Employment Support Program

    Want to help others in your community overcome obstacles? Here are few local opportunities to consider:

    Go Volunteer
    (local volunteer opportunities)

    Blood donor clinics
    (search “Vancouver” for nearby clinics)

    Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Vancouver

    Habitat for Humanity Greater Vancouver

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