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Media Relations

As the nationwide leader and champion for mental health, CMHA facilitates access to the resources people require to maintain and improve mental health and community integration, build resilience, and support recovery from mental illness and addiction. CMHA York Region and South Simcoe (CMHA-YRSS) is leading the way, driving innovation and integration of services for the best outcomes and experience for clients, families, staff and community partners.

CMHA-YRSS experts work closely with media across York Region, South Simcoe and Ontario to spread public awareness about mental health issues, services and innovations.

All media inquiries and interview requests should be directed to CHMA-YRSS’s communications team by contacting communications@cmha-yr.on.ca.

In The News

CMHA’s Gender-Affirming Care Clinic receives boost from Province

Now in its fifth year, the Gender Affirming Care Clinic recently received funding from Ontario’s Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport and its Resilient Communities Fund to further its reach into our communities. The aim of the Clinic, at the outset, was to provide primary care and specialized care around hormone replacement therapy, along with counselling services and services to connect patients to community resources.


Rising Generation Social Hub aims to forge valuable connections

Pressure is all around us, from managing money to coping with stress. But a new initiative from the Canadian Mental Health Association of York Region and South Simcoe (CMHA-YRSS) aims to help youth between the ages of 19 and 29 build the tools they need to forge ahead – and forge valuable bonds at the same time.


CMHA York launches first of its kind walk-in clinic for newcomers

Local Canadian Mental Health Association chapter is offering clinics in Richmond Hill, Markham to help alleviate the stress and overwhelming feeling of being in a new country.

Pay attention to your Spidey sense if you think your teen needs mental health support

Free and confidential BounceBack Ontario program puts teens in the driver’s seat to learn skills to manage their mental health, but parents and caregivers still have an important role to play.

Women leaders deliver affordability message to Prime Minister

Women leaders from York Region descended on Aurora’s Royal Rose Gallery on Friday afternoon for a roundtable on affordability issues hosted by Aurora-Oak Ridges-Richmond Hill MP Leah Taylor Roy.


Mental health advocates, partners recognized as 'beacons of light'

More than 200 individuals and organizations are being recognized by Canadian Mental Health Association York Region and South Simcoe, including local advocate Judy Brunton and Blue Door’s INNclusion program


Canadian Mental Health Association York Region and South Simcoe celebrates excellence and innovation

Canadian Mental Health Association York Region and South Simcoe had record-breaking 218 award nominations


CMHA-YRSS CEO Shields named one of Canada’s Top 100 Most Powerful Women

For more than 11 years, Rebecca Shields, CEO of the Canadian Mental Health Association of York Region and South Simcoe, has worked tirelessly throughout our communities to underscore the importance of mental health and bring resources where they are needed most. The role has given her a powerful role as an advocate and now she has been recognized by Women’s Executive Network (WXN) as one of the Top 100 of Canada’s Most Powerful Women.


Canada Post funds suicide prevention training in Newmarket

The $5,000 grant from the Canada Post will fund a suicide prevention training program for 30 youth in Newmarket; Suicide is the second leading cause of death among youth and young adults


Free psychotherapy program now available to York Region adults

‘What’s wonderful about this program is it’s fast access and offers a range of therapeutic interventions that people can access virtually and over the phone,’ says CEO of Canadian Mental Health Association, York Region and South Simcoe


We asked an expert about free psychotherapy for anxiety and depression in Ontario

It’s no secret that finding accessible therapy services in Ontario can be a tough task — from long wait times and high costs to a lack of culturally safe services. However, a free provincial psychotherapy program is changing the way Ontarians access mental health services and the  Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) is one of 10 network partners proud to deliver the strategy.


Can we stop chronic loneliness? York Region takes lead in prevention strategy

CMHA York-Simcoe is creating the first-ever evidence-based framework and action plan to eradicate chronic loneliness on a global scale. “I hope that we can catalyze a national strategy for belonging. That would be my dream. Yes, it’s a big dream, but all big things start with little steps.” – CEO, Rebecca Shields


Helping teens take control of their thoughts and emotions

CMHA’s BounceBack Ontario is a free and confidential program that gives adolescents tools to bounce back from stress, low mood or anxiety.

September is Suicide Prevention Month: What you can do to provide support

These warning signs and tips can help you protect your loved ones, writes Rebecca Shields


CMHA rolls out new mobile youth walk-in clinic

Since program started as first of its kind in 2015, MOBYSS has served 16,000 York Region and South Simcoe youth


10 charities and non-profits picked for Magna’s Community Fund

“We are incredibly grateful to be chosen as one of the 10 charitable beneficiaries for this year’s Magna Community Fund. This generous contribution to our Mobile Youth Walk-in Clinic (MOBYSS) will help us continue to deliver free medical and mental health support to youth across our community. On behalf of all of us at CMHA-YRSS, thank you for supporting youth mental health!”



'Kids are feeling the pressure': Canadian Mental Health Association rolls out new mobile youth walk-in clinic

'Kids are feeling the pressure': Canadian Mental Health Association rolls out new mobile youth walk-in clinic

Since program started as first of its kind in 2015, MOBYSS has served 16,000 York Region and South Simcoe youth


‘They forget that they’re human too’: Mental health issues peak among York Region high school students

‘They forget that they’re human too’: Mental health issues peak among York Region high school students

Since the beginning of the pandemic Michelle Hermans, a nurse practitioner with the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) York Region South Simcoe, has noticed a decline in the mental health of high school age children.


New mobile mental health clinic will help CMHA reach more students in York, South Simcoe

New mobile mental health clinic will help CMHA reach more students in York, South Simcoe

Since its launch in 2015, the Canadian Mental Health Association of York Region and South Simcoe’s Mobile Youth Walk-In Clinic (MOBYSS) has welcomed more than 2,000 students and youth each year to its safe and welcoming space to receive free medical and mental health care.


You're never too old to find your voice: York Region senior speaks out against mental illness stigma

As part of Mental Health Awareness Month, YorkRegion.com spoke with three people about their personal experiences and insight into how we can all support each other on the road to wellness. Read Jon’s story.


'The first step is the hardest': York Region-Simcoe program helps clients bounce back to mental health

As part of Mental Health Awareness Month, YorkRegion.com spoke with three people about their personal experiences and insight into how we can all support each other on the road to wellness. Read Julie’s Story.

'Such a weight off my shoulders': Markham woman says sharing mental health journey helps with healing

As part of Mental Health Awareness Month, YorkRegion.com spoke with three people about their personal experiences and insight into how we can all support each other on the road to wellness.
Read Constantina’s story.


Aurora family preparing to help break stigma around mental health in upcoming ride

Check out our recent interview on pg. 11 of The Auroran with Ashley Hogue, CMHA’s Sr. Director of Provincial Initiatives who discusses why participating in Mental Health in Motion is important to her


Pedals at the ready as CMHA gears up for Mental Health in Motion

Pedals at the ready as CMHA gears up for Mental Health in Motion! Check out our recent article on pg. 9 of The Auroran featuring CMHA’s Sr. Director of Philanthropy, Catherine Matzig.


105.9 The Region - Coping with Loneliness

CEO, Rebecca Shields joins Ann Rohmer on 105.9 The Region’s podcast to talk about loneliness.


Neighbour Media Charity Spotlight

CMHA was selected as Neighbour Media’s May 2023 Charity Spotlight. It was a pleasure to host Neighbour Media in our Aurora community space for the cover of the May Neighbour Paper featuring Mental Health Advocates, Manha and Laiba. Read the full page feature story on page 38!


CTV Interview on the Dangers of Loneliness

CEO, Rebecca Shields joins CTV News to discuss the topic of loneliness.


Mental Health Week focuses on normalizing conversations

Mental Health Week focuses on normalizing conversations

CEO, Rebecca Shields talks about the importance of normalizing conversations about mental health to create safe spaces


CMHA Mental Health Week

How to create a safe space for mental health conversations

Normalize talking about your feelings so others know they’re not alone, writes Rebecca Shields


FairChild TV Interviews Rebecca and CMHA Client

FairChild TV interviews with CMHA-YRSS CEO, Rebecca Shields, and a Community Connections client.


York Region Mental Health Nonprofit Recognized For Outstanding Workplace Culture

CMHA York Region and South Simcoe Awarded for Commitment to Workplace Culture

Canadian Mental Health Association York Region and South Simcoe (CMHA-YRSS) has been recognized for its extraordinary commitment to creating and maintaining a healthy work environment.


Two females having a conversation over coffee

CMHA's York Region South Simcoe wants us to get serious about mental health

Bell Let’s Talk, taking place on Jan. 25, is the perfect catalyst to talk about mental health, writes Rebecca Shields


New mental health program offers game-changing fast access to therapy

New mental health program offers game-changing fast access to therapy

Free program for youth and adults to learn skills to manage anxiety and depression


Newmarket Desjardins agent George Rappos

Local Desjardins agent matching donations for youth mental health

George Rappos is supporting the local CMHA branch for the third year in a row


'Look at what you have and what you can give': Despite darkness, there is light to be found this holiday season

'Look at what you have and what you can give': Despite darkness, there is light to be found this holiday season

CEO of Canadian Mental Health Association York Region, rabbi and pastor weigh in on bringing back festive cheer amid these challenging times


Vince's Market - Community Beacon of Light Award Honouree

"Beacons” of support honoured by CMHA York Region-South Simcoe

People who go the extra mile for non-profits are shining stars, and this fall CMHA-YRSS turned the spotlight on their own “Beacons” who have helped light the path for 2022.


MOBYSS

Telus Barrie and Simcoe County community board donates to local mental health

Telus Friendly Future Foundation has donated $10,000 to support MOBYSS and youth mental health programs


Santa Fund

‘We all want to feel seen’: York Region Santa Fund in business of giving holiday hope

It is an honour to be selected as one of the local nonprofits being supported through the Metroland Santa Fund! Being a part of this special initiative means our clients will receive a token of hope this holiday season.


Aurora Bell Box Murals Project

Aurora Bell Box Murals unify local artists through creativity

Residents can reflect at any one of nine brightly-coloured art pieces located around town


CMHA receives Queen's Jubilee pin

Newmarket, Aurora organizations honoured with Queen's Jubilee pins

Thank you to MP Tony Van Bynen for recognizing and awarding CMHA with the Queen’s Jubilee Pin for the leadership and compassion provided in Newmarket-Aurora.


2022 Business Excellence Awards

Chamber announces finalists for 2022 Business Excellence Awards

Representing the non-profit sector this year will be finalists Abuse Hurts, CMHA, and Rose of Sharon.


9-8-8 mental crisis and suicide hotline number to launch November 2023

Rebecca Shields, Chief Executive Officer of the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) for York Region and South Simcoe, said that the CMHA is in “complete support” of a 9-8-8 number.


Aurora Bell Box Murals Project

CMHA, Aurora Cultural Centre partner on Bell Box mural program

The new art initiative will transform nine run-of-the-mill Bell telephone boxes into art pieces, responding to Call to Action #83 from the Truth & Reconciliation Commission’s Report.


Mental Illness Awareness Week

Let’s think about mental illness Oct. 3 – 9

“Mental illness is an actual health care condition. It’s an illness, so we need to talk about it just like we talk about cancer. It’s an actual biophysical illness,” says CEO, Rebecca Shields.


National Seniors Day

Mental health support for our older adults must be a priority

By 2031, 1 in 5 York Region residents will be 65 or older, Rebecca Shields writes


Mental Health in Motion raises nearly $175,000 for MOBYSS youth programs

Running, walking or cycling, more than 400 community members in York Region and South Simcoe came together to raise much-needed funds for local mental health programs serving youth.


Prioritizing youth and immigrants, CMHA readies for fundraiser

‘The tsunami of the mental health needs is only increasing’ says CMHA York Region CEO


Coping with Anxiety Disorders

Dr. Kerris Del Rosario, Clinical Psychologist from our BounceBack program joins The Wellness Prescription to talk about anxiety and the programs and services available to help community members.

Co-occurring Disorders

Rodea Casem, Nurse Practitioner from our Community Withdrawal Management program, joins Mental Health Matters to talk about co-occurring disorders.


CMHA-YRSS and CEO, Rebecca Shields recognized with 2022 Diversity Leader Award

CMHA-YRSS and CEO, Rebecca Shields are thrilled to be recognized with the 2022 Diversity Leader Award, from Profiles in Diversity Journal! This award recognizes our commitment and ongoing initiatives to improve inclusivity in our team, programs and community.  


Before your weigh in, tune in

Mental Health week focuses on “empathy” and meeting the needs of our changing world

This theme of this year’s Mental Health Week is empathy. read the full-page article on page 3.


Family on a walk with their dog

How to Manage Stress and Anxiety in Unprecedented Times

In honour of Mental Health Week, taking place from May 2-8, 2022, Rebecca Shields shares ways to safeguard your well-being


Lisa Wood joins The Feed

How to Cope with Anxiety during the Ease of Restrictions

Lisa Wood, Choices Program Coordinator, joins The Feed to discuss mental health and the pandemic as restrictions ease (Interview begins at 12:40)


Brenton Diaz

'Consequences of worry': Former Ukrainian student praises trauma lessons from Newmarket teacher

‘Dark and scary times’: Cedar Centre’s Brenton Diaz has travelled to Ukraine to teach trauma counselling


Nuzhat and Ilana from our MOBYSS Team and Shannon Martin from CBC Toronto

Mobile Youth Walk-In Clinic (MOBYSS) Interview

Nuzhat and Ilana from our MOBYSS Team welcomed aboard CBC Toronto to discuss some of the mental health challenges youth have faced throughout the pandemic and how parents can support their youth through these challenges and uncertainties.


Let's go to the Library!

BounceBack: The CMHA’s Free Mental Health Program with Rachel Summers

The Niagara Falls Public Library (NFPL) continues conversations about mental health with a look at CMHA’s free BounceBack program. Coach Rachel Summers explains how the program works, and how you can access it for free.


Rachel Summers on The Revolutionized Mind Podcast

Bouncing Back (with Rachel Summers)

BounceBack couch, Rachel Summers, joins The Revolutionized Mind podcast to share her personal mental health journey and how she is learning to use her empathy and soft skills as an asset in her work at CMHA.


Managing your mental health in the new normal

Managing your Mental Health in the New Normal

Dr. Jen Rouse speaks to The Feed about managing your mental health in the new normal.


More People Seeking Mental Health Supports During Pandemic Than Ever Before: CMHA

More People Seeking Mental Health Supports During Pandemic Than Ever Before: CMHA

Now, as we approach the two-year anniversary of COVID-19’s arrival in Ontario, with Omicron and continued uncertainty, more people are accessing mental health supports than at any other time in the pandemic, according to the Canadian Mental Health Association (Ontario).


Character Community Podcast with special guest, Leslie Lamont

Character Community: The Podcast Episode 10-Leslie Lamont

On Bell Lets Talk Day, we sit down with youth mental health worker Leslie Lamont to discuss the MOBYSS initiative and how youth can better manage their mental health.


Adult daughter with senior mother

Newmarket-Aurora Receives $33K in Senior Community Grants

The Ontario government is investing over $33,000 through the Seniors Community Grant program to enrich the lives of seniors in Newmarket and Aurora and recognize their significant contributions to the province.


Rebecca Shields and George Rappos holding cheque in front of MOBYSS bus

Newmarket Desjardins Agent Gives $10K to Support Youth Mental Health

George Rappos supports CMHA-York Region South Simcoe’s MOBYSS bus program for the second year in a row.


Family of four walking in winter forest

Customize This Year's Holiday Approach to Boost Your Mental Health

Prioritize what works to help foster a happier, healthier holiday season, writes Rebecca Shields.


Young female speaking to health care provider

Seek Help Early for Mental Illness

Stigma and shame a barrier for people to get assistance they need, writes Rebecca Shields.


Headshot of Rebecca Shields

Before We Have an Economic Recovery, We Need a Mental Health Recovery

COVID-19 has compounded the same mental health and addiction issues we’ve always had, writes Rebecca Shields.


Child holding parent's hand

York Region Parents Concerned About How Children Will Cope With Socializing After COVID-19

Canadian Mental Health Association psychologist says it’s important to balance risk of contracting virus with risk of social isolation.


Ontario Trillium Grant Supports Digital Transformation at CMHA York Region

The Canadian Mental Health Association York Region and South Simcoe (CMHA-YRSS) has made some technical advances throughout the pandemic with the help of an Ontario Trillium grant.


Mental Health in Motion Exceeds Fundraising Target by 35%

Canadian Mental Health Association York and South Simcoe event raised more than $168K.


Mother and child at a park

COVID-19 Damage Control: York Region Parents Wonder How Pandemic Will Impact Children

Some young people are experiencing increased stress, anxiety, boredom and social isolation, expert says.


Conservative MP Todd Doherty (Facebook photo)

Action Must Follow Budget Promises, Say Mental-Health Advocates

Ottawa must act now to fix Canada’s worsening mental-health crisis, experts say.


Female youth sitting at a table looking at her phone

Preparing for the '4th Wave': Mental Health Issues Caused by COVID-19, Measures to Fight its Spread

Everyone who needs help must reach out, says Rebecca Shields, CEO of Canadian Mental Health Association, York and South Simcoe.


Judy holding up bike at a camera

Mental Health in Motion: Aurora Woman Raises Money for CMHA

Funds will go toward providing superior services for youths.


Close up of someone running

Registration Now Open for York Region and South Simcoe’s Momentous Fundraising Event for Youth Mental Health Programs

Canadian Mental Health Association hopes to raise $125,000 from first virtual Mental Health in Motion Presented by Staples Canada – cmhainmotion.ca




City News website with news banner about telephone counselling for mental health during COVID-19

Telephone counselling set up due to pandemic mental health issues

Help is just a phone call away. Audra brown has more on the helpline specifically for those struggling with mental health issues due to the COVID-19 pandemic.


Screenshot of video that reads "talking the talk" for Bell Let's Talk Day.

Talking The Talk

An important conversation about important talk.


York Region article discussing how access to mental health services needs more equity.

Access to mental health services must be more equitable

Shorter days and colder weather are known to heavily impact the mental health of Canadians every year, but this winter is especially difficult.


How the pandemic is impacting mental health

CBC News Network’s Sarah Galashan spoke with Deanne Simms, Clinical Director of the Canadian Mental Health Association for York and South Simcoe, of the impact this pandemic is having on the mental health of Canadians.


Screenshot of York Region website article discussing CMHA's counselling telephone line

Canadian Mental Health Association introduces counselling telephone line

York, South Simcoe line operates Monday to Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.


York Region website article discussing York Region's plan for mental health and addictions hub

'Fill a critical gap:' Province planning York Region mental health and addictions hub

Canadian Mental Health Association of York and South Simcoe applauds announcement


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