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Mental Health Stories, Tips and Happenings

Check out our recent articles below to learn how to better manage your mental health, what’s going on around our branch and how you can get involved. Happy reading!

CMHA recognizes Men’s Mental Health Awareness Day

CMHA recognizes Men’s Mental Health Awareness Day

On June 14, Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) York Region and South Simcoe, joins organizations across Canada in recognizing Men's Mental Health Awareness Day. This annual event aims to normalize conversations about mental health issues and reduce the stigma that often prevents men from seeking help. A 2021 survey conducted by Movember and Ipsos showed that Canadian men are more likely to speak out about their physical health than about their mental health, with 84
The Importance of Gender-affirming Care

The Importance of Gender-affirming Care

What is gender-affirming care and why does it matter?  Gender-affirming care is any kind of health care where a person’s felt sense of gender is acknowledged and respected. You probably already provide gender-affirming care to your cisgender* clients. If you use their pronouns (she/he, her/him, they/them) and treat them as the gender they identify with, then you are providing gender-affirming care already! We usually talk about gender-affirming care with trans, non-binary and gender diverse clients,
National Day of Awareness for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, Girls and Two-Spirit People (MMIWG2S)

National Day of Awareness for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, Girls and Two-Spirit People (MMIWG2S)

Content warning: This message refers to colonial and gender-based violence. CMHA-YRSS recognizes today, May 5, as the National Day of Awareness for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, Girls and Two-Spirit People (MMIWG2S) in Canada, also known as #RedDressDay. Today is a day to honour and remember the Indigenous women, girls and two-spirit people who have lost their lives to colonial and gender-based violence in Canada, express support for grieving families and communities, and take action to
CMHA celebrates National Caregiver Day

CMHA celebrates National Caregiver Day

Today (April 5, 2022), CMHA-YRSS joins individuals and organizations across the country in celebrating National Caregiver Day. National Caregiver Day is intended to honour caregivers — the millions of parents, children, siblings, spouses and friends who provide unpaid care to support someone with a diminishing physical ability, a debilitating cognitive condition or a chronic life-limiting illness. According to Carers Canada, the COVID-19 pandemic has increased the demand for caregivers in Canada, resulting in added strain
Finding Supports as a Newcomer to Canada

Finding Supports as a Newcomer to Canada

Moving to a new country can be challenging and stressful. That is why at Canadian Mental Health Association, York Region and South Simcoe (CMHA-YRSS), we offer language-specific resources like the Newcomers’ Health and Well-Being Program, which can help people who are struggling with this transition. With the newcomers that we serve, some of the most common struggles we see include increased family stress, financial strain, difficulties raising a family in a new country, as well
We Stand Together to Support Respect and Safety for Ontario’s Workers Who Provide Care

We Stand Together to Support Respect and Safety for Ontario’s Workers Who Provide Care

Statement from Health Service Providers in Ontario’s Central Region: We Stand Together to Support Respect and Safety for Ontario’s Workers Who Provide Care We, as leaders in Ontario’s health care system, recognize every person has been impacted by the pandemic. We thank them for the sacrifices made over the past two years to protect our health care system and its lifeline, health care workers. The pandemic, however, is not over for Ontario’s workers who provide

5 Black Trailblazers

5 Black Trailblazers

Black History Month is celebrated in February in Canada. In honour of this month, Shon a Case Manager in our Home Now program, provided an overview of why we celebrate Black History Month, as well as five Black Canadian Trailblazers we should know about. Black people become concerned that history, books and schools only focused on things from one perspective and did not consider the history and contributions of Black people. Canadians were and still

Mental Health Impact of COVID-19: CMHA Ontario’s 4th Poll

Mental Health Impact of COVID-19: CMHA Ontario’s 4th Poll

(Newmarket, Feb. 7, 2022) – New polling data released today indicates that more Ontarians are accessing mental health supports than at any other time during the pandemic. The survey by Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA), Ontario indicates that one in four people (24 per cent) have sought help for their mental health challenges, a significant uptick from 17 per cent last winter and nine per cent almost two years ago. The data also shows that

CMHA celebrates Black History Month

CMHA celebrates Black History Month

CMHA York Region and South Simoce joins Canadians across the country to honour the legacy of Black Canadians, past and present, for Black History Month in February. In support of Get Up! Stand Up!, presented by Newmarket African Caribbean Canadian Association (NACCA), we encourage you to join us in attending the free, virtual activities hosted by NACCA and community partners. While Black History Month is a time to learn about the many important contributions of
My Brother’s Loss: Marie

My Brother’s Loss: Marie

Dear Reader, Mom, wife, daughter, sister, aunt, niece, cousin, friend, coach, engineer, science fiction fan. These are some of the titles that apply to me and that I lovingly embrace. I never expected to add “loss survivor” to that list. Depression doesn’t run in our family. Yet, in October 2021 I lost my much loved 45-year-old brother to depression. All across the country people are having conversations about mental health, suicide awareness, prevention, and loss.
Under the Rainbow Group

Under the Rainbow Group

Under the Rainbow is a free supportive and social group for anyone who identifies as 2SLGBTQ+ or as an ally. Come meet and celebrate with others who understand and have a shared experience. Check out the events we have coming up for the 2022 below. Register Today Register 24 hours before an event to attend.  If you have any questions or would like to know more, email Natalie at NRogers@cmha-yr.on.ca. Register Today
Talking about your Mental Health

Talking about your Mental Health

This year, the theme of Bell Let’s Talk Day is Keep Listening, Keep Talking and being there for ourselves and each other. With this in mind, we want to help you start a dialogue about your own mental health and how to access support. Although every circumstance is unique, here are a few helpful tips to get started. What to do if someone Approaches you about your Mental Health Just as you might approach someone
Starting the Conversation about Mental Health

Starting the Conversation about Mental Health

The last couple of years have been difficult for nearly everyone. In fact, according to a survey conducted by CMHA Ontario in 2021, “almost 80 per cent of Ontarians believe we’ll be in a serious mental health crisis post-pandemic.” With increased isolation, it has become even more difficult to talk openly about mental health, a topic that can be tough to approach even in the best of situations. The theme of this year’s Bell Let’s
2022 Job Search Tips

2022 Job Search Tips

The beginning of every New Year is often used to set new personal goals. Health, relationships, and travel are commonly focused on, but maybe this year you are looking for a job or making a career change. CMHA-YRSS has an Employment Program for individuals experiencing mental health challenges, who are ready and motivated to enter the workforce. Our team of Employment Specialists, from the Employment Program, have compiled three ways to kick-start your job search
Newcomers’ Health and Well-Being Virtual Medical and Counselling Clinic

Newcomers’ Health and Well-Being Virtual Medical and Counselling Clinic

The Newcomers’ Health and Well-Being Program is offering a FREE and confidential drop in medical and counselling clinic on the second Wednesday of every month. Through this clinic you will be given the opportunity to meet with either a clinical therapist to talk about your mental health and well-being or a nurse practitioner to discuss your physical health needs.  This clinic is for newcomers 12 and up who have a valid permanent resident number and

Newcomer Family Workshops

Newcomer Family Workshops

The Newcomers' Health and Well-Being Program is excited to be offering three exciting FREE, virtual workshops for Newcomer Families. Below is the information on each workshop, as well as the registration link and deadline for each.  Introduction to Mental Health (Mar.14, 6 P.M. to 7 P.M.) Gain a basic understand of mental health concerns, as well as their impact. Registration Deadline: Mar.13 at 12 P.M. Self-Care for Caregivers (Mar.21, 6 P.M. to 7 P.M.) Learn
Talking To Your Teens About Their Mental Health

Talking To Your Teens About Their Mental Health

Sixteen year old Samira struggled with depression and an eating disorder, and spent years suffering in silence. No one knew it, but Samira was dangerously close to joining the growing number of teens who see suicide as the only escape from their depression. She was struggling – struggling hard on the inside to stay safe, and struggling harder on the outside to appear “okay.” I visited MOBYSS one day and shared that I was having suicidal
Reader’s Choice Awards

Reader’s Choice Awards

We’ve been nominated for the 2021 Reader’s Choice Awards under the category of Best Non Profit/Foundation in eight York Region area newspapers. Please vote for us and feel free to share with family and friends so they can vote as well. You can vote multiple times! Vote for Us in Each Local Area: Markham Economist and Sun ***Listed as Canadian Mental Health Association Aurora Banner ***Listed as Canadian Mental Health Association-Aurora Branch Newmarket Era/King Connection ***Listed as CMHA

Olympian Paul’s Story

Olympian Paul’s Story

I’m an Olympic Gold Medalist. I never thought I’d be homeless. Training for the Olympics is hard. But being homeless and struggling with an addiction, not knowing where that game will end, that’s harder. CMHA saved my life. I don’t know where I’d be without them. I knew I had mental health issues from a young age. But being a great athlete and having the persona of “the funny guy”, saved me from teen suicide. Athletics was my getaway. I

Become a Mental Health First Aider

Become a Mental Health First Aider

Did you know that you can become a certified mental health first responder? Knowing more about mental illness and having a better understanding about mental health means we can better support ourselves, those we love, live and work with, or even people we walk by on the street every day. Not only can you make a difference in someone’s life, but you can potentially save a life with skills developed from Mental Health First Aid

Mental Health Doesn’t Take a Holiday: Michelle’s Story

Mental Health Doesn’t Take a Holiday: Michelle’s Story

I live with bi-polar disorder. When it comes to the Christmas season, people automatically assume my bi-polar depression will rear its ugly head, but for me and my family it tends to be the opposite. We struggle with hypomania. I say “we” because my symptoms affect my family as much, if not more, than me.   It always starts the same way – irritability, agitation and frustration. Before I know it, my thoughts are racing,
CMHA York & South Simcoe Recognizes National Addictions Awarness Week

CMHA York & South Simcoe Recognizes National Addictions Awarness Week

From November 21 – 27, CMHA York Region and South Simcoe will join with the Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction (CCSA) and addiction prevention, treatment and recovery organizations across the country to mark National Addictions Awareness Week (NAAW). This years’ theme for National Addictions Awareness Week is Driving Change Together, emphasizing how Canadians can collaborate as a community to create change and shape a brighter future for people who use substances. To help,

Stressed About School? We’ve Got You Covered

Stressed About School? We’ve Got You Covered

It’s important to pay attention to your mental health just as you would your physical health. CMHA Ontario is reminding students to keep their mental health in check with some quick stress-management tips. Those struggling with low mood or anxiety can turn to our free skill-building program BounceBack®: Reclaim your health to learn how to deal with stress, being overwhelmed and worried, and more. Through BounceBack, youth 15 and up will learn practical skills to help improve their mental health.  Here are some things to keep in mind:  Take care of your body. Mental and physical

Truth and Reconciliation Day

Truth and Reconciliation Day

Today we join Canadians across the country in honouring the survivors of residential schools, their families, and communities for Truth and Reconciliation Day. We pledge to act to support Indigenous communities’ calls to action on reconciliation, and particularly those in support of Indigenous mental health, healing, and well-being. Along with wearing orange shirts to stand in solidarity with residential school survivors and their families, CMHA-YRSS will be participating in a workshop today led by the

World Suicide Prevention Day

World Suicide Prevention Day

September 10th is World Suicide Prevention Day. Understandably, the topic of suicide is difficult for many. That’s why we’ve created a roundup of all the articles we’ve ever written on the topic to help you learn more. If you or a loved one is considering suicide, please call 911 immediately or proceed to your nearest emergency room. Preventing Suicide Coping With the Death of a Loved One From Suicide Talking to Teens About Mental Health

Community Safety and Wellbeing Plan

Community Safety and Wellbeing Plan

The Community Safety and Wellbeing (CWSB) Plan for York Region will help build strong, caring and safe communities for all residents. The CWSB Plan is being developed in consultation with residents, community organizations, local municipalities, York Regional Police and other stakeholders.  Strategies are being developed to support residents and agencies to make positive changes in the Central Newmarket and South-Central Richmond Hill area that focuses on mental well-being and housing stability. The initiative is being
Trillium Grant Provided Technology for Online Mental Health Services

Trillium Grant Provided Technology for Online Mental Health Services

MEDIA RELEASE (Newmarket, ON – August 3, 2021) – The Canadian Mental Health Association York Region and South Simcoe (CMHA-YRSS) ramped up its virtual services during the pandemic thanks to a $39,000 Resilient Communities Fund grant that it received from the Ontario Trillium Foundation (OTF) in late 2020. The grant was used to purchase technology equipment and licenses to expand virtual delivery of mental health services for clients. “The COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant

A Logo for Reconciliation: CMHA Solidarity with Indigenous Peoples

A Logo for Reconciliation: CMHA Solidarity with Indigenous Peoples

In honour of the children who died at residential schools and in recognition of the survivors and their families, the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) will be changing the colour of its logo to orange until Orange Shirt Day on September 30. Beyond the symbolic, the orange logo also signifies our commitment to reconciliation with Indigenous peoples in Canada. For too long, First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples have lived the impacts of systemic racism

A Thoughtful Canada Day at CMHA

A Thoughtful Canada Day at CMHA

CMHA York Region and South Simcoe joins many across the country in reflecting on Canada’s past and future this year on July 1. CMHA is deeply troubled by the revelations from investigations into unmarked grave sites at former residential schools in BC and Saskatchewan. We recognize that for Canada’s Indigenous peoples, this is a day of mourning rather than celebration, and extend our deepest condolences to those who are grieving. The physical, psychological and spiritual

Pride Month Statement from CEO Rebecca Shields

Pride Month Statement from CEO Rebecca Shields

Happy Pride everyone! To me, Pride Month is about coming together to show our support for all members of the 2SLGBTQ+ community, celebrate how far we have come and to reflect on the work that still needs to be done going forward. Pride means a lot to me, as I have personally been out for a long time. I came out in 1992, but I knew well before then—let’s just say back in the 80’s

Mental Health in Motion: Carol

Mental Health in Motion: Carol

The staff here at CMHA York Region and South Simcoe believe in our mission and work so much, that many participate in Mental Health In Motion every year. Learn why Carol, Senior Director, Services, Quality and Innovation, has participated in this event for many years. What is your position at CMHA York Region and South Simcoe? Senior Director, Services, Quality & Innovation Why are you participating in Mental Health in Motion? I have been participating in

Mental Health in Motion Virtual Kick-Off Event

Mental Health in Motion Virtual Kick-Off Event

Sunday, June 13, 2021 @ 9:00 A.M. Facebook and YouTube Join us for our Mental Health in Motion Virtual Kick-Off Event in support of youth mental health. Tune in to our YouTube and Facebook pages on Sunday, June 13th at 9 a.m. to hear heartwarming personal stories about how we’re making a difference in the lives of youth, do an interactive fitness warmup and more fun surprises. Running virtually until the end of June, Mental

Mental Health in Motion: Penny

Mental Health in Motion: Penny

The staff here at CMHA York Region and South Simcoe believe in our mission and work so much, that many participate in Mental Health In Motion every year. Learn why Penny, from the Newcomer Health and Well-Being Program, is in motion this year. What is your position at CMHA York Region and South Simcoe? I work as a Nurse Practitioner in the awesome Newcomer Health and Well-Being Program-work I truly enjoy. We seek to support newcomers

Mental Health in Motion: Joshua

Mental Health in Motion: Joshua

  Mental Health In Motion is back and this year we are going virtual. Learn why Joshua, who is a member of our Board of Directors, is in motion this year. What is your connection to CMHA York Region and South Simcoe and Mental Health in Motion? Currently I am a member of the board and a proud supporter/fundraiser!  Why are you participating in Mental Health in Motion? Mental Health in Motion, in particular MOBYSS

Mental Health in Motion 2021 Ambassadors

Mental Health in Motion 2021 Ambassadors

We are so happy to introduce you to our Ambassadors for Mental Health in Motion 2021. They have come on board to help raise awareness and funds for critically needed mental health services and supports in our community. To learn more about Mental Health in Motion 2021 or to register (it’s FREE) visit www.cmhainmotion.ca.   Lauren is a mom of 2, and a high school English teacher. Her hobbies include spinning, lifting weights, reading, and

Paws in Motion

Paws in Motion

We are so excited to announce the Paws in Motion Team! Knowing the positive influence that animals have on our mental health and the smiles that they bring to our faces, we have assembled a group of ‘pawfect’ influencers that are encouraging you to get active with your pets, all while raising critically needed funds for youth mental health services and supports. After checking out their profiles below, try out our dog walking BINGO challenge.

Nursing Week: Jennifer

Nursing Week: Jennifer

We are so grateful both on Nursing Week and every week for the amazing nurses that make up our team here at Canadian Mental Health Association, York Region and South Simcoe. One of these nurses is Jennifer, who is a Registered Nurse in our Flexible Supportive Housing Program. Learn more about her below.    Why did you decide to become a nurse? I have always loved science and had interest in learning the human body.

Nursing Week: Jessica

Nursing Week: Jessica

We are so grateful both on Nursing Week and every week for the amazing nurses that make up our team here at Canadian Mental Health Association, York Region and South Simcoe. One of these nurses is Jessica, who is a Registered Nurse Case Manager in our Early Psychosis Intervention (H.O.P.E.) Program. Learn more about her role as a nurse below.  Why did you decide to become a nurse? I started nursing school after high school

Nursing Week: Frances

Nursing Week: Frances

We are so grateful both on Nursing Week and every week for the amazing nurses that make up our team here at Canadian Mental Health Association, York Region and South Simcoe. One of these nurses is Frances, Vice President of Clinical Operations.  Learn more about her journey as a nurse below.    Why did you decide to become a nurse? Honestly, it was sort of a fluke. I wasn’t really sure what I wanted to

Social Work Week and Month: Karen

Social Work Week and Month: Karen

March is National Social Work Month, with Social Work Week running from March 1st through 7th. In honour of these events, we decided to share profiles of some of the great Social Workers that make up the awesome team here at CMHA York Region and South Simcoe. Enjoy! Karen 1. Why did you decided to become a Social Worker? I decided to become a social worker while I was working on my PhD in the field of education. 

Social Work Month: Kusumam

Social Work Month: Kusumam

In honour of National Social Work Month, we decided to share the profiles of some of the great Social Workers that make up the awesome team here at CMHA-YRSS. Meet Kusumam, a Social Worker in our Assertive Community Transitions Team. Kusumam 1. Why did you decide to become a Social Worker? The social work profession gives me the opportunity to care for others within a professional and evidence-based framework. Being there for our clients, as an

Social Work Month: Nisha

Social Work Month: Nisha

In honour of National Social Work Month, we decided to share the profiles of some of the great Social Workers that make up the awesome team here at CMHA-YRSS. First up is Nisha, a Social Worker in our Flexible Support Program. 1. Why did you decide to become a Social Worker? I remember doing the test in my grade 10 career studies class and social work was the first profession that came up for me.

Peer Support Specialist: Nicole

Peer Support Specialist: Nicole

This week we are sharing the profiles of two of our amazing Peer Support Specialists and the awesome work they do here at CMHA York Region and South Simcoe. We’d also like to take this opportunity to introduce you to the CMHA College of Health and Well-Being (based on the Recovery College* model), that is aimed at enabling people to become experts in their own self-care and to develop skills and confidence to manage their

Landlords Needed In York Region and South Simcoe For The Homeless

Landlords Needed In York Region and South Simcoe For The Homeless

Homelessness is a pressing issue in York Region and something that can happen to anyone at any given time. Homelessness also comes at a cost for the system. According to the Homeless Hub, research has shown that the cost to house someone is significantly cheaper than shelter beds or hospital stays. We are currently looking for landlords that would be willing to house those experiencing homelessness. Along with the opportunity to give back to people in need, both yourself

Why I’m in Motion: Monika

Why I’m in Motion: Monika

The staff here at CMHA York Region and South Simcoe believe in our mission and work so much, that many participate in Mental Health In Motion every year. Learn why Monika, from the People and Culture Team, is in motion this year. What is your position at CMHA and how long have you been here? I am a recruiter on ​the amazing People and Culture team (Human Resources). I have been working ​at CMHA-YRSS for a little over a

Peer Support Specialist Profile: Bill

Peer Support Specialist Profile: Bill

Peer Support Specialist: Bill This week we are sharing the profiles of two of our amazing Peer Support Specialists and the awesome work they do here at CMHA York Region and South Simcoe. We’d also like to take this opportunity to introduce you to the CMHA College of Health and Well-Being (based on the Recovery College* model), that is aimed at enabling people to become experts in their own self-care and to develop skills and

Using Social Media to Benefit Your Mental Health

Using Social Media to Benefit Your Mental Health

On February 9, CMHA joins educators, industry professionals and the community worldwide in acknowledging Safer Internet Day, which aims to create both a safer and a better internet, where everyone is empowered to use technology responsibly, respectfully, critically and creatively. When it comes to new technologies, one of the biggest concerns with regards to mental health is the excessive use of social media. While social media use can help decrease feelings of isolation and loneliness,
Normalizing Voices

Normalizing Voices

By Nicole Parker, James Welsman and Brian Major With depression and anxiety being talked about more frequently, we are on our way to reducing the stigma associated with mental health. However, one thing that is not discussed as openly, is when a person admits that they hear voices, often leaving others to be caught off guard. How Common Is It? It has been suggested that 3% to 10% of the population hears voices that other
Wrap Up: 12 Days of Giving and Receiving

Wrap Up: 12 Days of Giving and Receiving

This year’s 12 Days of Giving and Receiving Campaign is not only our way of raising the funds necessary to ensure everyone in our community has access to the programs and services they need to achieve good mental health, but is also a way of giving back to those who support CMHA YRSS by providing helpful mental health tips and resources. Here’s a quick wrap up of everything we’ve shared over the past 12 days.
Gratitude Song

Gratitude Song

Here at CMHA, we are extremely grateful to our donors, volunteers, followers, community and others who make a difference in our organization and the people we serve. On our last day of our Giving and Receiving Campaign, we wanted to share with you a Gratitude Song created in collaboration with our clients, staff and volunteers during our virtual holiday celebrations this past week. Still interested in making a difference and donating to our holiday campaign MAKE
Holiday Happiness Playlist

Holiday Happiness Playlist

Our holiday happiness playlist is here! We consulted our various cultural affinity groups and staff members to come up with this playlist that will keep you moving and grooving all holiday long. Available on YouTube and Spotify. Enjoy! On YouTube On Spotify Donate to CMHA York Region and South Simcoe
An Amazing Intervention: MOBYSS

An Amazing Intervention: MOBYSS

Trigger Warning: Suicide Ideation/Mature Content We talk a lot about how MOBYSS – Ontario’s first and only mobile youth health clinic – saves lives. Recently Lindsay, one of our MOBYSS Peer Support Workers, did just that. All by text. I’m sharing this with you because MOBYSS needs our support now more than ever. At 4:00 p.m. on a Friday, Lindsay got a text asking if she had time for a chat. The young man on the other side of the phone was in
Self-Care During The Holidays: Keep The ‘Me’ In Merry

Self-Care During The Holidays: Keep The ‘Me’ In Merry

Like many things in 2021, this holiday season is going to be unique. Along with typical holiday stressors such as high expectations, family dynamics, financial difficulties, as well as increased alcohol and food consumption, this season is going to bring its own set of challenges including reduced family gatherings, increased financial pressure, isolation, loss of tradition and more. Although the holidays are traditionally a season of giving, the first gift you should give should always
Igniting Her Passion: Laurie-National Housing Day

Igniting Her Passion: Laurie-National Housing Day

Igniting Her Passion: Laurie-National Housing Day November 22, 2020 is National Housing Day, where we acknowledge the work done by organizations and people all across Canada to ensure that everyone has the dignity of a place to call home. Here at CMHA York Region and South Simcoe (CMHA YRSS), we are extremely grateful for our amazing Home First Community Support Team, who not only help our clients secure and maintain housing, but also support them
Coping With The Death Of A Loved One From Suicide

Coping With The Death Of A Loved One From Suicide

Coping With the Death of a Loved One From Suicide November 21 marks Survivors of Suicide Loss Day. Losing a friend or loved one to suicide can come with a unique grieving process, and an impact that stays with those grieving for a long time. In this article, our clinical experts share some tips on coping with the loss of a loved one from suicide. You are not alone First, it’s important to know that
CMHA Commemorates Transgender Day Of Remembrance

CMHA Commemorates Transgender Day Of Remembrance

CMHA York Region and South Simcoe joins individuals and organizations worldwide to commemorate the Transgender Day of Remembrance, an annual observance on November 20 that honours the memory of the transgender people whose lives were lost in acts of anti-transgender violence. These acts of violence are due to stigma and discrimination against their identity and community. Individuals who identify as transgender experience stigma, discrimination and violence, and “everyday transphobia.” These experiences of discrimination and violence
Nurse Pracitioner Michelle Pursuing Dream of Working In Health Care

Nurse Pracitioner Michelle Pursuing Dream of Working In Health Care

November 8 to 14, 2020 is Nurse Practitioner Week where we celebrate the vital role that Nurse Practitioners play in our health-care system, including here at CMHA York Region and South Simcoe. In honour of this week, we thought we’d showcase some of our Nurse Practitioners here at CMHA. Here is the profile on Michelle, a Nurse Practitioner on our MOBYSS and Gender Affirming Health Clinic Team. 1. Why did you decide to become a Nurse Practitioner? It was always a
Nurse Practitioner Week-Shelly: Addressing Gaps In Mental Health Care

Nurse Practitioner Week-Shelly: Addressing Gaps In Mental Health Care

November 8 to 14, 2020 is Nurse Practitioner Week where we celebrate the vital role that Nurse Practitioners play in our health-care system, including here at CMHA York Region and South Simcoe. In honour of this week, we thought we’d showcase some of our Nurse Practitioners here at CMHA. Here is the profile on Shelly, a Nurse Practitioner in our Flexible Supports Program. Why did you decide to become a Nurse Practitioner? I spent the better part of
Occupational Therapy At CMHA York Region And South Simcoe

Occupational Therapy At CMHA York Region And South Simcoe

October is Occupational Therapy Month, with World Occupational Therapy Day falling on the 27th. During this time, we take time to recognize the important contributions that these healthcare workers have made not only on our work at CMHA York Region and South Simcoe (YR/SS), but around the world, in helping people continue to participate in the activities that mean the most to them. In honour of Occupational Therapists everywhere, we thought we’d take the time to explain what
Occupational Therapy in the Home First Community Support Team: Jacky

Occupational Therapy in the Home First Community Support Team: Jacky

The Beginning Jacky came across Occupational Therapy for the first time, after finishing his undergraduate degree in psychology, when he was searching for opportunities in the mental health field. Jacky was interested to learn that Occupational Therapy referred to more than just work, but a range of meaningful roles and activities that make up who we are. Knowing the importance that these occupations/activities had in his own life and wellness, he thought this would be
Occupational Therapist Deb Making Connections: Kittens and Drumming

Occupational Therapist Deb Making Connections: Kittens and Drumming

Once Upon a Time… When Deb was young, she read a book about a boy who had been severely burned. In the book, the boy went to see an Occupational Therapist as part of his treatment, piquing Deb’s curiosity to learn more. She was interested to find out that along with helping others, Occupational Therapy involved a unique mix of art and science. Landing in Her Current Role at CMHA Before landing in her current
Talking To Teens About Mental Health And Suicide

Talking To Teens About Mental Health And Suicide

Each day, 11 Canadians take their own lives, and suicide is the second-leading cause of death amongst young people. There is a common perception that talking about suicide can be a trigger, or can ‘plant the idea’ in someone’s mind. However, research shows that talking about suicide in a hopeful and respectful way can help to change, and save, lives. We are living in stressful and uncertain times, and young people are facing some unique
Helping Young People Stay Safe On Social Media

Helping Young People Stay Safe On Social Media

Social media is always changing, and it can be hard for parents and caregivers to know who young people are connecting with online, or the sort of content that they are engaging with. Social media is a fact of life, and an important gathering place for young people. It can provide supportive connection with friends, helpful resources and information, and surprising and uplifting content. Unfortunately, just like in the ‘real’ world, social media can also
Back To School Tips For Students

Back To School Tips For Students

By Lisa Wood and Sandy Bundy Are you feeling anxious about the school year ahead? Many things have changed for everyone lately, and we know that this school year is going to look different from what we have known in the past. If you are feeling anxious, stressed or worried about the school year, you are not alone! Anxiety can affect us mentally, emotionally, physically and socially. Anxiety causes distress and unsettling physical feelings. It
Back To School Tips And Resources For Parents Of Teens

Back To School Tips And Resources For Parents Of Teens

By Lisa Wood and Sandy Bundy As we reflect back on the past six months, there is no doubt that there has been a lot of uncertainty in all of our lives. Many parents worked from home, supported their kids with online learning and all of our routines came to a skidding halt. We readjusted to a new normal, hopefully had a bit of a break over the summer and are now heading into fall.
Campus Opioid Overdose Protocol And Information Sheets

Campus Opioid Overdose Protocol And Information Sheets

Why does your campus need an opioid overdose protocol? The case is simple. When it comes to substance use, youth in Canada are at high risk. Download the campus protocol Download the Drug Safety on Campus information sheet Download the  information sheet on Safer Drug Use for Students Download a Wallet Card to distribute to students For the full Carry It Toolkit visit www.cmha.ca/carryit.
Community Connections: Virtual Art Wall

Community Connections: Virtual Art Wall

Art with Heart at Home Being creative together offers us an opportunity to connect with others, our environment and ourselves. This group is meant to take what you have available around your home to make and share art. Art with Heart at Home is a supportive community, where we share the joy and delight of creating with one another. Mindful Doodles Use a simple pattern-making technique to practice mindfulness. All you need is a pen
What You Need To Know About Self-Care

What You Need To Know About Self-Care

Although you have probably heard of self-care before through memes encouraging you to ‘treat yo’ self’ or embedded in descriptions for wellness or luxury goods, self-care is not about buying the right products or investing in expensive experiences. Rather, self-care is about prioritizing yourself and is accessible to everyone no matter your income level. In this article we will provide you with information on what self-care really is and how you can embrace it to
Racism And Mental Health

Racism And Mental Health

Here in Canada we are not immune to racism. Along with racism comes a host of negative effects, including mental health problems. In this article, we will cover how racism is perpetuated in our society, provide some knowledge about how racism can increase someone’s risk of developing mental health problems, as well as provide tangible suggestions and resources to help you cope. Even if you have not personally experienced racism in your life, reading this
Senior Mental Health

Senior Mental Health

Today is World Senior Citizen’s Day. In honour of the occasion we thought we would share some information about mental health in older adults, things to look out for and how to best cope with mental health struggles in the later parts of life. Did You Know? By the year 2030, nearly 1 in 4 Canadians will be a senior. An individual’s likelihood of experiencing a mental health problem or illness increases from age 69

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

Frightening situations happen to everyone at some point. People can react in many different ways: they might feel nervous, have a hard time sleeping well, or go over the details of the situation in their mind. These thoughts or experiences are a normal reaction. They usually decrease over time and the people involved can go back to their daily lives. Post-traumatic stress disorder, on the other hand, lasts much longer and can seriously disrupt a
Transgender Parenting Guide

Transgender Parenting Guide

Children are not born knowing what it means to be a ‘boy’ or a ‘girl’, they learn it. But, no two experiences of gender identity development are alike. For some, understanding their gender identity is a complex process that can last well into adolescence and adulthood. Many individuals feel their gender does not exist in a binary: boy or girl. Gender is more of a spectrum where individuals can express varying degrees of both masculinity
Your Kids Are Not Colourblind: How To Talk To Your Children About Race

Your Kids Are Not Colourblind: How To Talk To Your Children About Race

Did You Know? Babies recognize differences in skin colour and hair texture ( Rebecca Bigler via Parents Magazine). At birth, babies look equally at faces of all races, but by 3 months, babies look more at faces that match their caregivers (Kelly et al., 2005 via The Conscious Kid). In preschool, kids are already being treated differently based on their skin colour (Howard Stevenson via Vox). By the age of 4, children have already begun to show signs
Indigenous Culture and Mental Health

Indigenous Culture and Mental Health

Here in York Region and South Simcoe, we acknowledge the traditional land owners, the Mississaugas of the Credit, the Anishnabeg, the Chippewa, the Haudenosaunee and the Wendat peoples and that this community is now home to many diverse First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples. Although these groups share many similarities, they each have their own distinct heritage, language, cultural practices and spiritual beliefs. Today in Canada, we are coming to grips with the turbulent and frequently
Trans and Gender Diversity

Trans and Gender Diversity

Pride is a celebration, but it began as a protest led by trans people of color. If we’re gonna talk pride, we need to talk about those who continue to be marginalized at higher rates than many other members of the 2SLGBTQ+ community: trans people. What does it mean to be trans, non-binary or gender non-conforming? It can mean a lot of things and it is different for every person. At the Beginning When we
Mental Health And Self-Care For Activists

Mental Health And Self-Care For Activists

“Caring For Myself Is Not Self-Indulgence, It’s Self-Preservation And That Is An Act Of Political Warfare.” ~ Audre Lorde As an activist, you play a crucial role in human rights and social justice. People who define themselves as activists are those who take action to change a problem that they see in the world.  However, along with this important role can also come a host of mental health problems including vicarious trauma and burnout. Although
Pride Month: How To Be An Ally

Pride Month: How To Be An Ally

It’s pride month!  For many identifying as 2SLGBTQ+ (two-spirit, lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, queer, and the many diverse variations on these identities), pride is a time to celebrate identity- an identity that for many has led to experiences of bullying, family conflict and self-doubt.  The statistics tell us that 2SLGBTQ+ people are significantly more likely to experience anxiety, depression, substance misuse, homelessness and suicidal ideation than their hetero and cis gendered* counterparts (cis gender refers to when people’s gender identity matches what sex they
A Statement From Our CEO Rebecca Shields-Pride Month

A Statement From Our CEO Rebecca Shields-Pride Month

Dear Friends, June 1st marks the beginning of Pride Month. I read this from a news article by the BBC, June is the month chosen to celebrate pride as it was the month of the Stonewall riots, the protests that changed gay rights for a lot of people in America and beyond. It is about people coming together in love and friendship, to show how far gay rights have come, even if in some places there
Practicing Safe Social: Social Media And Your Mental Health

Practicing Safe Social: Social Media And Your Mental Health

It’s not a surprise that since the pandemic, the use of social media has risen dramatically. Facebook and Instagram have seen a 40% increase in usage since the start of the pandemic, while Twitter has 23% more users than it did a year ago. Additionally, in countries most hit by COVID-19, messages across the Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp platforms have increased by 50%. It makes sense that we are all using social media more. Since we
A Statement From Our CEO Rebecca Shields-Black Lives Matter

A Statement From Our CEO Rebecca Shields-Black Lives Matter

Today we stand in solidarity with all those affected by and grieving the recent murders of innocent members of the black community. For years we have sought to educate and build belonging and better care with our Cultural Competency and Trauma Informed Care Strategy. I can only think that there is so much more to be done and we will take action. In the near future, we commit to providing the community and our staff
Meditation And Mental Health

Meditation And Mental Health

Meditation is a great addition to add to your wellness toolbox on your quest to achieve better mental health. Although you’ve probably heard of meditation before, there is a lot of confusion over the the practice. According to Headspace, meditation is, “a formal exercise to cultivate awareness and compassion. By sitting with the mind, we’re training it to become more open and at ease, and we consequently discover great calm, clarity, contentment and compassion. In
Suicide Prevention

Suicide Prevention

Suicide. It’s a difficult topic to bring up. However, when someone talks about suicide or brings up concern for a loved one, it’s important to take action and seek help quickly. What is Suicide? Suicide means that someone ends their life on purpose. However, people who die by suicide or attempt suicide may not really want to end their life. Suicide may seem like the only way to deal with difficult feelings or situations. Who
Home First Food Security

Home First Food Security

Our Home First Community Support Program has stepped up in a big way to support clients during COVID-19, ensuring those receiving rent subsidies not only have a roof over their heads, but enough to eat as well. Partnering with the York Region Food Network, they requested that food drops be deemed an essential service, in order to meet a demand that has more than doubled since the start of the pandemic. Food security is an ongoing issue for
Postpartum Depression: What You Need To Know

Postpartum Depression: What You Need To Know

Bringing a new baby into the family can be challenging at the best of times, both physically and emotionally. It is natural for new parents to experience mood swings, feeling joyful one minute and depressed the next. These feelings are sometimes known as the “baby blues,” and often go away soon after birth. However, some parents may experience a deep and ongoing depression that lasts much longer. This is called postpartum depression. What is postpartum
It’s National Volunteer Week!

It’s National Volunteer Week!

Here at CMHA York Region and South Simcoe we are so proud of and grateful to our amazing volunteers! They are a key part of our making our mission, Mental Health for All, a reality. During the pandemic, the services we offer largely shifted online and so too did our volunteers. Their continued support was critical to ensuring that we could continue to serve our clients and their families as needed.  Volunteers at CMHA-YRSS fill many
Exams stressing you out? We’ve got you covered

Exams stressing you out? We’ve got you covered

As students prepare for exams, CMHA Ontario is reminding them to keep mental health in mind with some quick stress-management tips. Those struggling with low mood or anxiety can turn to CMHA Ontario’s free skill-building program BounceBack®: Reclaim your health to learn how to deal with stress, being overwhelmed, and more. Through BounceBack, adults and youth 15+ learn skills to help manage worry and anxiety, combat unhelpful thinking and become more active and assertive. BounceBack
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