Achieve, the Centre for Leadership & Workplace Performance, is a Winnipeg-based training company which offers, through its Crisis & Trauma Resource Institute (CTRI), a variety of free resources, including a series of audio exercises for managing stress and anxiety in adults as well as children through mindful awareness, breathing, and simple movements. (Link)
Addictions and Mental Health Ontario Addictions Ontario (AO) and the Ontario Federation of Community Mental Health and Addiction Programs united to create this association with the goal to ensure all Ontarians can access the services and supports they need to address substance misuse and mental health issues.
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.
Bell Let’s Talk is a multi-year charitable program dedicated to help break the stigma around mental health.
Big White Wall is an online mental health and well-being service offering self-help programs, creative outlets, and a community that cares. For people dealing with everyday stressors or major life events, this site will provide help to get through it. To ensure safety and anonymity, the site is monitored by clinically-trained “Wall Guides,” who are online 24/7, 365 days a year.
BounceBack®: Reclaim your health is a free skill-building program designed to help adults and youth aged 15+ manage symptoms of depression and anxiety. The program is offered by the Canadian Mental Health Association, Ontario (CMHA Ontario), a non-profit, charitable organization committed to making mental health possible for all.
Canadian Agency for Drugs and Technologies in Health (CADTH) is an independent, not-for-profit organization responsible for providing health care decision-makers with objective evidence to help make informed decisions about the optimal use of health technologies, including drugs, diagnostic tests, medical, dental, and surgical devices and procedures. CADTH also provides advice, recommendations, and tools.
Canadian Alliance on Mental Illness and Mental Health (CAMIMH) is a volunteer-run organization composed of health care providers and organizations representing individuals with lived experience of mental illness which provides mental health education to the public.
Canadian Association for Suicide Prevention (CASP) provides information and resources to reduce the suicide rate and minimize the harmful consequences of suicidal behaviour.
Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction (CCSA), based in Ottawa, was created by an Act of Parliament in 1988 as a non-governmental organization to provide national leadership on substance use and to advance solutions to address alcohol- and other drug-related harms.
Canadian Mental Health Association A nation-wide, voluntary organization, the CMHA promotes the mental health of all and supports the resilience and recovery of people experiencing mental illness. The Association accomplishes this mission through advocacy, education, research, and service.
Canadian Mental Health Association, Ontario (CMHA Ontario), is a non-profit, charitable organization committed to making mental health possible for all.
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 a.m. and 9 p.m., Monday to Friday, to find local supports, get information about caregiving and get other important knowledge that caregivers feel they need.
The Caregiver Network The 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.
Carers Canada, a program of the Canadian Home Care Association (CHCA), is a national coalition of diverse federal and provincial organizations that join with carers, providers, policy-makers, and other stakeholders to affect positive change for carers.
Centre for Addiction and Mental Health The CAMH combines clinical care, research, education, policy development, and health promotion to help transform the lives of people affected by mental health and addiction issues.
Centre for Suicide Prevention (CSP) A branch of the Canadian Mental Health Association (See: CMHA entry, above), the Centre for Suicide Prevention (CSP) is a non-profit education centre, established in 1981 and based in Calgary, Alberta. The Centre educates people by providing the information, knowledge, and skills necessary to respond to people at risk of suicide. Their Mission: “We teach prevention because prevention is the only solution to suicide.”
ChamplainHealthLine.ca is a Web portal to accurate and up-to-date information about health and community services for consumers and health and social services providers across the Champlain region of Ontario. Over 3000 service listings describe organizations and programs serving people who live in Ottawa; Renfrew county; Prescott and Russell; Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry; and North Lanark and North Grenville.
Champlain Local Health Integration Network (CLHIN) as of April 1, 2021, is now called Home and Community Care Support Services Champlain (HCCSSC). (See entry below.)
The Change Foundation An independent health policy think tank committed to changing the debate, practice, and experience in health care to prompt system-wide improvements for patients and caregivers. See also: Changing CARE: Embrace, below.
Changing CARE: Embrace, an initiative of The Change Foundation with Cornwall Hospital’s Community Addiction and Mental Health Centre and Cornwall & District Family Support Group, has produced a series of guides for caregivers to help them plan for their loved one’s discharge from an inpatient mental health facility: Discharge Implementation Guide, Discharge Checklist for the Family Caregiver pamphlet, and Discharge Checklist for the Family Caregiver. (Link)
ConnexOntario See: Ontario Mental Health Helpline, below.
Evidence Exchange Network (EENet) is an Ontario mental health and addictions knowledge exchange network connecting researchers, clinicians, decision-makers, service providers, system planners, policymakers, persons with lived experience, and families. It promotes the use of research evidence in decision-making, develops targeted knowledge translation products and tools, and supports interactive exchanges. See also: Ontario Family Caregiver Advisory Network, below.
Family Caregiver Alliance (FCA) advocates for caregivers in the areas of policy, health, and social system development; research; and public awareness. Based in San Francisco, CA, USA, the FCA focusses primarily on Alzheimer’s disease, stroke, traumatic brain injury, Parkinson’s, and other debilitating health conditions that strike adults. However, many of the organization’s suggestions and resources may prove useful to caregivers of people living with mental illness.
Family Caregivers of British Columbia (FCBC) is a registered non-profit dedicated 100% to supporting family caregivers. Its mission is to improve the quality of life for family caregivers through support, information, and education. It provides leadership to strengthen the voice of family caregivers and the significance of their role. It offers free resources, such as a quarterly newsletter, Caregiver Connection. See also: Top Tips and Tools for Caregivers, below.
The Family Guide to Mental Health Recovery project is an interactive resource for family members who have a loved one with a mental health issue. It was created and produced by The Mission Media Company in Toronto. The project was created because one family member/film-maker understood that each family’s experience was incredibly valuable and could be shared to the benefit of so many, if this insight were made easily available. It offers a film and video gallery, information resources, and the opportunity to join an online family forum.
Forum for Indigenous Implementation Research & Evaluation (FIIRE) Network is an Indigenous knowledge network and an integral part of the Pathways to Health Equity for Aboriginal Peoples. It consists of a group of Indigenous health researchers, health practitioners, and community grandmothers who are working together to improve the health and well-being of Indigenous infants, children, and their families in Canada and around the world through applied knowledge work. The Network’s three areas of priority response include addressing health outcomes, advancing science, and building research and community capacity.
Government of Canada’s Mental Health and Substance Use Support portal See: Wellness Together Canada, below.
The Happiness Trap is an eight-week psycho-social educational online program created by Dr. Russ Harris designed to build genuine happiness from the inside out using easy-to-learn skills and strategies scientifically proven to create real change.
Harvard Health Publishing (HHP), the consumer health education division of Harvard Medical School, publishes a wealth of health and wellness information through a variety of media: newsletters, reports, e-learning courses, apps, video, and Website.
Health Quality Ontario provides a library of quality standards for the care and treatment of individuals diagnosed with mental illnesses and addictions of all kinds. Quality standards outline for clinicians and patients what quality care looks like. They focus on conditions or topics where there are large variations in how care is delivered, or where there are gaps between the care provided in Ontario and the care patients should receive.
HealthUnlocked is a social network for health. By finding others with similar health backgrounds, people can take on day-to-day health concerns together. Because the communities are set up by leading health organizations, people have access to credible support.
HeretoHelp is a project of the British Columbia Partners for Mental Health and Addictions Information, a group of seven leading mental health and addictions non-profit agencies working together to help people live well and better prevent and manage mental health and substance use problems. They offer a Family Toolkit to assist families in caring for a family member with a mental illness by providing information and practical resources.
Holistic Model of Wellness Yukon Health and Social Services provides a model to illustrate the six dimensions of wellness which have been shown to have a significant impact on overall health and well-being, and are the ones most frequently mentioned in the wellness literature: Social, Occupational, Emotional, Physical, Intellectual, and Spiritual.
Home and Community Care Support Services Champlain (HCCSSC) (formerly called The Champlain Local Health Integration Network) delivers local health care services such as home and community care, access to community services, and long-term care home placement.
Institute for Advancements in Mental Health (IAM), is a connector, collaborator, thought leader and solution driven organization, supporting, innovating, and driving change for better mental health. IAM designs programs around the needs of its clients – people with complex mental health needs and their support circles. Programs include One-to-One Support, Strengthening Families Together, Caregiver Education Sessions, and CBT-p (Cognitive Based Therapy for Psychosis) for caregivers.
LEAP (Listen, Empathize, Agree, Partner) Institute LEAP is for any relationship, but it also gives you the tools you need to persuade someone in denial about mental illness to accept treatment and services. The Institute offers on-line articles and videos.
The LifeLine App is a free suicide prevention and awareness app offered by the LifeLine Canada Foundation which provides access to accredited resources in Canada and worldwide. It features one-touch dialing from anywhere in Canada to crisis centres across the country, connects individuals in crisis with support and guidance 24/7, aids in suicide prevention and builds suicide awareness, and helps guide loved ones left behind after a suicide. Click here to download the app.
Lumino A service of the Sunlife Assurance Company of Canada which provides access to local and virtual health-care providers, relevant health and wellness content, and the latest health innovations. The site includes an extensive section on mental health.
McLean Hospital, a Harvard Medical School Affiliate founded in 1811, is dedicated to improving the lives of people and families affected by psychiatric illness by providing public education to facilitate enlightened policy and eliminate stigmas. To view upcoming as well as archived Webinars, click here.
Mental Health and Addictions Leadership Advisory Council (MHALAC) is a three-year advisory body created by the Government of Ontario in 2014. The Council will advise the Minister of Health and Long-Term Care on the implementation of Ontario’s Comprehensive Mental Health and Addictions Strategy. (2016 Annual Report – Moving Forward)
Mental Health and Substance Use Support portal See: Wellness Together Canada, below.
Mental Health Caregiver Guide Ottawa Public Health (OPH) has partnered with the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA), the Canadian Public Health Association (CPHA), Military Family Services (MFS), and the Mental Illness Caregivers Association (MICA) to develop a national resource for Canadian caregivers of children, youth, adults, and older adults facing mental illness or experiencing mental health challenges. The Mental Health Resource Guide (PDF) reflects mental health resources and supports located throughout the Champlain region. The guide is not an exhaustive list of all supportive services, but rather a starting point for finding resources of potential benefit to caregivers.
Mental Health Commission of Canada The MHCC is a catalyst for improving the mental health system and changing the attitudes and behaviours of Canadians around mental health issues. Through its unique mandate from Health Canada, the MHCC brings together leaders and organizations from across the country to accelerate these changes. The Commission has developed a Toolkit to support people impacted by a suicide attempt and a Toolkit for people impacted by a suicide loss. The toolkits represent summaries of tools that resonated most with the hundreds of people who completed an online survey conducted by the MHCC, as well as resources from a literature review completed by the Centre for Suicide Prevention. See: CSP entry, above.
Mental Health News You Can Use Dr. Laura Nichols, C. Psych., a Clinical Psychologist with an office in Bells Corners, maintains this twitter feed for caregivers of people with a mental illness.
Mental Illness Foundation The Foundation has three main objectives: to inform the public about mental illness through outreach programs, to reduce people’s suffering, and to mobilize them and the society around them to fight the consequences of mental illness.
Mental Wellbeing Response Team The Ottawa Paramedic Service (OPS), in partnership with The Ottawa Hospital (TOH), has launched this new initiative which aims to improve short- and long-term health outcomes for emergency calls received by the Ottawa Paramedic Service through 9-1-1 that are non-violent and non-criminal, and where mental health and substance use are contributing factors. The Team includes a specially trained City Paramedic partnered with a mental health professional, such as a registered Social Worker from The Ottawa Hospital. The Paramedic does the medical assessment and provides any necessary medical treatment while the mental health professional conducts an assessment, develops a care plan, provides safety planning, and can even schedule follow-up care as needed.
National Network for Mental Health The NNMH‘s purpose, which is run by and for mental health consumer/survivors, is to advocate, educate, and provide expertise and resources that benefit the Canadian consumer/survivor community.
Based in Kitchener, Ontario, NewLifeOutlook offers discussion forums and social media channels for individuals with a chronic physical or mental condition to connect with others who have shared experiences, exchange information, and grow friendships.
Not Myself Today is a workplace mental health initiative proven to generate a strong, positive impact in companies of all sizes and industries. It is an evidence-informed, practical solution focused on three outcomes: building greater awareness and understanding of mental health among the workforce, reducing stigma, and fostering safe and supportive work cultures.
Online Chronic Disease Self-management Program Funded by the Champlain Local Health Integration Network, this program is for individuals across Ontario who are living with one or more chronic or long-term physical or mental health conditions. Family, friends, and caregivers of someone who has a chronic condition are also welcome.
Ontario Caregiver Coalition The Coalition’s focus is to advance the interests of caregivers in the province. It is a group of diverse organizations that work to raise the profile of caregivers and to promote public policy to support caregivers. Membership includes those from health charities, unions, academia, home health and community support agencies, and informal caregivers.
Ontario Caregiver Organization (OCO), funded by the Ontario Ministry of Health, exists to support the province’s 3.3 million caregivers who provide physical and emotional support to a family member, partner, friend, or neighbour by being one point of access to information so they can be successful in their role. The organization offers a 24/7 Ontario Caregiver Helpline: 1-833-416-2273, and a YouTube channel containing informative videos. The OCO also offers a series called Time to Talk Podcasts for Caregivers: subject matter experts and caregivers discuss things that matter most, including mental health, wellness, and many more. Whether new to caregiving, or an experienced caregiver, this series has something for everyone. Click here.
Ontario Family Caregivers’ Advisory Network (OFCAN). People with mental health and addictions issues have been underserved in Canada and the caregivers who support them have received little attention. In response to the lack of services, family caregiver groups and organizations continue to grow in communities across Ontario to provide support, information, education, and advocacy. Although these groups share many common goals and interests, many remain relatively isolated and have not benefited from the lessons learned by those who are doing similar work. OFCAN provides an opportunity to connect and function as a united voice to empower these family groups.
Ontario Mental Health Helpline Part of ConnexOntario Health Services, the Helpline provides information about mental health services in Ontario. Services are funded by the Government of Ontario. Service is live answer 24/7, confidential and free. Information and Referral Specialists are trained to respond to all incoming calls with regard to Ontario’s addictions and mental health service systems. They can provide information about community counselling services and supports; listen, offer support, and provide strategies to help individuals meet their goals; and provide basic education about mental illness. Assistance is available via Email and telephone (1-866-531-2600).
Ontario Peer Development is an organization of organizations. Members are mental health Consumer/Survivor Initiatives and Peer Support Organizations across Ontario. These organizations are run by and for people with lived experience of a mental health issue or addiction issue. Members provide a wide range of services and activities within their communities. No two are the same, but all approach their activities from the common understanding that people can and do recover with the proper supports in place, and that peer support is integral to successful recovery. Most of the member organizations work with their local mental health system tables to bring the consumer voice to service planning, evaluation, and coordination, and provide direct informal or formal peer support and self-advocacy support to individuals. See: the OPDI Brochure and OPDI History for more information.
Operational Stress Injury (OSI) Clinic The OSI Connect Website, developed at The Royal in partnership with Veterans Affairs Canada, provides information about OSIs and how to seek help from one of the 10 OSI Clinics across Canada, including the clinic at The Royal. These clinics care for members of the Canadian Forces, veterans, and RCMP members. The network of clinics also offers telehealth services for those who don’t live near a clinic.
Ottawa Institute of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (OICBT) provides assessment and therapy services (individual, couples, and group) for a wide range of mental health problems, and are one of the few clinics in Canada that offers intensive day treatment programming for anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and depression.
Ottawa Public Health (OPH) provides a wide variety of health programs and services to individuals and communities while advocating for public policies that make Ottawa and its residents healthier. OPH is a teaching health unit and works with all post secondary educational institutions in the area. Tel: 613-580-6744.
Funded through the Ontario Ministry of Children, Community, and Social Services, Toronto-based Partners for Planning (P4P) supports and guides families in building a meaningful, safe, and secure future for their relative with a disability by providing information regarding the resources and funding available to them.
Pat Deegan PhD & Associates Patricia E. Deegan Ph.D., an adjunct professor at the Dartmouth Institute, Geisel School of Medicine, Dartmouth College, is an independent consultant who specializes in researching and lecturing on the topic of recovery and the empowerment of people diagnosed with mental illness. She is the creator of the CommonGround Approach, which includes CommonGround, a Web application to support shared decision-making in the psychopharmacology consultation, and RECOVERYlibrary, a collection of recovery oriented resources aimed at providing the tools, the hope, and the inspiration to recovery after a diagnosis of mental illness.
Pathways to Wellness – Example of a Wellness Wheel.
Portico A network of addiction and mental health sites built and run by other groups and networks from across Canada offering clinical tools and evidence-based materials for health care providers, social service workers, and others. While the resources on the core Portico pages are designed for professional use, they can be of equal interest to those with lived experience and their families.
Psych Hub, with headquarters in Nashville, TN, provides resources to assist in improving mental health. It offers online courses, podcasts, guides, and an extensive library of informational videos in its Learning Hubs as well as on its YouTube channel.
PsychCentral offers evidence-based guidance, up-to-date resources, and first-hand accounts to help individuals in their mental health journey.
Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) In partnership with other organizations, its activities focus on preventing disease and injuries, promoting good physical and mental health, and providing information to support informed decision making. It values scientific excellence and provides national leadership in response to public health threats.
SafeTALK is a half-day workshop that prepares participants to identify and engage people with thoughts of suicide and connect them with further help and care. For further information, contact the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA).
Serenity Renewal for Families (Link), based in east-end Ottawa, provides short-term counselling, educational workshops, and other programs for individuals and families impacted directly or indirectly by addictions.
Steps to Justice, a guide to law in Ontario, has developed three flowcharts that explain what happens if the Children’s Aid Society (CAS) gets a report about a child (Link), decides a child is in need of protection (Link), or takes the parent or guardian of a child to court (Link).
Take Care of Yourself with Everyday Decisions – a graphic from the Website of Dr. Deanna Minich, an internationally-recognized teacher, author, scientist, speaker, and artist, with practical suggestions for achieving a healthy lifestyle.
The MEHRIT Centre (TMC), based in Peterborough, Ontario, is a social enterprise established by Dr. Stuart Shanker in 2012 to work towards a vision of calm, alert, and flourishing children, youth, and adults through learning and living in mindful self-regulation. The site offers a description of the five domains of Shanker Self-Reg®, with examples, in addition to a wealth of other materials related to self-regulation.
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.” It helps people connect with others around mental health, chronic illness, rare disease, disability, and more. It is a growing community of people with lived experience sharing their honest stories.
Toolkit to support people impacted by a suicide attempt and Toolkit for people impacted by a suicide loss were both created by the Mental Health Commission of Canada (MHCC), in collaboration with the Canadian Association for Suicide Prevention (CASP), the Centre for Suicide Prevention (CSP), the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC), along with an advisory committee composed of people with lived experience related to suicide. See entries for each, above.
Top Tips and Tools for Caregivers, created by the Family Caregivers of British Columbia (FCBC), provides information on multiple topics related to all aspects of caregiving with links to pages containing handouts, and information about the blogs, articles, and Webinars they offer.
Transitional Aged Youth Service (TAY) An outpatient, community-based clinic offered by The Royal, and located at the Carlingwood Mall, which provides multidisciplinary, recovery-focused care to youth, aged 16 to 25, with concurrent substance use and mental health disorders. Services may include diagnostic assessment, case management, individual or group therapy, and access to psychological, medical, and psychiatric care. Physician referrals are not required. For details, phone 613-722-6521, ext. 7225; or Email TAYservice@theroyal.ca.
Verywell Mind From its base in New York City, its mission is to help individuals find balance amid the chaos of daily life. The site provides up-to-date, evidence-based information on mental health and psychology from its library of 5,500+ articles.
Visions, BC’s Mental Health and Substance Use Journal, is an award-winning quarterly magazine that brings together many views on mental health and substance use, a place to explore different aspects of wellness, share experiences, learn from others, and discuss ideas. The journal is written by and for people who have experienced mental health or substance use problems or used mental health or addictions services, along with service providers, family and friends, community advocates, and leaders and decision-makers. (See also: HeretoHelp, listed above.) Click here to subscribe to eVisions, the free electronic version which is published four times a year.
Wellness Together Canada The Government of Canada‘s Mental Health and Substance Use Support 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.
Western Ottawa Community Resource Centre (WOCRC) is a not-for-profit organization that provides individuals and families with, and connects them to, community, social, and health services in the Goulbourn, Kanata, and West Carleton areas. It is one of the 13 members of the Coalition of Community Health and Resource Centres of Ottawa (CHRC). Click here to find the centre closest to you.