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.
Carizon specializes in children’s mental health, youth engagement and development, family violence, individual and family counselling, credit counselling, settlement supports and collective wellness.
Carizon is also committed to providing services in a way that respects the dignity and independence of people with disabilities.
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.
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.