On April 4, CMHA York and South Simcoe joins organizations and communities across the province for Family Caregiver Day, a chance to recognize and celebrate the value of caregivers to Ontario’s families, health care system, and economy.
According to the Ontario Caregiver Coalition, there are over 3 million unpaid caregivers in the province, providing support to loved ones facing illness, mental health issues, disability or challenges associated with aging. More than 500,000 family caregivers in Ontario are between 15 and 24 years old, and nearly 375,000 caregivers are 65 years and older.
Caregivers are typically not perceived as a population in need of care and support, despite the fact that many caregivers feel socially isolated. Some are not aware that caregiving is distinct from being a good friend, child, parent or spouse. CMHA recognizes that caregiving is a specific role with unique challenges and solutions. To help, CMHA York and South Simcoe is offering the free Bounce Back program to caregivers in the community to boost and maintain mental health.
As a self-guided tool, Bounce Back offers some of the same benefits as seeing a trained professional, without having to pay for the service or wait for an appointment with a counsellor or therapist. The program is flexible enough to allow caregivers to schedule mental health care on their own time, offering an instructional video, easy-to-understand independent workbooks, and – importantly – one on one telephone coaching sessions with trained experts.
The program is available to people in parts of Toronto, York Region and southern Simcoe County. Participants must be 18 or older.
For more information on how to register for the program, visit the Bounce Back webpage.
To raise awareness about the importance of caregivers, members of the public are encouraged to share messages of support on social media using the hashtag #careitforward or sign an online thank you card for caregivers.