CAREGIVER SUPPORT GROUPS

Dissociative Identity Disorder Support Group for Families     This is a free peer-led group for those supporting a family member who has Dissociative Identity Disorder, which was previously known as multiple personality disorder.  This program is sponsored by and meets at the Ottawa Anxiety and Trauma Clinic, a private practice, fee for service clinic that specializes in the provision of mental health services related to psychological trauma.  For information, click here.

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Hopewell is a not-for-profit registered charitable organization offering knowledge, support, and hope to those affected by eating disorders, such as anorexia, bulimia, and binge eating.  Hopewell offers a variety of support groups, including a Family & Friends Support Group (Link) which provides an opportunity for caregivers of individuals struggling with an eating disorder to receive information and support in a warm and empathic environment.

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Open Doors for Lanark Children and Youth offers person-centered mental health programs that inspire and empower children, youth, and families to live life to the fullest.  Services are offered at their community offices located in Carleton Place, Perth, and Smiths Falls, as well as at the Almonte General Hospital one day a week.  To learn about upcoming parent information nights and groups, and the many other services they provide, click here.

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Parents’ Lifelines of Eastern Ontario (PLEO)  The Ottawa chapter of Parents for Children’s Mental Health (PCMH), PLEO provides support and information to parents and caregivers with children, youth, and young adults to age 24 who are facing mental health challenges.  PLEO Parent/Caregiver Support Groups (Link) are open to everyone and registration is not required.  For more information, call 613-321-3211 (toll free 1-855-775-7005), or Email info@pleo.on.ca.

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Psychiatric Survivors of Ottawa is a community of peers and their families using individuals’ lived experiences with the mental health system to support one another in moving towards their full potential.  PSO offers family peer support services (Link), public education, volunteer opportunities, and connections to other community services to people experiencing mental health challenges and their families.

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The Family Support Program at The Royal Ottawa Mental Health Centre (The Royal) offers a variety of resources to meet family caregivers’ needs for information, education, and support through their loved one’s mental health journey.  (Link).

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Other caregiver-related organizations include:

The Caregiver Exchange has a wealth of information for caregivers including articles, tips, and popular resources.  CaregiverExchange is a mini-site of thehealthline.ca, a partnership between thehealthline.ca Information Network (a non-profit organization) and the Community Care Access Centres of Ontario. 

The Caregiver Helpline, created by The Ontario Caregiver Organization, is a 24/7 resource that caregivers can call or engage in a live chat between 7 am and 9 pm, Monday to Friday, to find local supports, get information about caregiving, and get other important knowledge that caregivers feel they need.

The Caregiver Network (TCN) is Canada’s largest online learning network supporting family caregivers, their loved ones, and the health care professionals who work on their behalf.  It hosts free educational events in partnership with associations across the country.  Its Webinars and learning events are recorded and archived on its Web site.

The Family Caregiver Alliance (FCA) is a national nonprofit caregiver support organization headquartered in San Francisco, California.  FCA’s purpose is to “improve the quality of life for caregivers and the people who receive their care.”   The organization offers various resources for caregivers of people living with various mental and physical illnesses.

The Mental Illness Caregivers Association of Canada (MICA) is an Ottawa-based non-profit organization composed of family members, caregivers, and consumers.  MICA ensures caregivers are aware of and can access the resources they need to provide support and lifelong care for their loved ones living with mental illness.  For information, click here.