*This blog post has been edited since it was published to include the most up-to-date information.
May is Mental Health Awareness Month for our neighbours south of the border, but many of us in Canada also use this month as a chance to highlight the importance of mental health awareness and advocate for more research, understanding, and empathy.
Although we’ve come a long way in our awareness of mental health, we still have a long way to go to ensure accessible and equitable mental health services for our communities. People with exceptionalities may have complex needs and/or unique mental health experiences due to their disabilities. And unfortunately, many people fall through the cracks of the mental health care system.
It can be difficult to know where exactly to start to get access to mental health support and resources that fit your unique needs. Here is a list of mental health resources appropriate for families and people with exceptionalities in Waterloo Region:
Front Door works with parents, caregivers, children and youth who are struggling with emotions, behaviours, relationships and mental health. Front Door is there to listen, offer support and help you identify next steps including access to other services.
Contact 519-749-2932 to book an appointment. For immediate assistance, please visit https://www.frontdoormentalhealth.com/crisis/ or connect with a 24/hr emergency service.
Interpreters are available.
Camino Wellbeing + Mental Health is committed to supporting your journey towards improved wellbeing and mental health by bringing together the expertise of Carizon, KW Counselling Services, and Monica Place. They specialize in family and individual therapy (walk-ins included), community and youth development, and family supports.
Lutherwood offers several programs and services to assist children, youth and their families coping with mental health challenges. These services include live-in treatment and assessment services, family crisis and prevention counselling, as well as community and school-based interventions.
Lutherwood also has a blog with a range of resources covering a variety of topics and needs.
PCMH is a peer-supported group through CMHO, located in communities across Ontario. Chapters are made up of parents and caregivers on their own journey of supporting their child with mental health needs. Chapters meet regularly, providing caregivers a safe and friendly place to connect and get help navigating the child and youth mental health system.
Through its network of child and youth mental health centres, Children’s Mental Health Ontario has 4,000 child and youth mental healthcare workers across Ontario ready to help parents and their children.
Anishnabeg Outreach is an organization that provides Indigenous people with access to culturally appropriate services and strives to support individuals with direction and assistance to overcome barriers.
The Healing of the Seven Generations supports those experience intergenerational effects of the residential school system or facing barriers when trying to access the supports needed. All First Peoples from groups, including First Nations, Métis, Inuit and non-Status individuals and families are welcome.
OK2BME, from Camino Mental Health + Wellbeing, offers a confidential counselling program in Waterloo Region for 2SLGBTQIA+ individuals, as well as individuals and their partners. They also offer counselling to kids, teens, and families with 2SLGBTQIA+ children or youth under age 18.
Spectrum, Waterloo Region’s Rainbow Community Space, has a number of free mental health resources for 2SLGBTQIA+ folks on their website, including crisis plan templates and a Trans Wellness Suicide Prevention Toolkit.
HERE 24/7 - 1-844-437-3247 (1-HERE247)
HERE 24/7 provides access to addiction, mental health, and crisis services provided by local agencies. They provide intake, assessment, referral, waitlist and appointment bookings.
Kids Help Phone - 1-800-668-6868
Access to 24-hour child and youth counselling and referral services.
Lesbian Gay Bi Trans Youth Line - 1-800-268-9688
The Lesbian Gay Bi Trans Youth Line provides access to confidential peer support and referral services that support the experiences of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transsexual, transgender, 2-spirited, queer, and questioning youth in Ontario.
Connex Ontario - 1-866-531-2600
Connex Ontatio connects you to free and confidential information about mental health services and supports in communities across Ontario. This service supports 170 languages.
Still unsure where to begin? We’re here to help! Connect with our team anytime for help navigating the web of services here in the region. Our Family Resource Coaches can help you choose the service that’s the best fit for you or your loved one’s needs.