Community news

NOTE: Check with each of the following organizations closer to the dates indicated below to determine whether their event has been cancelled or will take place.

To view items from:  (Note: numbers in red indicate a Canadian source):

  • 1Call1Click.ca, see # 24
  • Achieve, see # 75
  • Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction (CCSA), see # 7
  • Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA), see # 47
  • Centre for ADHD Awareness, Canada (CADDAC), see # 6, 38, 58, 61
  • Centre for Suicide Prevention (CSP), see # 28, 39, 41, 51, 53, 60
  • Changing Minds, see # 46
  • Crossroads Children’s Mental Health Centre, see # 78
  • Dementia Society of Ottawa and Renfrew County (DSORC), see # 19
  • Distress Centre of Ottawa and Region, see # 54
  • Dr. Robin Beardsley, see # 23
  • Dr. Russ Harris, see # 63
  • Families for Addiction Recovery (FAR), see # 26
  • Family Caregiver Alliance (FCA), see # 20
  • Family Caregivers of British Columbia (FCBC), see # 10, 49, 67
  • Harvard Health Publishing, see # 31
  • HeretoHelp, see # 43
  • International OCD Foundation, see # 74
  • Jack.org, see # 73
  • Living Healthy Champlain, see # 2, 76
  • Lumino Health, see # 30, 40
  • McLean Hospital (A Harvard Medical School Affiliate), see # 3, 35
  • Mental Health Commission of Canada (MHCC), see # 65
  • Mental Illness Caregivers Association (MICA), see # 5
  • MyTutor, see # 33
  • NewLifeOutlook, see # 21
  • OCD Ottawa, see # 55, 62
  • Ontario Caregiver Organization (OCO), see # 14, 44, 80
  • Ontario Centre of Excellence for Child and Youth Mental Health (CYMH), see # 12, 48
  • Ottawa Community Foundation, Counselling Connect, see # 64
  • Ottawa Network for Borderline Personality Disorder (ON-BPD), see # 9
  • Parents’ Lifeline of Eastern Ontario (PLEO), see # 50, 59
  • Partners for Planning (P4P), see # 4, 18, 52, 69
  • PsychCentral, see # 11, 15, 17. 29, 37
  • Psych Hub, see # 27
  • Psychiatric Survivors of Ottawa (PSO), see # 16, 25, 72
  • Psychology Today, see # 45
  • School Mental Health Ontario (SMHO-SMSO), see # 66
  • Steps to Justice, see # 42
  • The ADHD Centre, see # 13
  • The Mighty, see # 22
  • The Oasis in Kanata, see # 57
  • The Ottawa Institute of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (Ottawa CBT), see # 79
  • The Royal Ottawa Mental Health Centre (The Royal), see # 1, 8, 36, 71, 81
  • The Zone Next Steps, see # 56
  • Valley Centre for Counselling, see # 70
  • Wellness Together Canada: Mental Health and Substance Use Support, see # 68
  • Western Ottawa Community Resource Centre (WOCRC), see # 77
  • Your Tango, see # 32

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1.  REMINDER: there is still time to register for The Royal Ottawa Mental Health Centre‘s (The Royal) next Client & Family Forum, to be held on Wednesday, January 19, at 7 PM.  Register here.  At the one-year mark of the launch of its new strategic plan, The Royal wishes to showcase progress made through the integration of lived expertise.  Clients and families are playing an integral part in shaping the new strategic plan, entitled Co-creating Access, Hope and New Possibilities.  Click here to access the strategic plan.

The Royal has also announced its list of Information and Support Groups for 2021-2022.   All upcoming groups will be listed on The Royal Website as registrations open.  Groups run on Tuesdays from 6 to 7:30 PM.  Group events will have closed captioning and will be offered in English only.  Most groups will be accompanied with a Family Voice Bulletin which will include the French translation.

Current upcoming groups are as follows*:

  • January 18: Sexual Behaviours
  • January 25: Peer Support

Visit TheRoyal.ca/events for the latest links to upcoming groups.

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2.  Living Healthy Champlain (LHC), funded by the Champlain Local Health Integration Network (CLHIN), has announced a two-part Webinar on the topic of Depression Medications.  Depression is a common and serious medical illness that negatively affects how one feels, thinks, and acts.  Fortunately, it is also treatable.  Caregivers wishing to learn more about the latest treatment options for their loved ones which employ antidepressant therapy might wish to take part.  As the sessions complement each other, it is recommended to register for both Webinars.

Part 1 – Depression Medication Treatment Concepts, Tuesday, January 18, from 12 to 1 PM.  Presenter Denise Kreutzwiser, a mental health program pharmacist with the Southwest Centre for Forensic Mental Health and the Forensic Outreach team in St. Thomas, Ontario, will discuss the role of drug therapy in the management of depression, what to expect when taking antidepressant therapy, including timeframes for depression symptom improvement, and recommendations around the duration of antidepressant therapy.  Click here.

Part 2 – Depression Medications – An Overview of the Options, Thursday, January 20, 12 to 1 PM.  Presenter Lisa Simon, a clinical pharmacist with the Pain Management Program at St. Joseph’s Health Care in London, Ontario, will highlight the different classes of antidepressant medications, review the advantages and disadvantages of the various options, and discuss how to deal with situations in which the initial antidepressant regimen does not achieve the anticipated outcome.  Click here.

Registrants will receive a confirmation Email containing information about joining the Webinar.  Participants may take part by tablet, mobile device, or personal computer.

NOTE: For complete information regarding health services available to Ontario residents living within the Champlain Local Health Integration Network, click here.

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3.   McLean Hospital, a psychiatric hospital located in Belmont, Massachusetts, will offer a free Webinar entitled Depression 101 on Thursday, January 20, at 11 AM.

Depression is often described by folks experiencing it as a sadness that encompasses your life, impacts your day-to-day activities, and limits your functioning as you’d normally want to.  It’s a condition known for its feelings of hopelessness and often worthlessness — and is misunderstood by many as something ‘you can snap out of.’ ”  Christian A. Webb, PhD, will explain the intricacies of depressive disorders, share signs and symptoms that may point to depression, and answer audience questions about how to make it through darker days.  All registrants will receive a recording, plus all resources mentioned in the session, by Email.  Click here to register.

As well, a free Webinar entitled Helping Adolescents with Anxiety will be held on Thursday, January 27, at 1 PM.  Jason Krompinger, PhD, will provide tips to talk with teens about anxiety, explain the differences between types of anxiety, and answer questions about addressing stigma around the most common mental health disorder.  Click here to register.

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4.   Partners for Planning (P4P) is offering free Webcasts regarding the Registered Disability Savings Plan (RDSP), a made-in-Canada, long-term savings vehicle designed specifically for individuals with disabilities.  The session will provide:

  • an understanding of how one may receive up to $90,000 from the Federal Government in bonds and grants;
  • insights on opening an RDSP, withdrawals, and taxation;
  • knowledge of the latest updates and changes to the RDSP; and
  • tips and advice on free resources to consult for additional information.
The Webcasts will be offered on the following dates (To register, select one of the following dates):
For more information about the RDSP program, visit the Planning Network page.

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5.  The Mental Illness Caregivers Association (MICA) has produced a consultative document entitled Caregivers’ Perspectives in a Mental Health Crisis (Click here) which outlines through the eyes, thoughts, and feelings of caregivers eight stages in a mental health crisis when a 911 call is made under the current system.  The Association is currently canvassing caregivers to share their insights and engage in dialogue with them on this vital subject.

Many jurisdictions in Canada and internationally are reviewing how they respond to mental health crisis calls with a view to developing a more effective response when families or the public witness someone in mental health distress.  Close to home, the Ottawa Police Service (OPS) has expressed its intent to launch such a review.

MICA believes caregivers of those living with a mental illness have a perspective on how mental health crises are handled that could be helpful to those designing new policies and procedures for responding to these crises.  Caregivers are often at ground zero when the crisis call is made – and at the receiving end when the loved one is released from the hospital or from the justice system.  Designing a programmatic response that fails to consider this important perspective runs the risk of a new response missing the mark.

MICA is asking caregivers to examine this document carefully and reply with their comments and suggestions to caregiverinput@micaontario.com by March 31, 2022.

This initiative by MICA affords caregivers an exceptional opportunity to have a significant influence on the policymakers and organizations which hold the key to improved institutional support and services for caregivers and their loved ones.  MICA asks caregivers to consider this request thoughtfully and to share this information with their fellow caregivers.

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6.  Mission Impossible?  Remote Learning for Children with ADHDRemote learning, especially during the current COVID-19 pandemic, can be challenging for anyone who hasn’t done it before.  The Centre for ADHD Awareness, Canada (CADDAC) created a Webinar in May, 2020, to provide parents with a better understanding of the unique challenges of remote learning for children with ADHD.  The Webinar offers an array of tools and strategies to collaborate with one’s child, their teachers, and other family members in order to support learning, and provides resources for teachers to help children with ADHD learn better remotely.  Click here.  (Duration: 1:29:56)

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7.  The Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction (CCSA) and the Mental Health Commission of Canada (MHCC) have produced two infographics entitled Coping with Stress, Anxiety and Substance Use during COVID-19 and Coping with Stress, Anxiety and Substance Use during COVID-19: How Animals Can Help.  Each one-page infographic provides facts, tips, and resources to help Canadians cope during this stressful period.  Topics covered include the signs and symptoms of anxiety or stress, coping mechanisms, and advice on monitoring substance use in times of stress and reducing harms.  Click here.

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8.   The Royal Ottawa Mental Health Centre (The Royal) has published a 14-page list of Resources during COVID-19 as part of its Family Support Program – Caring for Caregivers program.  For this and other related resources, click here.

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9.  The Ottawa Network for Borderline Personality Disorder (ON-BPD) offers several Webinars under the heading Helping Each Other Through COVID-19.  (Click here)  ON-BPD also offers an online option for the Family Connections program using ZOOM videoconferencing.  The online class allows family members to meet using a cell phone, tablet, or computer.  The course is interactive: leaders are able to interact with participants, and participants are able to see and speak with others during class.  To apply, click here.

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10.  The Family Caregivers of British Columbia (FCBC) published a Personalized Caregiver Support Plan in August, 2021.  “Without it seeming disrespectful or uncaring, caregiving can be seen as a ‘project.’  All well executed projects have a plan.  And all projects require support.  Knowing what you need as a caregiver, and strategies for supporting those needs, are the foundation of your plan.”  (Click here)

The FCBC also offers a variety of articles and videos on topics such as “Creating a Caregiver Support Plan, Parts 1 and 2,” “Caregiver Burnout and Feeling Stuck,” and “Caregivers as Essential Partners in Care.”  Click here.

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11.  PsychCentral offers several articles about Schizophrenia.  Here are two recent ones.

Schizophrenia is more than hallucinations and delusions.  Its symptoms often occur in phases.  When you live with schizophrenia, psychotic symptoms — those moments of reality detachment — are a part of your diagnosis.  Not every day is filled with these symptoms, though.  In fact, schizophrenia consists of three stages that tend to cycle in order.”  Click here.

Family and friends of those living with schizophrenia often do their best to support their loved one initially — but for some people it can become increasingly difficult, especially if you’re unfamiliar with the condition or how to handle a crisis.  While friends and family want the best for their loved one, the most common challenge is not really knowing how to help or offer sustained support.  That’s why we’ve compiled this list of tips, to help you become — and remain — an ally to your loved one living with schizophrenia.”  Click here.

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12.  The Ontario Centre of Excellence for Child and Youth Mental Health (CYMH) published:

  • Talking to Children and Youth about COVID-19: “The emergence of COVID-19 in populations across the globe has had a significant impact on children, youth and families.  To support our community partners during this challenging time, the Centre compiled links to resources published by child and youth mental health organizations, professional associations and organizations relevant to child and youth care, to support discussions between parents/caregivers and children and youth.”  Click here.
  • COVID-19 Infographic: Youth Mental Health Survey: “Between April and June 2020, we asked young people and parents/caregivers about their mental health experiences to understand how COVID-19 has affected their mental health and what their service needs and preferences are.”  Click here.

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13.  Located in London, U.K., The ADHD Centre provides has published How to manage ADHD in lockdown AGAIN!  “Lockdown was hard last time.  The restrictions, the uncertainty and the fear of illness really took their toll on people’s mental health.  Now we are going through it again but without the good weather.  This time, we have more of an idea about how it works, so it might be easier.  Then again it might not.  More people are working from home again and while some people have adapted well to the ‘new normal,’ other people are presented with a new set of difficulties.  Here are some suggestions to help adults with ADHD to get through this unique and challenging time.”  Click here.

The Centre also offers Great Parenting Tips and Strategies for Coping with ADHD.  Click here.

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14.  The Ontario Caregiver Organization (OCO) has produced a series of COVID-19 Caregiver Tip Sheets which provide practical suggestions for those caring for a loved one during the pandemic. (Click here)

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15.  PsychCentral has put together 10 Self-Care Tips When You Have Depression.

When you live with depression, taking self-care steps to protect your well-being can be so important.  Your depression symptoms may increase the more you ignore your needs and self-care — like getting restful sleep, eating nutritious meals, and taking time to relax.  While you’ll want to reach out to a mental health professional for treatment options and support, a good self-care routine can also go a long way toward helping you manage your day-to-day life.”  Click here.

PsychCentral also published a 30-minute podcast entitled Boundary Setting for Women(or: “How to Set Boundaries – and Stop Putting Everyone Else’s Needs First.“), of particular interest to female caregivers. (Link)

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16.  The Psychiatric Survivors of Ottawa (PSO) has published a flyer to promote its Family Peer Support services for residents of Lanark County.  Family Support Group meetings take place every Monday evening on Zoom.  In addition to their regular services – based in Ottawa but not restricted to Ottawa residents – PSO is now offering one-on-one support for Lanark families via telephone.

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17.  PsychCentral offers a podcast entitled Are We Using the Wrong Criteria to Diagnose Mental Health ConditionsDr. Margaret Chisolm of the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine discusses the shortcomings of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) and why she believes evaluating multiple perspectives of a person’s life can give a more accurate basis for diagnosis.  Click here to listen to this episode.  (Duration: 29:22)

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18.  Partners for Planning (P4P) has developed the following action guides, under the series heading Managing the New Normal, for families who wish to start living more intentionally as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to evolve by applying a variety of useful suggestions and practical tips: 

To view upcoming P4P Webcasts and resources, click here.

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19.  The Dementia Society of Ottawa and Renfrew County (DSORC) has published a two-page tip sheet, Care for the Caregiver, which contains several good suggestions applicable to all caregivers, not just those caring for a person with Dementia.  (Link)

The Society has also put together a series of “Tips for Making a Success of Your COVID-19 Vaccination.”  For those caregivers of a person living with a mental illness who is still concerned or hesitant about receiving their inoculation(s) to protect them – and everyone else – against this ongoing viral onslaught, these practical tips might prove helpful.  (Link)

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20.  The San Francisco-based Family Caregiver Alliance (FCA) publishes several useful guides for caregivers, including A Guide to Taking Care of Yourself (Link), Taking Care of YOU: Self-Care for Family Caregivers (Link) and Respite Tips: Taking a Break from Giving Care to Someone in Need. (Link)  For over 40 years, the FCA has advocated for caregivers in the areas of policy, health, and social system development; research; and public awareness.  Although the FCA focusses primarily on Alzheimer’s disease, stroke, traumatic brain injury, Parkinson’s, and other debilitating health conditions that strike adults, many of the organization’s suggestions and resources may prove useful to caregivers of people living with mental illness.

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21.  Based in Kitchener, Ontario, NewLifeOutlook, offers discussion forums and social media channels for individuals with a chronic condition to connect with others who have shared experiences, exchange information, and grow friendships.  Among their many resources, they include “Tips for Surviving the Holidays with ADHD” (Link).

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22.  Based in the U.S., The Mighty promotes itself as a “safe, supportive community for people facing health challenges and the people who care for them.”  For the holiday season, they include an article from 2018 entitled “25 ‘Harmless’ Comments That Actually Hurt People with Mental Illness around the Holidays.” (Link)  (For a printable version, click here.)

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23.  Kanata-based Physician and Psychotherapist Robin Beardsley, MD, offers a number of free Meditations on her Website to assist individuals with their practice of mindfulness and mindful self-compassion.  Titles include “Working with Difficult Emotions,” “Mindful Self Compassion Break,” and “Giving & Receiving Compassion,” among others.

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24.  1Call1Click.ca is designed to help children, youth (to age 21), and families connect with the right mental health and addiction services and care when they need it.  The service, which covers most of Eastern Ontario, was created in 2019 by the Government of Ontario as a key component of The Kids Come First Health Team.  The Team comprises more than 60 organizations, family and youth partners, nearly 1,100 doctors, and thousands of individuals.  The program is designed to assist individuals in identifying which service would be most appropriate for their needs from among the more than two dozen organizations and countless care providers, many with specialized programs, delivering mental health and addiction care in the region.

1Call1Click.ca provides three types of services:

  1. A source of information about the system itself and available resources.
  2. A service to help children, youth, families, and care providers access and connect to the right mental health and addiction services at the right time.
  3. A case-coordination service for children and youth with complex needs.

To contact 1Call1Click.ca, click here.

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25.  The Psychiatric Survivors of Ottawa‘s (PSO) Online Family Peer Support Group runs every Monday, except for statutory holidays, from 6:30 to 8:30 PM.  The group assists family members and friends of people experiencing mental health or addiction challenges.  No referral is required and services are free.  The person supported must be 16+ years of age.  Every second week the group offers conversation topics such as “Being Powerless over Others,” “Giving in a Healthy Way,” “Rescuing Ourselves,” “Caretaking vs. Responsibility for Ourselves,” etc.

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26.  The Families for Addiction Recovery (FAR) organization has created a two-part YouTube series of videos entitled Health Law: A Primer for Family Caregivers in the Mental Health and Addictions Sector.

Part 1: An examination of how the Health Care Consent Act and Personal Health Information Protection Act, 2004 affect an individual’s rights, the roles and obligations of substitute decision-makers, and practical strategies for navigating the health system. It speaks to special issues in the mental health and addictions sectors, and key issues regarding children and youth. (50:49) Link

Part 2: An explanation of the mental health system, including the Mental Health Act framework and community-based services, risk management considerations, privacy, and being an advocate in the system; and a broad discussion, using two case scenarios in the mental health and addictions sector, of the Ontario health system, housing, and more. (46:02) Link

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27.  Nashville-based Psych Hub, has produced a short animated video on self-care for caregivers entitled Prevent Caregiver Burnout.  “For those taking care of a loved one with a mental illness, it can be hard to look out for one’s own well-being.  Practicing good self-care may be one of the most important things you do to prevent caregiver burnout.”  (5:30) Click here.

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28.  The Centre for Suicide Prevention (CSP) published an article entitled “How to Help Someone Thinking about Suicide” for the September 10th World Suicide Prevention Day 2021 to raise awareness about how suicide can be prevented.

The article explains how to:

  • identify a person thinking about suicide
  • reach out and have a conversation
  • connect them to help
  • create a safety plan with them
  • support them as they move forward.

The Centre for Suicide Prevention is an education centre, a centre of excellence, based in Calgary, Alberta.  It is a branch of the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA).  To read the article, click here.

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29.  Psych Central has published an article entitled 6 Games People with Narcissistic Personality Disorder Play.  “Have you ever felt like a target in someone else’s game?  Recognizing manipulation tactics can help you create boundaries with people with narcissistic personality.”  Click here.  Other recent articles include Delusions vs. Hallucinations in Schizophrenia (Link), and Extreme Weather Anxiety: 4 Ways to Cope (Link).

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30.  Lumino Health, provided by the Sun Life Assurance Company of Canada, recently published two articles which might be of interest to caregivers:

  • How to Cope with Caregiver Guilt.  “Feeling guilt when you’re caring for someone is common.  Oftentimes caregivers are torn – they want to be supportive, but feel they’re missing out on their own lives.  But reaching out for support can help.”  The article also contains links to other related articles and short videos.  Click here.
  • How Post-secondary Students Can Manage Their Mental Health.  “The post-secondary student experience was abruptly altered by the pandemic.  A psychotherapist shares tips on how students can emerge stronger and how family and friends can help.”  Click here.

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31.  Harvard Health Publishing recently published an article by Jacqueline Sperling, PhD, a Clinical Psychologist, entitled Supporting a Bullied Middle Schooler.  Research suggests that children and youth who are bullied over time are more likely than those not bullied to experience depression, anxiety, and low self-esteem.  They also are more likely to be lonely and want to avoid school.  There are many ways that parents and youth-serving adults can help prevent or address bullying.  Here are some practical suggestions from a professional.  Click here.

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32.  New York-based media company Your Tango has provided some suggestions to reassure parents of children with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder who are returning to school: Back To School with ADHD and COVID Uncertainty (Again).

Just when we thought we’d turned a corner in the COVID war, the virus is rearing its ugly head for another wave.  As kids go back to school, uncertainty looms once again.  The Delta variant is making all of us more nervous than we might already be.  School districts are debating mask mandates and some have returned to remote learning.  It’s worrisome for parents and students, many of whom assumed that in-person learning would finally go forward.  When you consider the academic and social challenges for many kids with ADHD, it’s tough to know what to do to stay safe and create viable, rewarding learning experiences for your children and teens.”

To read the article, click here.

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33.  MyTutor is a U.K.-based commercial tutoring service which provides useful tips and advice for parents to help their teens overcome body image issues, academic anxiety, peer pressure, and cyberbullying.  It includes links to other teen mental health resources which might likewise prove helpful.  The company recently published an in-depth guide entitled Teen Mental Health – A Guide for Parents.  Click here.

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34.  The Royal Ottawa Mental Health Centre (The Royal) offers a virtual service, called Rapid Access Addiction Medicine (RAAM), for individuals seeking support for substance use.  Services include assessment and triage to appropriate level of care, substance use and mental health treatment, withdrawal management, harm reduction, connection to primary care, and navigation to community services.  Developed by a team of clients, service providers, clinicians, scientists, researchers, and administrators, this model enhances the delivery of virtual care and essentially replicates the experience of an in-person visit, but virtually, from wherever the person is located.  An Internet connection and a device with a camera (mobile phone, computer, tablet) are required.  After clinic hours, clients are redirected to other resources.

Check-in hours are from 7:55 to 11:45 am and from 12:55 to 2:30 pm, Monday to Thursday, and from 7:55 to 11:30 am on Friday.  The clinic is open from 8 am to 4 pm, Monday to Friday, excluding statutory holidays.

NOTE: RAAM is not an emergency service.  For emergencies, call 911 or go to the nearest emergency department.

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35.  The McLean Hospital, a Harvard Medical School Affiliate, has produced a number of free Webinars, including The Mental Benefits of a Self-Care Regimen (Duration: 53:37), as well as articles, such as Navigating the Stresses of Caring for a Loved One during a Pandemic.

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36.  The Mental Health Act 101: What Families Need to Know to Navigate the Mental Health System  (Duration: 1:16:07)  Click here.

The Mental Health Act, and the mental health system itself, can be a cumbersome and daunting thing for families of loved ones with a mental illness to navigate. Having some basic knowledge of the Act and the system can help families advocate for and secure health care resources for their family members, which in turn will promote positive outcomes and a faster recovery.  From the September 2018 The Royal Talks series on YouTube.

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37.  From the PsychCentral Website:

  • What Are Enmeshed Relationships?  And How to Set Boundaries. “If you’re in a relationship where you always put the other person’s needs first, you might be in an enmeshed relationship.  But it’s possible to break old habits and set healthy boundaries.”  Click here.
  • How and When to Say No.  “Many of us hesitate to say no to others.  It’s just two letters, and yet saying no can feel really hard — even complicated.  For many of us, saying no doesn’t just feel awkward.  It feels wrong.  With mindful tips like these, saying no is an emotionally intelligent skill anyone can master — really!”  Click here.
  • 6 Games People with Narcissistic Personality Disorder Play.  “Have you ever felt like a target in someone else’s game?  Recognizing manipulation tactics can help you create boundaries with people with narcissistic personality.”  Click here.

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38.  Mission Impossible?  Remote Learning for Children with ADHDRemote learning, especially during the current COVID-19 pandemic, can be challenging for anyone who hasn’t done it before.  The Centre for ADHD Awareness, Canada (CADDAC) created a Webinar in May, 2020, to provide parents with a better understanding of the unique challenges of remote learning for children with ADHD.  The Webinar offers an array of tools and strategies to collaborate with one’s child, their teachers, and other family members in order to support learning, and provides resources for teachers to help children with ADHD learn better remotely.  Click here.  (Duration: 1:29:56)

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39.  The Centre for Suicide Prevention (CSP), based in Calgary, Alberta, has updated its Together to Live Website, a step-by-step guide to creating a community suicide prevention plan.  The site includes:

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40.  Lumino Health, a service of Sun Life Assurance, included an article entitled10 Tips for Managing ECO Anxietyin its April 21, 2021, issue.  According to the Canadian Mental Health Association, ECO Anxiety is a fear of ecological threats and disasters arising from climate change.  People who experience ECO Anxiety can have symptoms of anxiety and depression.  Click here to read the article.  As well, the May 28 issue contains useful tips from a registered Psychologist on Managing Stress and Anxiety during a PandemicClick hereVisit Lumino Health for other articles related to mental health and the COVID-19 pandemic, such asTalking to Your Doctor about Mental Health,” “5 Tips for Managing Anxiety as Restrictions Lift,”  “Helping You and Your Kids Manage Back-to-School Anxiety,” “Understanding the Mental Health Continuum and Finding Solutions,andHow Do I Ask My Friends and Family If They’ve Been Vaccinated?

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41.  The Calgary-based Centre for Suicide Prevention (CSP) has updated its Indigenous People, Trauma and Suicide Prevention toolkit.

Historically, suicide was a very rare occurrence among Indigenous peoples, and it was only after contact with Europeans that it became prevalent.  Intergenerational trauma is one of the primary colonial effects contributing to the elevated rate of suicide among Indigenous people today.  These suicides can be prevented, and there are many aspects of Indigenous culture that contribute to resilience against suicide, including connection between Indigenous Elders and youth, speaking an Indigenous language, and practicing spirituality.”

Click here.

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42.  Steps to Justice has two new tools to help you understand Ontario Works (OW) and the Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP), including three simple flowcharts that explain (a) applying for OW, (b) applying for ODSP, and (c) appealing an OW or ODSP decision, and a new tool that creates a letter to request an Internal Review of a decision for OW or for ODSP.  Steps to Justice is a collaborative project led by Community Legal Education Ontario (CLEO), and is funded by Legal Aid Ontario; Department of Justice, Canada; and The Law Foundation of Ontario.

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43.  HeretoHelp, a project of the BC Partners for Mental Health and Substance Use Information, has published an infosheet, entitled Evaluating Mental Health and Substance Use Information, designed to empower individuals to think critically about mental health and substance use information from mainstream media sources to social media to personal stories.  These principles may be applied to other topics to help decide what information is useful and what information doesn’t stand up to the test.  Click here.

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44.  The Ontario Caregiver Organization (OCO) once again offers its SCALE Program (Supporting Caregiver Awareness, Learning and Empowerment) to empower individuals with practical information and skills to enhance self-awareness with a focus on their own needs and well-being.  The program includes Webinars which may be viewed on the organization’s YouTube channel.

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45.  The February 20, 2021, post on the Psychology Today magazine’s Website featured an article by Robert Taibbi, a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, entitled “11 Tips for Helping Your Loved One with ADHD.”

ADHD can all too easily leave folks feeling like losers. Here’s how to help.”

  1. Get the topic on the table.
  2. Routines, routines.
  3. Procrastination, part 1: Map out the week/map out the day.
  4. Procrastination, part 2: Do hard before easy.
  5. Procrastination, part 3: Work, break, work.
  6. Run around.
  7. No-distraction space.
  8. Regulate computer time.
  9. Coordinate with others.
  10. Negotiate how to be the sideline coach.
  11. Help them create self-esteem.

Intrigued by the above headings?  Read the entire article here.

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46.  Changing Minds has announced the start of a Virtual OCD GOAL Support Group.  This peer-led and professionally-assisted group will run the first and third Tuesdays of each month from 7 to 9 pm and is for adults over the age of 18 in Ontario living with OCD.

Visit their Website to learn more or send an Email to goalgroupottawa@gmail.com.

Changing Minds is a non-profit organization based in Ottawa supporting individuals seeking help with mental health disorders through sharing information, skills, and knowledge, and by helping create access to specialty mental health programs.  Its current focus is on activities related to Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD), given the urgency identified for treatment, information, and support.

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47.  The Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) has published Beneath the Surface: Self-care Myths and Facts.  Click here.  There is also a downloadable guide to self-care located at the bottom of the article.

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48.  The Ontario Centre of Excellence for Child and Youth Mental Health (CYMH) published:

  • Talking to Children and Youth about COVID-19:  “The emergence of COVID-19 in populations across the globe has had a significant impact on children, youth and families. To support our community partners during this challenging time, the Centre compiled links to resources published by child and youth mental health organizations, professional associations and organizations relevant to child and youth care, to support discussions between parents/caregivers and children and youth.”  Click here.
  • COVID-19 Infographic: Youth Mental Health Survey: “Between April and June 2020, we asked young people and parents/caregivers about their mental health experiences to  understand how COVID-19 has affected their mental health and what their service needs and preferences are.”  Click here.

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49.  The Family Caregivers of British Columbia (FCBC) published a Personalized Caregiver Support Plan in August, 2021.  “Without it seeming disrespectful or uncaring, caregiving can be seen as a ‘project.’  All well executed projects have a plan.  And all projects require support.  Knowing what you need as caregiver and strategies for supporting those needs are the foundation of your plan.”  (Click here)

The FCBC also offers a variety of articles and videos on topics such as “Creating a Caregiver Support Plan, Parts 1 and 2,” “Caregiver Burnout and Feeling Stuck,” and “Caregivers as Essential Partners in Care.”  Click here.

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50.  The Parents’ Lifeline of Eastern Ontario (PLEO) has announced the creation of Dear PLEO, a new question and answer resource for parents of children struggling with mental health challenges, and for those who support them.  To connect with this new service, Email PLEO at info@pleo.on.ca.

Parents may also call PLEO’s confidential Parents’ Helpline between 9 am and 7 pm, Monday to Friday, at 855-775-7005 to engage with a peer who can help navigate the mental health system, provide links to additional resources, or just offer a listening ear.

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51.  The Calgary-based Centre for Suicide Prevention (CSP) has released a new video entitled “How Do I Talk to Someone Thinking about Suicide.”  Executive Director Mara Grunau talks about how to recognize someone who may be struggling with thoughts of suicide and how to have a conversation and connect them to help.  Video topics include:

  • Warning signs for suicide
  • How to have a conversation with someone
  • How to connect them to help.

Click here to view the video.  (Time: 9:05)

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52.  Managing the Next Wave.  Toronto-based Partners for Planning (P4P) has put together a list of possibilities for families to help manage the anticipated next wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to P4P:

Many families say that often their best source of information, inspiration, and support are other families.  As we enter yet another wave of the pandemic, it can be helpful on so many levels to connect with other families that may share some of the challenges you’re experiencing.  Check out these seven different opportunities to connect with other families to get information, new ideas, have a great conversation –  or a little fun –  on Zoom.

The seven organizations are:

  • Family Alliance Ontario
  • Sibling Collaborative
  • Community Living Toronto – Family Link (perhaps not of interest to Ottawa caregivers)
  • Autism Ontario
  • Caregivers On-Line Support Group
  • Young Caregivers Support Group
  • Ontario Independent Facilitation Network (OIFN).

For those not familiar with any of these groups, here is the link to the P4P Website which provides an overview of each, as well as the link to each organization’s Website.

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53.  The Calgary-based Centre for Suicide Prevention (CSP) offers a blog entitled “Maintaining Relationships and Social Connection.”  According to the CSP, finding a way to stay socially connected during the pandemic is probably one of the best things individuals can do for their mental health.  The COVID-19 pandemic has forced everyone into a new way of being – with themselves and with others.

Fortunately, this is a time when seeing loved ones virtually is relatively easy.  For many people, for now, video calls and distance walks are enough to satisfy the basic human need for social interaction.  For others, though, loneliness as a result of isolation is becoming a major issue.  Click here to read the blog post.

This is the third blog in the CSP series Hope, belonging, meaning and purpose: suicide prevention in times of crisis.  It explores why social connection is so important and some effects the pandemic may have had on this aspect of people’s lives.

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54.  The Distress Centre of Ottawa and Region‘s services have expanded and they now offer both text and chat support.  The hours of operation are from 10 am to 11 pm, 7 days a week throughout the year.  This service is available to all residents of the City of Ottawa, regardless of age.  Click here to learn more.

Note: the Ottawa Distress Centre’s text and chat service is not an emergency service.  If you have an immediate life-threatening emergency, dial 911.

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55.   The OCD Ottawa‘s Support Group for ages 16+ meets virtually on a weekly basis.  To join meetings and for guidance with treatment and support resources, Email: info@ocdottawa.com.  Click here for more information.

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56.  The Zone Next Steps is designed to help youth age 18-26 with their employment goals.  Facilitated by the Western Ottawa Community Resource Centre (WOCRC) with the Community Employment Resource Centre, it features tailored plans for each youth, workshops on everything from LinkedIn to résumé writing, and financial supports to pay for certifications as such as SmartServe, WHMIS, Safe Food Handling, etc., or to pay for equipment required for employment, such as work boots, etc. The program is six weeks long and will be run several times.

Interested youth may register by Emailing Youth@wocrc.ca.

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57.  The Oasis in Kanata has created a Caregiver Matters support group on Facebook.  This private group is meant to provide a safe and confidential space for caregivers to support each other.  It is a substitute for the Caregivers Matters monthly support group that is currently not able to meet due to Covid-19 restrictions.

The group will be monitored to ensure rules of conduct are being upheld.  Topics will be posted occasionally by a member of The Oasis in Kanata program committee to spark discussion.  However, the space is meant for members to post their own thoughts, feelings, and questions for response by other caregivers of people living with mental illness.

If you are a caregiver and would like to join this group, click here and request to join by clicking on the Join button.  After answering a few questions and reading the terms and conditions, the Administrator will approve your request as soon as possible.

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58.  The Centre for ADHD Awareness, Canada (CADDAC) has made available a Webinar which features Dr. Margaret Weiss on “ADHD and Sleep.”  ADHD is a 24-hour disorder.  Nighttime difficulties associated with ADHD include delayed circadian rhythm (going to sleep too late) and night-to-night variability in sleep patterns.  Difficulties with sleep further exacerbate problems with attention and impulse control.  ADHD is a disorder of self-regulation that also makes it more difficult to entrain a regular sleep rhythm.

In the video, Dr. Weiss speaks on how families and individuals with ADHD can improve this vicious cycle and in obtaining a good night’s sleep improve their well-being during the day as well.

Dr. Weiss is the Director of Clinical Research in the Department of Child Psychiatry at Cambridge Health Alliance (CHA) in Massachusetts, USA.  CHA offers services including primary care, specialty care, and mental health and substance use services.

To view this YouTube video (Duration: 1:11:38), click here.

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59.  The Parent’s Lifeline of Eastern Ontario (PLEO) has produced a series of videos regarding Supporting Parents of Suicidal Youth.  Click here for more information and access to the series.

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60.  The Calgary-based Centre for Suicide Prevention (CSP) published a 16-page Children and Suicide Toolkit in 2020 which includes statistics, warning signs for suicide, why children may think about suicide, and how these suicides can be prevented.  While suicide in children is rare, if thoughts of suicide go untreated, the risk of suicide grows with age.  It is important to identify children thinking about suicide as early as possible so they can receive treatment for mental health concerns.

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61.   The Centre for ADHD Awareness, Canada (CADDAC) has developed a 14-page Toolkit: Transitioning to Post-Secondary Education for Students with ADHD to help students and their parents prepare for the transition to college or university.  Click here and then select “ADHD and Education” from the menu at left to access the Post-Secondary Education page to download a PDF copy of this toolkit and access other useful information for the 18- to 24-year-old age group.

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62.   OCD Ottawa‘s Support Group for ages 16+ meets virtually on a weekly basis.  For details, click here.  To join meetings, and for information and guidance with treatment and support resources, contact info@ocdottawa.com.

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63.  Dr. Russ Harris, Australian author of The Happiness Trap, has produced an animated YouTube video entitled FACE COVID: How to respond effectively to the Corona crisis, a set of practical steps for responding effectively to the Corona crisis, using the principles of acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT).  Click here.  (Duration: 5:23)  To download a free FACE COVID eBook with more information, click here.

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64.  Through the participation of 13 different local organizations, and financially supported by the Ottawa Community Foundation, Counselling Connect provides free access to a same-day or next-day phone or video counselling session for children, youth, adults, and families in Ottawa and the surrounding area.  There is no waiting list.

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65.  The Mental Health Commission of Canada (MHCC) has produced a two-page handout, “Tips on talking to someone in crisis during COVID-19,” which provides examples of effective active listening techniques to navigate sensitive conversations with confidence.

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66.  School Mental Health Ontario (SMHO-SMSO) has published a two-page tip sheet, “Personal Resiliency Tips During the COVID-19 Pandemic,” which offers helpful suggestions regarding self-care to improve one’s energy, focus, and ability to cope with challenges and overall life experience.

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67.  Family Caregivers of British Columbia (FCBC) has produced a seven-page booklet entitled “Taking Care of Yourself: Self-Care Strategies for Family and Friend Caregivers” which shares strategies such as self-awareness, self-compassion, creating connections, and personal supports and health dimension planning.  The booklet includes a useful chart caregivers may use to explore the various dimensions of their own health, as well as a Caregiver Self-Assessment form to identify areas to consider in order to maintain one’s resilience.

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68.  The ​​Government of Canada recently launched a portal dedicated to mental wellness​​Wellness Together Canada: Mental Health and Substance Use Support. ​ ​This portal provides free online resources, and connects Canadians to peer support workers, social workers, psychologists​,​ and other trained professionals for confidential chat sessions or phone calls, in both official languages. ​ ​Resources include modules for addressing anxiety, substance use, social isolation​,​ and relationship issues.

The portal is the result of the work of a broad consortium of organizations with experience in providing digital mental health and substance use support. ​ ​It is led by Stepped Care Solutions, Kids Help Phone, Homewood Health​,​ and Greenspace Health and supported by partners including Bell Let’s Talk, Canada Health Infoway, Mental Health Commission of Canada, the Canadian Psychological Association, and Medavie.

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69.  For over 25 years, Toronto-based Partners for Planning (P4P) has been empowering people with disabilities and their families with free resources to create meaningful lives and secure futures, firmly rooted in community.  To help address some of the challenges families are facing at the moment, P4P is currently offering free check-in calls with a Facilitator to discuss possible resources they may wish to access.  There are a number of spots available for anyone in Ontario who would like to schedule a call.  To connect with a facilitator, register here.

P4P also offers a wealth of COVID-19-related resources which are updated regularly:

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70.  The Valley Centre for Counselling, based in Dundas, Ontario, has created a free six-part series of online articles entitled “A Practical Evidence-Based Self-Help Program for COVID-19-Related Worry and Anxiety.”  Topics include: “On Anxiety,” “On Worry,” “On Uncertainty,” “On Thinking,” “On Calm,” and “On Activity.”

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71.  The Royal Ottawa Mental Health Centre (The Royal) is offering Family Support Groups via Zoom.  To join a support group, Email Juliet Haynes, Family Engagement and Experience Coordinator, at juliet.haynes@theroyal.ca.

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72.  The Psychiatric Survivors of Ottawa’s (PSO) Family Peer Support Group meetings are now available online via Zoom.  Every Monday, except for statutory holidays, sessions will be offered from 6:30 to 8 pm.  To be invited to participate, or for more information, contact Sean D. at seand@pso-ottawa.ca or telephone 613-567-4379, Ext. 221.  Every second week, conversation topics, such as Being Powerless over Others, Giving in a Healthy Way, Rescuing Ourselves, Caretaking vs. Responsibility for Ourselves, will be offered.  These sessions are intended to provide participants with a sense of community, companionship, and support.

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73.  Jack.org, a Canadian charity which trains and empowers young leaders to revolutionize mental health in every province and territory, has partnered with School Mental Health Ontario and Kids Help Phone Canada to put together a COVID-19 Youth Mental Health Resource Hub so that Canada’s youth are able to easily access the education, tools, support, and reliable information they need.

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74.  The International OCD Foundation has produced a Public Service Announcement (PSA) entitled “What the OCD community wants YOU to know about Obsessive Compulsive Disorder.”  (Time: 2:32)

According to the Foundation, “Over the past couple of months, we’ve noticed an uptick in people using the term OCD as an adjective. While we are all experiencing an increase in anxiety during the COVID-19 pandemic, we want the general public to know that this does NOT necessarily mean they have OCD, nor is OCD a helpful thing to have at this time.  We hope this PSA will make a difference.”

The Foundation has asked those who view the video to share it on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram using the hashtags #realocd and #NotAnAdjective.”

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75.  Achieve, the Centre for Leadership & Workplace Performance, is a Winnipeg-based training company which has provided a number of free resources to assist Canadians during the present COVID-19 pandemic.  These include:

  • Videos and Webinars which provide practice insights and strategies on a variety of topics related to the impact of COVID-19.
  • Audio Exercises for Managing Stress and Anxiety.
  • Covid-19 Printable Handouts on Managing Anxiety and Fear, Strategies for Supporting Children, Mindful Breathing Tips, and Health Habit Log.
  • COVID-19 Blog Articles, including “4 Key Dimensions of Self-Care,” “How to Communicate in a Crisis,” “6 Tips to Improving Your Mental Health,” “How to Stay Optimistic During Tough Times,” “7 Steps for Controlling Your Emotions,” and many more in the links provided.

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76.  Living Healthy Champlain, from the Champlain Local Health Integration Network, offers a variety of free Webinars under the heading Understanding Your Health which provide viewers with the tools, skills, and knowledge to help take control of their health.  Recent offerings include “Resilience and Mental Health,” “Mindfulness during the Holidays,” and “Mental Wellness & Tools – How Do I Choose?”  To view these and other Webinars, click here.

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77.  The Western Ottawa Community Resource Centre (WOCRC) remains committed to ensuring the most vulnerable are supported in the community.  The WOCRC is participating in the city-wide Human Needs Task Force and adapting certain services to offer phone support and virtual programs.

  • Chrysalis House remains open and their crisis line is available 24-7.
  • EarlyON offers virtual services for families with children 0-6 years and Family Navigation.
  • Zone, Zone-Plus, and Queerios offer virtual youth drop-ins.
  • Community services provide telephone support and essential needs.
  • Counselling Services and information on community resources are available by phone.  These include, among others: mental health, housing, food, women and violence against women, seniors, urgent transportation, dental services, financial, harm reduction, and legal.

Visit the Website, follow the WOCRC on Twitter and Facebook, or call 613-591-3686 to get the most up-to-date information on services.  Also, access Ottawa Public Health for information and the Distress Centre of Ottawa and Kids Help Phone for supports.

Thank you to many of you who are reaching out to your neighbours, families, friends, students, partners, and us here at Western Ottawa Community Resource Centre with offers of support.  We are here, and will get through this together as a community.  Stay home, stay healthy, and please reach us if you need anything.”  Maria Friis, Capacity Developer, Western Ottawa Community Resource Centre.

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78.  Crossroads Children’s Mental Health Centre is Ottawa’s community leader in developing and delivering a range of individualized mental health services solely for children under the age of 12 and their loved ones.  Free for families.

This is a great time to call Intake for services.  Walk-In Clinic services also continue to be offered.  Crossroads understands the stress families are dealing with at the moment.  This can translate to children having a hard time self-regulating with all the unstructured time or experiencing anxiety about the current situation, or parents struggling between work and taking care of a child that may not have the skills to keep themselves busy.  Our team remains available to the community by phone or video conferencing.

To book an intake or walk-in session, please call 613-723-1623 extension 232 or email info@crossroadschildren.ca and someone will be in touch with you shortly.”

For more information about this service, visit the Crossroads Website here.

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79.   The Ottawa Institute of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (Ottawa CBT) has made a series of free podcasts, called Thoughts on Record, available on coping with the COVID-19 virus, among other topics, via Spotify.  Click here to see the complete list.

Caregivers who attended the October 28, 2019, information session on Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder at The Oasis in Kanata will recognize Dr. Caitlin Claggett Woods’ name among the list contributors.  Her podcast on Coping with Anxiety & Distress During the COVID-19 Pandemic from April 2020 may be viewed here. (Duration: 15:35)

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80.  The Ontario Caregiver Organization has produced a series of COVID-19 Caregiver Tip Sheets which provide practical suggestions for those caring for a loved one during the pandemic. (Click here)

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81.  The Royal Ottawa Mental Health Centre has prepared a variety of resources for caregivers and their charges:

  • a COVID-19 Q&A: Tips for Caregivers page;
  • Caring for Caregivers: Resources during COVID-19 lists a variety of resources and on-line activities for individuals and families;
  • a Question & Answer (Q&A) page on how to manage Panic Attacks during the current health crisis;
  • A great big list of things that can help you cope while practicing physical distancing and self-isolation” (click here);
  • a detailed graphic,Taking care of myself while practicing physical distancing,” may be downloaded as a PDF from the Coping during the COVID-19 Pandemic page;
  • a means for individuals to contribute to The Royal’s “Add your questions to our COVID-19 Q&AsWebsite page whereby experts can provide answers that will be helpful for all; and
  • a free Webcast hosted by Dr. Tim Lau, Psychiatrist and President of the medical staff, which aired on April 9, 2020, on the topic of “Building resiliency in times of uncertainty – conquering COVID’s emotional contagion.”  Click here.

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NOTE: The Oasis in Kanata does not endorse the above sessions, programs, research projects, or their content, nor does it derive any benefit from the organizations or individuals involved, but merely wishes to bring the above to your attention.

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