Living life to the Full Program 55+  (Program available in English only)

Are you 55 years and older? Then this program is for you!

Registration: Living Life to the Full for Seniors | Cornwall Public Library

Want to know how to feel happier, more confident, and worry less right now? Would you like to learn new ways of dealing with what life throws at you? Living Life to the Full is a fun and interactive course that will help you understand your feelings, thoughts, and behaviors, and what to do about them!

Congratulations, you’re about to change your life!

Too much to do? Is someone close to you ill? Can’t sleep? Feeling lonely? The way you feel is affected by things that happen to you, and you feel bad because you’re in a vicious cycle. Learn how to stop the cycle!

Living Life to the Full is a mental health promotion course designed to help people deal with everyday life challenges and learn self-management skills using Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) principles. Course content and materials are practical and easily applied to everyday life situations. The course is suitable for people of all ages – from youth to seniors.

What you learn:

✔ Self-confidence

✔ Problem-solving

✔ Stress management

✔ Motivation

✔ Dealing with unhelpful thoughts

✔ Anger management

The program materials are generously sponsored by YourTV Cornwall.

 

Living Life to the Full

CMHA Champlain East is working in collaboration with CMHA Ontario to pilot the “Living Life to the Full” 8 week program to local schools. Over 150 students have participated in the skill building program since October 2021. Living Life to the Full is a fun and engaging eight-week course that provides people from all walks of life with effective tools to maximize their ability to manage life’s challenges. The group-oriented course is based on the principles of cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), which focuses on understanding how thoughts, feelings and behaviours work together to impact well-being. See what some of the youth participants had to say: https://www.cmha-east.on.ca/index.php/en/our-services/mental-health-promotion-2

 

Pandemic highlights need for community mental health and addictions care: CMHA Ontario pre-budget submission

Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA), Ontario Division is calling out chronic underfunding and pandemic-related strain on the community-based mental health and addictions sector in its 2022 pre-budget submission to provincial government.

The pandemic has further highlighted the need to prioritize mental health and addictions funding for the community sector, which has demonstrated nimbleness and creativity while responding to unprecedented challenges. In its pre-budget submission, CMHA Ontario says this sector needs an infusion of funding to address historical inequities and give mental health appropriate parity with other health care sectors.

Noting that mental health and addictions services will be required more than ever post-pandemic, CMHA Ontario makes funding requests in four specific areas:

  • Provide greater financial footing for CMHA branches across Ontario with an immediate base budget increase of 8 per cent ($24 million), a commitment to sustainable and ongoing funding, and repealing Bill 124. These measures can help to offset the historical underfunding of the community mental health and addictions sector and bolster providers who are facing greater demands for service brought on by the pandemic.
  • Invest in the development of 3,000 supportive housing units, at an approximate cost of $242 million per year. Additionally, invest another $45 million per year for associated support services to help individuals with mental health or addictions issues live meaningful lives in their communities.
  • Increase investments and provide an integrated response to the urgent and escalating drug poisoning crisis in Ontario.
  • Invest $10 million for mobile crisis services and $7 million for safe bed programs to support mobile crisis teams. Investment can help to ensure mobile crisis response teams, both police- and non-police models, are available in every community.

Read CMHA Ontario’s full pre-budget submission to the provincial government.

The Mobile Clinic

CMHA Champlain East is proud to support The Mobile Clinic being launched in Cornwall starting March 7th, 2022. Click here for more information. 

 

 

 

1 in 4 Ontarians access mental health help

The highest rate during the pandemic

(Toronto, Feb. 7, 2022) – New polling data released today indicates that more Ontarians are accessing mental health supports than at any other time during the pandemic.

The survey by Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA), Ontario indicates that one in four people (24 per cent) have sought help for their mental health challenges, a significant uptick from 17 per cent last winter and nine per cent almost two years ago.  

The data also shows that while people have had their ups and downs, their levels of mental health distress are similar to the start of the pandemic. This is particularly true with rates of stress, anxiety and depression.

Substance use is also roughly the same as the start of the pandemic, where one in four Ontarians are still consuming more alcohol, cannabis or tobacco.

Respondents’ outlook about the future of mental health is grim: 77 per cent, up from 69 per cent when the pandemic began, feel that Ontario is on track for a “serious mental health crisis when this is over.”

“We’ve conducted four polls during this pandemic because we wanted to get a sense of how people are doing nearly two years in,” said Camille Quenneville, CEO, CMHA Ontario. “Needless to say we’re very concerned that the numbers are going in the wrong direction and people are not improving.”

While it is a positive sign that one in four people are seeking help, the survey indicates that Ontarians are not finding the supports as effective as at the start of the pandemic.

About 65 per cent are now reporting that mental health supports are helpful, down from 77 per cent near the beginning of COVID-19.

“This is troubling as it may be an indicator that people’s mental health challenges are more complex than they might’ve thought,” said Quenneville. “Many people might be saying they’re fine but that’s not what we’re seeing in the data.”

“We will continue to monitor these trends because, as we know, mental health is a continuum and people’s moods and feelings can change with a return to normalcy,” she said.

CMHA Ontario’s fourth survey was conducted by Pollara and questioned 1,001 Ontario adults from Jan. 10-17. It carries a margin of error of ± 3.1 per cent, 19 times out of 20. 

CMHA Ontario’s first poll was conducted in April 2020, the second poll in July 2020 and the third in February 2021.

Mental health and addictions support have remained available through the pandemic at CMHA branches across the province. You can find your local CMHA branch at cmha.ca/find-your-cmha.

Access and effectiveness of mental health supports

  • 24 per cent of Ontarians have now sought mental health supports, up from 17 per cent last winter, 14 per cent in summer 2020, and nine per cent from spring 2020
  • 43 per cent of people are finding it difficult to access mental health supports, up from 37 per cent at the start of the pandemic
  • A third (29 per cent) of Ontarians who’ve accessed mental health supports say they were “not helpful,” compared to 19 per cent at the start of the pandemic
  • At the start of the pandemic, 83 per cent of Ontarians reported that no one in their household tried to access support. It’s now 69 per cent

Rates of mental health issues

  • Nearly half (48 per cent) of Ontarians say their mental health has worsened since the outbreak began, up from 36 per cent at the start of the pandemic
  • 43 per cent of people feel their mental health is “excellent” or “very good” compared to 35 per cent last winter, 48 per cent in summer 2020 and 52 per cent from spring 2020
  • Worry among the overall population about the pandemic’s impact has declined to 71 per cent from 79 per cent at the start of COVID-19
  • 32 per cent of Ontarians are reporting high levels of stress and 31 per cent high levels of anxiety, the same as the start of the pandemic
  • 15 per cent say they are “almost always” or “very often” depressed, up slightly from 13 per cent at the start of the COVID-19

Parents and children

  • More than 60 per cent of parents say dealing with the pandemic has been difficult for their children
  • 65 per cent of parents say their children have difficulty dealing with an uncertain future, up from 57 per cent a year ago
  • 67 per cent of parents believe not going to school has been difficult, up from 60 per cent last year
  • Nearly 80 per cent of parents believe not being able to do regular activities outside of home and not seeing friends has been difficult for children

Alcohol, cannabis, tobacco, gambling

  • A quarter of Ontarians report that they are consuming more substances, roughly the same as last year
  • 14 per cent of people are consuming less than before the outbreak
  • Among those who are consuming more, 77 per cent are choosing alcohol; 38 per cent are using more cannabis; and 27 per cent more tobacco
  • Of the quarter of Ontarians who gamble, 35 per cent are gambling more than before the pandemic and 33 per cent are gambling less

 About Canadian Mental Health Association, Ontario

Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA), Ontario is a not-for-profit, charitable organization. We work to improve the lives of all Ontarians through leadership, collaboration and continual pursuit of excellence in community-based mental health and addictions services. Our vision is a society that embraces and invests in the mental health of all people. We are a trusted advisor to government, contributing to health systems development through policy formulation and recommendations that promote positive mental health. Our nearly 30 local CMHA branches serve more than 100,000 Ontarians each year.

For more information, contact your local Ontario CMHA branch (cmha.ca/find-your-cmha)

or:

Joe Kim

Communications Director

Canadian Mental Health Association, Ontario

T: 416-977-5580, ext. 4141

E: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

15 minutes for your mental health

More than a year into the pandemic and Ontarians are feeling the effects. Many of us are struggling with burnout, loneliness, and depression. The prevalent advice is to exercise self-care as much as possible, but this can feel overwhelming on top of the other tasks we all have to accomplish every day. That’s why CMHA Ontario has created these materials. By offering easy15 minute ideas, CMHA aims to make the idea of self-care seem as simple as possible.

Click here for printable booklet

 

Opioid-related deaths at all-time high

New information released by The Ontario Drug Policy Research Network (ODPRN), the Office of the Chief Coroner for Ontario/Ontario Forensic Pathology Service and Public Health Ontario shows that 2020 was the most tragic year on record in opioid-related deaths, with 249 deaths reported in December 2020 alone. There were 2,426 opioid-related deaths reported in 2020, which is a 60 percent increase over the same time period in 2019 (1,516 deaths).

Fentanyl, a high-strength opioid, continues to drive this increase as it is reported to be accountable for 86 percent of deaths. People who use unregulated street drugs may not realize they are consuming fentanyl.

These deadly health impacts of opioid use and increasingly toxic drug supply require increased access to harm reduction services, including safer opioid supply initiatives, to provide services and support for people who use drugs in Ontario.

Harm reduction is an evidence-based, client-centred approach that seeks to reduce the health and social harms associated with substance use. Harm reduction interventions includes low barrier access to naloxone, managed alcohol programs, safe consumption sites and outpatient substance-use counselling and supports.

Naloxone is a medication that can reverse an opioid overdose. Many Ontario pharmacies offer free injectable and nasal spray naloxone kits without a prescription. CMHA Ontario has developed an opioid overdose toolkit to provide more information about opioids and naloxone access in Ontario. Reducing Harms: Recognizing and Responding to Opioid Overdoses in Your Organization is also useful for the average person who wants to learn more about how to use naloxone during an opioid-related emergency at home.

Safer opioid supply is a harm-reduction approach that focuses on saving lives through the provision of safe doses of opioid medication, provided by a health care practitioner, as an alternative to the contaminated sources of unregulated drugs currently available on the street. CMHA branches in Ontario recently issued a statement voicing our support for safer opioid supply approaches in the province.

Learn more by reading the full report on the OPDRN website.

 

Expand access to harm reduction interventions during COVID-19: CMHA Ontario branches support safer supply approaches

The Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) network consists of 28 branches across the province that provide community-based clinical and social services to Ontarians living with mental health and substance-use issues. All CMHA branches work from a harm-reduction framework that aims to support individuals with substance-use concerns and connect them with services. Some of our branches offer comprehensive supports, including Rapid Access Addiction Medicine clinics, youth addictions programming, managed alcohol programs, and a broad range of harm reduction and outpatient substance-use counselling and supports.

 

It is with this perspective in mind that our network of CMHA branches in Ontario wish to voice our support for safer opioid supply approaches in Ontario.

 

Ontario has been in a state of opioid overdose crisis for several years, as the number of lives lost has steadily increased. In 2019, our province experienced the worst effects of this when we recorded the highest number of opioid-related overdose deaths in the country: 1,509.1 Furthermore, with this pandemic we are seeing compounding public health emergencies: the wide-ranging and deadly health impacts of COVID-19, plus a significant increase in overdoses due to opioids, largely due to an increasingly toxic drug supply. Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in March until June, there has been a nearly 40 per cent increase in opioid-related deaths. If the current data trends continue, 2,271 opioid-related deaths are expected in 2020, making it the most tragic year on record.2

 

It is essential that substance use and harm reduction approaches, including safer opioid supply initiatives, are scaled up, in order to provide services and support for people who use drugs (PWUD) in Ontario.

 

Safer opioid supply (SOS) is an approach that focuses on saving lives through the provision of safe doses of opioid medication, provided by a health care practitioner, as an alternative to the contaminated sources of unregulated drugs currently available on the street.3 SOS provides people who may not have responded to other forms of treatment with a safer medical alternative from a licensed prescriber. These programs also aim to connect individuals with health and psychosocial services, which may be more difficult to access during the COVID-19 outbreak.4

Safe supply and other harm reduction initiatives exist on a broad continuum of substance-use programming that aims to support Ontarians who use substances by minimizing their risks and providing low-barrier access to support. In Ontario, several SOS models currently exist and are predominantly located within Community Health Centres, where in addition to primary care, clients can also be connected to a broad range of psychosocial supports. While the evidence in support of these models is emerging, preliminary data shows that SOS programs have been successful in mitigating harms and supporting people who are at imminent risk of death due to a toxic drug supply.5,6

While there are several factors contributing to the overdose crisis, exposure to toxic substances in an unregulated (illicit) market is the primary driver of overdose deaths in Ontario. Fentanyl and its analogues have been found to be the major cause of opioid-related overdoses and deaths. Individuals purchasing substances on the street may consume fentanyl without their knowledge, causing overdoses among people who may be unaware that they were consuming high-strength opioids.7 Research shows that the vast majority of deaths (87 per cent) are attributable to fentanyl and nearly all deaths (96 per cent) are accidental.8 As such, what is widely referred to as an overdose crisis, is in fact better described as a drug-poisoning crisis.9

Advocates for safer supply approaches reference the way in which the government controls and distributes alcohol, tobacco and cannabis, for example, and suggest that treating other substances similarly – by providing a regulated safe supply – has the potential to reduce overdose deaths.10 The purpose of safer supply is to provide a less risky way for people to access what they are seeking when using street drugs, while reducing the risk of death and engaging in wraparound health and social supports. This is increasingly important as we know that PWUD continue to be stigmatized and criminalized which can lead to marginalization from the health care system that may make them especially vulnerable to health and social harms, especially during a pandemic.11

As the data continues to emerge during this time it is clear that the pandemic is contributing to an increase in overall substance use among vulnerable populations. Homeless youth report a 69 per cent increase in substance use since the beginning of the pandemic and there is a 37 per cent increase in overdoses with this population.12 In addition, closures of services have led PWUD to unsafe consumption practices such as using alone.13 We are seeing this clearly with evidence indicating that 75 per cent of overdose deaths during this pandemic were people who were alone, with no one available to intervene or administer naloxone.14

 

The pandemic and overdose crisis are not only intersecting public health emergencies taking place in Ontario, but COVID-19 is exacerbating harms and placing people who use drugs at higher risk of negative health outcomes including opioid poisoning. We know that the overdose crisis, in conjunction with COVID-19, has disproportionately impacted marginalized communities contributing to further lives lost. There are greater rates of opioid poisonings in communities with higher ethno-cultural diversity and lower socioeconomic status. This parallels the communities that are also experiencing higher rates of COVID-19 infection and deaths.15 While a toxic and unpredictable drug supply is the main driver, physical distancing, disruption to services, and self-isolation protocols have further elevated risks.16 Each region in our province was already experiencing this overdose crisis, and COVID-19 has only accelerated the need for action and alternative approaches.

 

It is crucial that during this time of dual public health emergencies, expanded access to a range of low-barrier interventions be both available and accessible. We need immediate action from government and the health care system to prevent further deaths. Overdose prevention interventions like safer supply models are essential in addressing the imminent risk of death for people who use substances in Ontario. CMHA has been actively engaged in responding to the opioid crisis across the province and are strong supporters of harm-reduction approaches. We also support the programs and health-care practitioners that are providing greater access to safer, pharmaceutical grade alternatives to the toxic street supply. It is crucial that organizations and health-care practitioners feel supported and equipped to do so during this time. In addition, we urge the Ontario government to work with leaders in our sector to ensure that harm-reduction services are scaled up and support is available for prescribers and community organizations providing SOS.

Download the full statement with references

Download the infographic

  

CMHA Champlain East earns ‘exemplary standing’ with Accreditation Canada

(Cornwall, Dec. 14, 2020) – The Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA), Champlain East Branch is proud to announce it has been accredited with exemplary standing by Accreditation Canada.

 

CMHA Champlain East attained the highest level of performance, achieving excellence in meeting the requirements of the Qmentum accreditation program. As part of the Qmentum accreditation program, the organization underwent a rigorous evaluation process. Following a comprehensive self-assessment, external peer surveyors conducted an on-site survey during which they assessed this organizations’ leadership, governance, clinical programs and services against national standards of excellence; required safety practices to reduce potential harm; and questionnaires to assess the work environment, patient safety culture, governance functioning and client experience.

 

“This award is the result of our collective commitment to providing our clients with safe, high-quality care,” said CMHA Champlain East executive director Joanne Ledoux-Moshonas. “I’m very proud of everyone at our branch. Our employees and volunteers work incredibly hard to make sure they provide our community with mental health and addictions services that are safe and effective, and this accreditation is recognition of that.”

 

Accreditation helps identify what an organization is doing well and where to focus its improvement efforts. CMHA Champlain East was evaluated against national standards, and will use the results to improve the quality and safety of its services.

 

Accreditation Canada delivers a wide range of high-impact assessment programs for health and social service organizations, powered by HSO Health Standards Organization, and customized to local needs. Accreditation Canada works with more than 900 expert peer surveyors with extensive health care and social services experience and trained in Accreditation Canada’s customized, continuous assessment program. Accreditation through our Qmentum and Qmentum international programs is an ongoing process of assessing health and social services organizations against standards of excellence to identify what is being done well and what needs improvement.

 

Click the following link to view the Executive Summary Accreditation Report

 

For more information, contact:

Joanne Ledoux-Moshonas

Executive Director

CMHA Champlain East

613-933-5845 ext. 223

  

Resources

Special webinar series on mental wellness, COVID-19 links, news releases and resources click here: https://www.cmha-east.on.ca/index.php/en/mental-health/coping-with-covid-19

  

If you feel you are experiencing symptoms of the Coronavirus please contact:

-       Telehealth Ontario at 1-866-797-0000 or;

-       The Eastern Ontario Health Unit at 1-800-267-7120