Canadians are living with mental health concerns that are preventable, manageable and treatable with the right supports, at the right time, in the right place. CMHA Niagara provides a continuum of mental health services, meaning we assist those with early signs of mild-to-moderate unwellness, those with more severe impacts and those recovering. Our immediate access services ensure people receive help when they need it and get connected with longer-term services as needed.
Short-term crisis support is available 24/7 as an alternative to hospitalization. This is a voluntary, non-medical residential program offering a therapeutic environment for individuals to stay while they work through their crisis. There are eleven beds available with two crisis workers on shift 24/7 for support. Individuals who stay at Safe Beds must be 16 years or older, in a self-identified crisis, agreeable to work on recovery focused goals, agreeable to Safe Beds rules and present no health or safety risk. Learn more and view pictures of the facility. Individuals interested in a referral to the Safe Beds program can contact the Mental Health and Addictions Access Line at 1-866-550-5205, extension 2. All referring sources must complete a referral form.
realwork Employment Program
This specialized employment program helps individuals who experience mental health concerns and other disabilities as barriers to employment, find and maintain meaningful jobs. It is the mission of this program to promote employment, education or volunteer opportunities for people who experience mental health issues and other disabilities and to provide them with the support to live independent and integrated lives. Individuals who access this program self-identify with a mental health issue, are 16 years or older, are unemployed or underemployed and wanting to increase their employability, are not in school but may wish to upgrade their education or training, and are wanting to enhance their independence and manage their mental health in order to discover goals and opportunities related to employment, volunteering, and/or education. realwork provides service using an individualized, person-centred approach. This means that you’re in control of your goals as they relate to employment and trained mental health professionals are there to help you manage and maintain your mental health while you look for work. We work on four main areas. These include career decision making, skills enhancement, job search skills and job maintenance. If we aren’t the right service for you, we will help connect you with a more appropriate service. realwork is available throughout the Niagara region. We’ve partnered with various organizations to help provide service to those seeking employment. Please contact (905) 641-5222, extension 2642 for more information.
Youth Navigation and Coordinated Care Planning
As many as 60% of youth (aged 16 – 24) are at risk of disengaging from mental health services during the transition from child/youth services to young adult/adult services. In addition, this age group, together with the risk factor of mental illness, is recognized as being at greater risk for suicidal ideation and behaviour and therefore, increased vulnerability to death by suicide. The goal of CMHA Niagara’s youth navigator and adult mental health and addictions coordinated care planning is to improve the continuity of care of young adults (aged 16 – 24) with mental illness. The objectives of the program are to provide youth-informed service across all CMHA Niagara service areas and to strengthen the bridge between child/youth services and young adult/adult services. Our Youth Navigator works to develop partnerships with other young adult services to determine best service pathways, develop coordinated care plans for young adults in transition and to collaborate to ensure that young adults are supported while waiting for longer-term services.
Individuals with serious mental illnesses are offered a supportive framework in order to achieve greater independence and an improved quality of life. Our highly skilled case managers work in partnership with individuals to identify areas of strength and determine areas of need. Case managers offer regular visits to individuals in the community to address the everyday challenges of living with mental illness. Assistance and encouragement is provided by identifying areas of need and goals related to such issues as primary healthcare, housing and stability, mental and physical wellness, and income and budgeting. Case management services are available to individuals 16 years or older who have significant difficulty living independently in the community due to a serious mental illness, those who are ready to work on goals with a case manager or those who may struggle living independently, managing money, managing relationships, getting around in the community and/or taking medications.
Court Support and Release from Custody
Individuals living with mental illness who are charged with minor offences are assisted by community support workers at court, detention centres and upon release, to help with transitioning back into the community.
CMHA Niagara offers a number of group counselling opportunities. The Dialectic Behavioural Therapy (DBT) is designed for individuals with emotional dysregulation and provides a comprehensive, evidence-based program that combines group skills training and individual counselling to work on psychosocial aspects of treatment. Our concurrent disorders group is a DBT skills group for those with concurrent mental health and substance use disorders. The illness management and recovery group is a psycho-educational opportunity to support the understand the symptom cycle and creation of goals for recovery. For more information or referral, please call the Mental Health and Addictions Access Line at 1-866-550-5205.
CMHA Niagara offers safe, affordable housing with transitional and longer-term support.
The transitional housing support program assists individuals who are motivated to continue down their path to recovery from mental health issues and addictions. The St. Paul transitional housing program provides support to those with a mental health condition and/or a brain injury and is a partnership with Brain Injury Community Re-entry Niagara. Our program at Glendale house provides support to women with concurrent disorders and is available to those who have abstained from their addiction for at least 30 days. While in this program individuals will learn life skills and coping strategies, work on relapse prevention methods, be provided with therapeutic support in the form of one-on-one, peer support groups, and/or self-help groups and focus on improving quality of life. There are ongoing resident meetings and self-organized programming which adds to the empowerment and personal development of clients. This program is time limited with regular assessments. Support workers also provide assistance with finding permanent housing for individuals nearing the end of the program. To learn more, call the Mental Health and Addictions Access Line at 1-866-550-5205.
Independent Subsidized Housing Program
CMHA Niagara manages affordable rental units throughout the Niagara region. The independent subsidized housing program offers supports to assist tenants with maintaining their housing. These supports include access to rent supplement in order to obtain suitable housing, one-on-one and group teaching of life skills (e.g. budgeting, nutrition, cooking, personal hygiene, home management), links to services and resources in the broader community, consultation and clinical support services, access to mental health nurses for consultation and development of crisis plans to identify personal coping strategies. The goals of this program are to:
- provide a combination of affordable housing and the ongoing, flexible supports to maintain housing
- provide long-term flexible on-site supports to tenants of supportive housing units
- provide skill training to tenants in order to increase independence and maintain housing
- provide support during times of crisis and when necessary, to engage in crisis intervention
- build and maintain collaborative relationships with private and public landlords in order to maintain/obtain access to housing
- assist tenant to identify, build and maintain natural support systems such as family and friends
To be eligible for this program, individuals must be homeless or have a history of homelessness, a serious mental illness (diagnosis, duration, disability), ability to live independently, desire to work toward recovery. Contact our office for more information by calling (905) 641-5222.
Bounceback is a free, guided self-help program for people aged 15 and up. Participants receive telephone coaching, skill-building workbooks and online videos to help them overcome these symptoms and gain new skills to regain positive mental health. BounceBack is not a crisis service, psychotherapy or counselling, but a life-skills program that participants work with to develop coping techniques so they can overcome challenges during this pandemic and long afterward. For more information or to see if the BounceBack program may be right for you, visit https://bouncebackontario.ca.
Mental Health and Addictions Access Line
The Mental Health and Addictions Access Line is a free, 100% confidential telephone support service. If you, a family member, or friend is in need, call ACCESS line at 1-866-550-5205. A member of their supportive, trained staff will provide immediate support and guidance to find the support you need. They will talk with you to identify your unique needs and if necessary, connect you with a member of the collaborating network of mental health and addiction service providers which consists of 16 fully-vetted services, helping you receive more specialized assistance. If you are transferred to a member of this network, a referral will be submitted and follow up with the agency will be made on your behalf to ensure a connection has been made with you. Community access workers and team leaders support volunteers, follow up with agencies, provide community awareness and collaborate with partners to enhance client experience when accessing mental health and addictions services. Callers get immediate access to supportive, trained responders who will provide information, connection to local services, support and follow up. Call Access Line at 1-866-550-5205.