Mental Health Week – May 2-8, 2016

Maintaining good mental health is important – most of us know that. But good mental health is not only the avoidance of serious mental illness.  It also includes aspects of our emotional, psychological, and social well-being. Our mental health affects how we think, feel, and act. It can also determine how we handle stress, relate to others, and make choices. 

Approximately 7 million Canadians live with poor mental health, mental illness or addictions. That is why the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) established Mental Health Week in 1951 to raise awareness of the importance of looking after your own mental health and supporting the needs of those in our community by ending the stigma that surrounds mental health.

This year, the CMHA is asking Canadians to GET LOUD for mental health by participating in local community events and joining the conversations online by using the hashtag #GETLOUD on social media.

Locally, CMHA Waterloo Wellington Dufferin is hosting several events this week, and throughout the year, to raise awareness and support mental health services in our local communities.

Events

Guelph City Hall – Lighting

Along with many other Canadian Landmarks, Guelph City Hall and the Museum in Kitchener will be lit in green – the colour for mental health awareness - in support of local residents who experience mental health concerns.  Members of the public are invited to take pictures of or selfies with illuminated landmarks and post pictures or messages to social media using #GETLOUD.

Children’s Mental Health Expo

  • Saturday, April 30th
    Cambridge Centre Mall
    355 Hespeler Road, Cambridge
    9:30 am—6:00 pm

  • Saturday, May 7th
    Conestoga Mall
    550 King St. N., Waterloo
    9:30 am—6:00 pm

Ride Don’t Hide – Charity Bike Ride

Mental Health Services in Waterloo Wellington

Increasing access to integrated mental health and addictions services is a key component of our strategy to provide high-quality health services to local residents. We work in close partnership with our network of 12 mental health and addictions health service providers to ensure that care is available when and where it is needed.   

Our work is aligned with Ontario’s Comprehensive Mental Health & Addictions Strategy. The strategy includes $138 million investment over three years for community agencies to support improvements to mental health and addictions services. 

In 2015, an additional $2 million investment was announced for Waterloo Wellington to fund high priority services such as supportive housing for those with extraordinary needs, community based counselling for those dealing with eating disorders, addictions specific case management programs, mobile crisis units and more. These services will make it easier for residents to access care when they need help the most.

In February of 2016, we also released a comprehensive review of emergency mental health services in Guelph and Wellington County. The review outlines recommendations for improving access to emergency mental health services in those areas and addressing long wait times that are experiences by some residents.

Our investments over the last several years have resulted in:

  • 56 new complex capable supportive housing beds in Waterloo Wellington
  • 93 more residents receiving publicly funded eating disorder counseling within the community
  • Mobile crisis nurses assisted police with 842 emergency situations.
  • Patients seeking help for a mental health or addictions crisis at Guelph General Hospital (GGH) ED used to wait an average of 36 hours in a specialized mental health unit and are now are waiting an average of 6 hours.
  • 29,808 residents in crisis have accessed services through Here 24/7

To learn more about mental health and addictions services in our region visit our Health Service Provider listing or read our featured stories: