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Important notice Image only

December 21, 2021

To limit the spread of Omicron Variant, our offices and resource centers are currently closed to the public until further notice.

We continue to offer the following programs and services virtually:

  • Intensive Case Management and Resource Centers (Starbright, Oasis and Horizon)
  • To book an appointment with an Intake Worker, please call call 1-800-493-8271

For further information, please visit our website at


Support mental health this holiday season

Although anxiety, depression, and loneliness may occur anytime during the year, the stress of the holidays can amplify these feelings. For those coping with mental health issues, the holidays can be a daunting, overwhelming challenge every year, and the added weight of the pandemic may create additional stress and anxiety.

That’s why CMHA Champlain East offers support and information to people affected by mental health issues – so no one needs to feel alone in their struggle.

CMHA Champlain East works daily to promote mental health, recovery and resilience in the community, but we can’t do it alone. You can support CMHA Champlain East this holiday season by making a donation. Your gift will help CMHA Champlain East assist people experiencing mental health issues, including their families and caregivers, to access information and support as soon as they need it.

During this season of giving, you’ll be making a meaningful gift to many people across Ontario who will cope with a mental health issue in the coming year. Please donate today:



Subway Golf Tournament raises $35k for mental health

Thanks to your support, CMHA Champlain East’s 18th annual Subway tournament raised an incredible $35,000 for mental health promotion.

The money will enable our branch to continue mental health promotion initiatives in the community, including providing workshops on stress management, suicide awareness and prevention, mental health first aid, and more.

Thanks to all 132 individuals who played at Nation Golf Course in Curran, Ontario on September 17. Your support is truly appreciated!

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.


Try simple, helpful methods to manage mental health during this stay-at-home period

With news of today’s stay-at-home order, Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) Champlain East reminds people that they can take some simple and basic steps to help them manage their mental health during these challenging times.

  • It’s normal to feel anxious. Try not to avoid, ignore or suppress anxious thoughts. Instead, be aware of your anxiety and accept that you’re feeling anxious in this situation. Try to keep things in perspective, notice and challenge your thoughts that may be extreme or unhelpful.
  • While you can’t be together physically, stay socially connected with friends and family by phone, text or virtually.
  • Do something good or helpful. Research shows that doing things for others strengthens our own mental health. Check on your neighbours, elderly parents and friends to see how they’re doing and if they need help picking up groceries, medications and other important household items.
  • Stay connected with the outdoors. If you’re able to do so safely, consider going outdoors for a walk, run or bike ride to enjoy the scenery and fresh air. If you’re worried about crowds, consider going out at off-peak hours (early morning, late evening) to avoid proximity.
  • Routines can help reduce mental fatigue, so getting up at your usual time, showering and getting dressed as you normally would for work can be helpful. Eating healthy, drinking water and getting plenty of sleep are also important factors.

For more tips, check out CMHA Ontario Division’s BounceBack mental health tip sheet to support those who may be experiencing heightened mental health challenges as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

If you are noticing that your symptoms of anxiety (related to COVID-19 or otherwise) are causing you significant distress or are interfering with your ability to function normally, consider participating in Ontario’s Structured Psychotherapy Program, which offers a mix of services, including CMHA’s BounceBack program. BounceBack is a free skill-building program for adults and youth 15+ who want to gain practical life skills to help them better manage their symptoms of low mood, mild-to-moderate depression and anxiety, stress or worry. For more information or to see if the BounceBack program may be right for you, visit

If you’re in need of support, contact your local CMHA (, or call or visit Connex Ontario (; 1-866-531-2600).


Third poll in CMHA Ontario series indicates mental health impact of COVID-19 at all-time high

(Toronto, March 15, 2021) – As we mark the one-year anniversary of the province’s COVID-19 emergency declaration, a new survey is highlighting alarming trends that indicate the pandemic’s strain on the mental health of Ontarians has reached all-time highs.

The latest polling data commissioned by Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA), Ontario Division shows that only a third of Ontarians (35 per cent) consider their current state of mental health as ‘very good’ or ‘excellent,’ a significant decrease from 52 per cent as recorded in its first poll last May.

Additionally, almost 80 per cent of Ontarians now believe we’ll be in a serious mental health crisis post-pandemic – up from 66 per cent in CMHA Ontario’s second poll in August.

The latest poll also showed a troubling pattern of loneliness: more than half Ontarians (57 per cent) are lonelier since the start of the pandemic, almost half (47 per cent) wish they had someone to talk to, and more than a third (36 per cent) say they are often, very often or almost always lonely.

Perhaps not surprisingly, rates of stress, anxiety and depression during the pandemic are also worse than ever.

This data comes from the third poll in a series Pollara Strategic Insights is conducting on behalf of CMHA Ontario to evaluate how Ontarians’ perceptions of their mental health are changing during the pandemic.

“When we decided to start surveying Ontarians a year ago, we were worried about the mental health fallout of the pandemic,” said CMHA Ontario CEO Camille Quenneville. “While we were concerned after our first round of results last spring, the second round in the summer provided some hopeful results. Now, the results of this latest poll show that people are having more trouble coping with the effects of the pandemic. The need for more supports has never been more clear.”

Mental health declining

Ontarians’ perceptions of their mental health have worsened dramatically since the previous polls.

  • 36 per cent of Ontarians say they’re experiencing very high or high stress (up from 30 per cent in the summer)
  • 35 per cent are feeling very high or high anxiety (up from 30 per cent in the summer)
  • 17 per cent say they’re always or very often depressed (up from 13 per cent in May)
  • More than one quarter of Ontarians (27 per cent) are using more substances to cope (up from 21 per cent in the summer)
  • Nearly eight in 10 Ontarians (79 per cent) can see how COVID-19 is negatively impacting the mental health of others
  • In spite of the negative statistics, more than three-quarters (77 per cent) of Ontarians feel they’re handling public health restrictions well

Relationships impacted

The pandemic has both positively and negatively impacted relationships.

  • 25 per cent say their relationship with partners is better now than before the pandemic, while 29 per cent say their relationship with children is better
  • However, 36 per cent say friendships are worse and 27 per cent say relationships with parents are worse
  • Among the most difficult aspects of the pandemic have been not seeing extended family (74 per cent) and friends (78 per cent)

Access to services

More Ontarians are confident in their ability to find mental health and addictions supports now (52 per cent) than in the first round of polling (44 per cent), but:

  • More people who are trying to access supports now are finding it difficult (35 per cent) as compared to the summer (27 per cent)
  • Of those who’ve received supports, 70 per cent found them helpful
  • Nearly nine in 10 (88 per cent) now believe the mental health impact will worsen the longer the pandemic continues (up from 83 per cent in the summer)
  • More than half the province (52 per cent) says the pandemic has widened the gap between different levels of health care available in Ontario

COVID-19 concerns remain

A year into the pandemic, and despite vaccines coming, Ontarians generally are still concerned about the virus itself.

  • 84 per cent are concerned about new strains
  • Eight in 10 are concerned about people not physically distancing (81 per cent) or not taking proper precautions (77 per cent)
  • People remain concerned about someone they know catching the virus (78 per cent)

Pollara’s online research of 1,004 Ontario adults was conducted from Feb. 19-22. It carries a margin of error of ± 3.1 per cent, 19 times out of 20. 

Mental health and addictions supports have remained available through the pandemic at CMHA branches across the province. You can find your local CMHA branch at

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 28 local CMHA branches, together with community-based mental health and addictions service providers across the province, serve approximately 500,000 Ontarians each year.

For more information, contact your local CMHA branch or:

Justin Dickie

Senior Strategic Communications Advisor

Canadian Mental Health Association, Ontario

T: 416-977-5580, ext. 4175

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

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


Tips to kick the winter blues

As the cold and snow of winter sinks in, Ontarians may find themselves lacking energy as the days grow shorter.

Research in Ontario suggests that 15 per cent of the general population have experienced the winter blues, which can include changes in appetite and lethargy. The winter blues differs from Seasonal Affective Disorder, or SAD, which affects about two per cent of the population and is a serious form of depression.

Here are a few tips to help kick the winter blues:

  • Enjoy time spent doing your favourite outdoor activity. Spend more time outdoors during the day and arrange indoor environments to receive maximum sunlight. Trim tree branches that block light, for example and keep curtains open during the day. Move furniture to sit near a window.
  • Try something new. While we’re being advised to continue to participate in physical distancing, it’s important to stay mentally healthy while maintaining a physical distance. Starting a new blog, watching a new television show or listening to a new podcast are just a few of the many ways to stay mentally healthy while physically distancing.
  • Take a walk at one of the city’s trails. Exercise relieves stress, builds energy and increases mental and physical well-being. Make a habit of taking a daily noon-hour walk. The activity and increased exposure to natural light can raise spirits.
  • Make a colourful meal. Healthy eating has been shown to benefit mental as well as physical health. Be sure to incorporate fruits and vegetables in daily eating habits.
  • Reach out for help. To anyone struggling with mental health and addiction at this time, please reach out. Help is always available and CMHA is here with our programs and services.


The prevalence of the winter blues highlights the need to make our mental health a priority throughout the year. CMHA Ontario branches have programs and services available to ensure Ontarians get the support they need. Programs like Living Life to the Full are now offering their courses online. 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. New courses are starting this month. Visit the CMHA Ontario website today for details:


Important notice regarding CMHA Champlain East

Last updated: December 21, 2020

CMHA Champlain East deemed essential service, providing community supports in a variety of safe ways

Deemed an essential service by the Ontario government amid public health concerns related to COVID-19, Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA), Champlain East, remains open and is ensuring community mental health and addictions supports are safely available by providing programs, services and information to our clients virtually and over the phone as this situation methods.

In accordance with physical distancing measures outlined by public health agencies, CMHA Champlain East continuously adapts its service delivery to protect public health and safety, pivoting services and information sharing to virtual or other means so individuals in need of mental health and addictions supports can continue to get the help they need.

To protect clients and staff while continuing to support the community, CMHA Champlain East continues to provide the following services by phone or virtually to our clients until further notice:

o    Intensive Case Management Supports

o    Resource Center Supports

o    All educational presentations/trainings have been suspended.

o    The Resource Center facilities (Strabright, Oasis and Horizon) will remain closed until further notice.

If you or someone you know is struggling, please contact CMHA Champlain East 1-800-493-8271 to find out about virtual and phone-based support services there to help you.


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



Special webinar series on mental wellness, COVID-19 links, news releases and resources click here:


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