All posts in “Blog”

Family Connections at Stella’s Place

Family Connections
This is a skills based program specifically for Young Adults aged 16-29 who are supporting a friend or family member that is experiencing emotional regulation challenges. Offered in partnership with Sashbear.
To register, or for more information, contact Venessa D’Souza:
When: October 15 & 16 and November 12 & 13 – Saturdays from 10-6pm, Sundays from 10-5:30pm

6th Annual Ryerson Social Justice Week- Oct 30 to Nov 4

Check out this amazing Social Justice Week at the Ryerson!

Specially Thursday, November 3rd: Social Justice and Mad Matters. Topics will be decentering psychiatric diagnosis and deconolizing community practice. Lots of guest speakers, discussions, lunch & learn, and a very interesting film screening!

For more information and a schedule of events, please visit


Social Justice Wk 2016 All Events.indd






Toronto Youth Job Corps program at West Neighbourhood House

West Neighbourhood House is recruiting youth 16 to 29 for their next group, which starts on Monday October 10th. This is a paid five-week pre-employment program with the potential of an up to 24-week placement.

The program offers team building, volunteering, life skills training, employment skills training, a simulated work environment and the possibility of a work placement. Information sessions held Mondays at 10:30am.

Candidates must be:

  • Between 16-29
  • Not in school or employed
  • Living in Toronto
  • Motivated to find employment
  • Reliable, accountable and ready to work
  • Committed and eager to learn

You could earn:

  • Workers health and safety awareness in 4 steps completion certificate
  • Smart Serve Certificate
  • TYJC program completion Certificate

For more information and to register for the information sessions, please visit , email Ÿ or call 416-848-7980 ext. 308



Join the 4th annual MINDFEST – a mental health fair and festival celebrating all minds!

Mindfest is an all-day mental health and wellness fair as part of National Mental Illness Awareness Week.
Mindfest is an informative, inspirational, inclusive community-building event. Through equitable partnership among academic and educational institutions, not-for-profit health and mental health organizations and not-for-profit wellness-related organizations, we aim to increase awareness of mental health and illness as well as resources and services available for people with lived experiences, families, advocates and our communities.

Please click here to learn more about partnering with Mindfest.
This will be a full-day event held at Hart House, in collaboration with U of T Student Health and Wellness, Hart House, and Workman Arts. Planned activities include exhibit booths, interactive workshops and guest speakers.

When: Wednesday, October 5, 9:00am – 4:30pm.

Where: Hart House’s Great Hall, University of Toronto, 7 Hart House Circle.


Peer Support Worker- Community of Practice!

The Self-Help Resource Centre runs a monthly peer support group for peer support workers and volunteers. This Community of Practice meeting is an opportunity for peer support group and one-on- one facilitators to get support from other peer facilitators, share valuable resources and experiences, learn and develop professional skills, and brainstorm solutions to challenges in the field.

Please register at or 416-487- 4355 ext 21

When: First Thursday of the month, from 4 to 6pm

Future Meetings: Oct. 6, 2016 – Topic: Authenticity

Nov. 3, 2016

December 1, 2016

Where: 341 King St. East, room 413

What to Bring: Questions and challenges experienced in peer support.

Coffee, tea and light snack will be provided!

Distinguished Speakers Series: Suicide Awareness – Stories of Hope & Recovery

The Mood Disorders Association of Ontario & CAN-BIND present:

Distinguished Speakers Series: Suicide Awareness – Stories of Hope & Recovery

A FREE, PUBLIC talk on suicide awareness from a lens of hope & recovery. Learn about new research in suicide biomarkers & hear a family’s journey of hope and recovery.


Ann Marie MacDonald, Executive Director of MDAO and Dr. Sidney Kennedy, lead scientist of CAN-BIND, Arthur Sommer-Rotenberg Chair in Suicide Studies and Depression

Distinguished Speakers:

Dr. Sakina Rizvi, CAN-BIND scientist, will present research on identifying biological and behavioural risk factors for suicide and treatment resistant depression in order to predict treatment outcomes.

David and Deborah Cooper are suicide loss survivors following the death of their son, Eli Cooper in 2010. They will share their poignant story of their family’s journey of hope and recovery.

A panel discussion will take place with an opportunity for a questions from the audience. Light refreshments will also be provided.

When: Wednesday, September 28th. Doors will open at 6:30pm and the event will run from 7pm – 9pm.  Volunteers will be present to direct you the main auditorium (room 209) or follow the signage in the building.

Where: Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute 209 Victoria Street, is located just north of St. Michael’s Hospital in the downtown Toronto core at the north east corner of Victoria St and Shuter Street. The event takes place in the Main Auditorium (Room 209). Google maps link:

To register, please visit:

Registration for phase 4 of ONTrack is now open!



ONTrack is a FREE program for young adults 16-24 who self-identify as someone with a mild to moderate mood or mental health challenge.


The classes for this phase include:

  • Mindfulness Yoga & Meditation
  • Strength and Endurance Circuit
  • Community Walk/Run
  • Dance
  • Strength 101
  • Gravity
  • Athletics
  • Core Fusion with Gravity

ONTrack uniquely provides:

  • A Peer-Support Worker to support participants throughout the program. In class and out of class.
  • An extra 15 minutes before class and after class for check-in and check-out activities. Enjoy meeting others and creating a program that fits your needs
  • Breaking down barriers and getting to know your classmates and instructors.
  • Goal-setting and choice for personal growth, additional wellness workshops
  • Continual feedback and opportunities to measure your mental health progress


Program registration  begins September 19th, 2016 and classes start October 13th, 2016

To register: phone (416) 924-6211 x 0 or go in person to the Miles Nadal JCC – 750 Spadina Avenue  Toronto (TTC Spadina).

Want to know more? search ‘ONTrack’ at for info or email

Upcoming Fall Programs at MDAO

Youth Living Well, a group for youth ages 16-24 affected by a mood disorder and related issues, focuse on relationship issues with family, friends and others. Youth Living Well incorporates facilitated peer support, discussions and group exercises around topics such as stigma, active listening and personal boundaries.
The group will meet the 2nd and 4th Thursday each month from 6 – 8 p.m. at our office in Toronto starting in September.

To attend an upcoming group, RSVP to Daniel or 416-486-8046 ext. 237.

Coping Through the Arts and Peer Support (CAPS) is a program for individuals ages 18-34 who may be struggling with the following experiences:
  • Mood swings
  • Feelings of sadness
  • Irritability
  • Racing thoughts
  • Suspiciousness of others
In this group, you will have a chance to explore creative expression through music, poetry, photography, collaging and painting.
When:  Tuesdays 6:00 to 8:30 p.m.
Date: September 20 – October 18
Where: 36 Eglinton Ave. West, Suite 602
Supporting Families Together is a program for families and loved ones who are providing care and support to a person ages 14-35 who is living with a mood disorder or psychosis. Topics will include:
  • Mood Disorders and Psychosis
  • Coping as a Family and Self-Care
  • Intervention in Psychosis
  • Communication
  • Engaging in Productive Discussions
  • What to do in a Mental Health Crisis
  • Recovery
  • Relapse Prevention
When: Wednesdays 6:00 to 8:00 p.m.
Date: October 5 – November 23
Where: 73 Regent Park Blvd. 3rd Floor (STEPS for Youth Program)
Bianca, Early Intervention Program Coordinator at 416-486-8046 ext.231 or

Janna’s WRAP and Recovery Program for Women- at MDAO

Janna’s WRAP and Recovery Program for Women is an 8-week strength based program built on the core beliefs that women can overcome the challenges of mental illness if they receive specialized support, care, and guidance that meets their unique needs. Janna’s WRAP integrates 5 key concepts of recovery:

  • Self-advocacy
  • Personal responsibility
  • Education
  • Support
  • Hope

Participants will learn how to create their own Wellness Recovery Action Plan and how to use it to work towards their own personal recovery.

The demand for this program is great and space limited. If you are interested in this program, please contact Leslie at416-486-8046 ext. 223 or send an email with your contact info. to and get yourself placed on the upcoming list.



Registration for our ODSP Peer Navigator Support Groups are now open!

Contact us now to register for our ODSP peer support groups. The next series will be starting in December, 2016!

Spots are filling fast so make sure you sign up early. Groups will take place once a month for 5 months. Participants can register for one of the options listed below:

The 2nd Thursday of each month – Beginning on December 15th, 2016, OR

The 2nd Friday of each month – Beginning on December 16th, 2016

Topics of discussion will include: making connections, peer support, wellness practices, tips for navigating the ODSP system and employment. Light refreshments and TTC tokens will be provided.

For more information, or to register, please email or call (416) 487-4355

Please let us know of any accommodations we can provide and we will do our very best to provide them.

All are welcome!

About the program:

The ODSP Peer Navigation Program offers peer support groups and one-on- one support to aid in successfully navigating the Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP) system while we share resources, build social supports, and develop wellness tools. This program is for people applying to get on ODSP or already onODSP and recognizes how overcoming challenges within the ODSP system develops valuable skills that can empower us in our future opportunities.

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