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Laughing Like Crazy – Orillia

Come laugh your head off in Orillia this weekend as our Laughing Like Crazy Comedy Showcase makes a stop at Rotary Place (West Orillia Sports Complex). Our LLC graduates will be performing comedy routines based on their experiences with the mental health system.

When: Saturday September 17, 2016 from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m.
Where: 100 University Avenue Orillia, ON
For more information, contact Chris at 416-459-9495 or email

News regarding our government’s initiative to consult Canadians about our electoral reform efforts

The Minister of Democratic Institutions, the Honourable Maryam Monsef, will be hosting an electoral reform event in Toronto on Wednesday September 14th from 1:30 – 3:00 PM at the University of Toronto (St. George campus), 15 King’s College Circle, University College Building (East Hall on 2nd Floor).  This open community dialogue event is intended to raise awareness of electoral reform, and provide an opportunity for Canadians to share their views on this important issue. No pre-registration is required and all are welcome, though please note that seating will be provided on a first-come, first-served basis.  Please also see the attached poster.


Arif Virani,will also be hosting a Town Hall in Parkdale-High Park on October 11th (details to be announced soon) in support of the Minister’s country wide consultation meetings and the work of the Special Committee on Electoral Reform that has been holding meetings this summer.  To read the most recent report of the Special Committee, released on September 7, 2016, please visit:

In September and October, the Committee will also travel across Canada to hold formal hearings and sessions open to the public where Canadians may share with the Committee their views on electoral system reform, online voting and mandatory voting.  I would encourage you to participate in those meetings to ensure your views are also made directly to committee members.  To find out how you can participate in these meetings or to submit your views directly to the committee online, please visit:

The 519’s Queer and Trans Youth Arts Programs

The 519 is collaborating with community-based artists to offer arts-based programs to queer, trans, questioning and gender diverse young people and allies, including young people with queer and trans families.  The goal is to offer a variety of vibrant, youth positive spaces and arts-based opportunities that are safe, fun and affirming – and also free and accessible to the communities.   Get your glitter out! To register, for more information or to access the most up to date information visit:


Youth Improv, October 29-December 3; Six Saturdays from 10 am to noon
(11-15 year olds);


Healing Art of Astrology, September 17-October 22; Six Saturdays from 10 am to noon
 (12-15 year olds):


Queering Mythologies Zine Making, September 20-November 1; Six Tuesdays from 5:30-7:30 pm
(11-15 year olds):


Making Fear Your Friend, September 24, One Saturday 1:00 pm -5:00 pm
 (12-15 year olds):


Scarves and Storytelling, October 15, One Saturday 10 am-3 pm
 (12-15 year olds):


Move + Make Art, November 19, One Saturday from 1:00 pm – 5:00 pm.
 (12-15 year olds):


WRAP stands for Wellness Recovery Action Plan. The WRAP program involves an educational and planning process that is grounded in mental health recovery concepts such as hope, education, empowerment, self-advocacy, and interpersonal support and connection.

Within a group setting, individuals explore self-help tools (eg. peer counseling, focusing exercises, relaxation & stress reduction techniques) and resources for keeping themselves well and for helping themselves feel better in difficult times. WRAP helps you to discover your own simple and safe wellness tools and helps you identify when you need to use them. Anyone can use WRAP to get well, stay well and make their life the way they want it to be.

More information here:

There are currently 3 opportunities to connect with Gerstein and their amazing community to make your wellness and recovery a priority through these WRAP related workshops that are coming up:


  • WRAP Through Fitness

WRAP Through Fitness at the Gerstein Crisis Centre involves a fitness session at the YMCA followed by the traditional WRAP session afterward. Past participants say that the fitness component was highly beneficial and added to their overall experience of WRAP.

WRAP Through Fitness will run every Friday from September 23rd to November 11th.
Register online for the Information Session that will take place on Friday September 16, 12 -1:30 pm at The Central YMCA, 20 Grovsnor Street


  • WRAP for Newcomer Syrian Women

Are you a Syrian or Arabic speaking woman who has recently arrived in Canada? We are offering a free group to help you respond to the many changes you may be facing. This group will run from Sept 26 – Nov 14 and will help you:

– Manage your stress and responses to change
– Connect with women in similar situations
– Share ideas and re-establish a positive identity

Register online for the Information Session on Monday, September 19, 10am-12pm at Gerstein Crisis Centre (100 Charles Street East)


  • WRAP Power of Attorney Workshop

Have you taken WRAP before? Do you need someone to make decisions for you when you are not able to do so for yourself, but also want decision making power when your condition improves?
This is a free service for those who qualify financially as per Legal Aid Ontario’s eligibility guidelines. An information session on Powers of Attorneys and how a WRAP Plan can be used to help create a Power of Attorney that responds to your specific needs.
Register online for the Workshop, on Wednesday, September 28, 1-3pm at the Gerstein Crisis Centre (100 Charles Street East)

Gaining Ground: Women and Harm Reduction

This is a free two-day workshop for health and social service providers in Toronto, designed and lead by community partners, with the support of Toronto Public Health. We apply a social justice framework to explore the impact of systemic oppression and policies on the sexual health and overall well-being of women who use drugs. In this workshop speakers share first hand insight on critical topics: why women use drugs; exploring HIV, STI’s and pregnancy; working with mothers who use drugs; trauma and substance use; programming for sex workers; legislation around sex work; what it means to include the voice of lived experience in this work and more.

Participants will take away:

  • An understanding of the some of the unique issues affecting women who use substances and the importance of   strength based programming.
  • Practical tips, tools and strategies for working from a harm reduction perspective.
  • An opportunity to reflect on your practice and to connect to service providers across sectors.

Notes: Please let us know at registration if you require accommodation. We are unable to provide lunch. Bring a USB key if you want copies of the power points

Contact: Phone: 416-338-7600 Email:
When: September 21 & 22 from 9:30 – 4:30 pm
Where: 519 Community Centre, at 519 Church St


News Release – Free Legal Advice for Survivors of Sexual Assault

Ontario Launches Pilot Program in Toronto, Ottawa and Thunder Bay

Ministry of the Attorney General


Ontario is piloting a new program that will give survivors of sexual assault access to free legal advice, regardless of how much time has passed since the incident.

Starting today, survivors of sexual assault living in the City of Toronto, the City of Ottawa, and the District of Thunder Bay will be able to receive up to four hours of free, confidential advice from a lawyer. The legal advice may be provided over the phone or in person.

Eligible female and male survivors can access the program by filling out and submitting a voucher request form, available at

Women living in the City of Toronto also have the option to access the program directly through the Barbra Schlifer Commemorative Clinic

Helping ensure survivors of sexual assault are informed and supported is part of It’s Never Okay – Ontario’s Action Plan to Stop Sexual Violence and Harassment. The plan is helping change attitudes, improve supports for survivors and make workplaces and campuses safer and more responsive to complaints about sexual violence and harassment.

Quick Facts

  • The pilot is expected to run until March 2018. During that time, the province will assess the effectiveness of the program and determine its next steps.
  • Services provided under the program are available to both women and men who are at least 16 years of age and the assault must have occurred in Ontario.
  • Through the program, eligible survivors can choose from a roster of lawyers to provide legal advice. Although these lawyers will not provide legal representation (e.g. speak for the client in court), they may advise a client to speak to a lawyer who can represent them.
  • Survivors of sexual assault in any of the pilot sites can get information about the program in multiple languages through the toll-free, 24/7
  • phone line: 1-855-226-3904.
  • One in three women and one in six men experience some form of sexual assault in their lives.

Additional Resources



“Sexual assault survivors need to know they have choices and they have power. Providing them with information on support services that are available is only one piece. Offering them free legal advice is key to helping them make decisions about what is best for them as they move forward.”

Yasir Naqvi

Attorney General


“We know that navigating the justice system can be difficult for survivors of sexual assault. Providing free legal advice helps them know their rights and provides critical support in their pursuit of justice.”

Tracy MacCharles

Minister Responsible for Women’s Issues


“Ontario’s pilot program to provide independent legal advice to sexual assault survivors is an important and groundbreaking step in bolstering the justice system’s response to these crimes. As part of the government’s overall commitment to stop sexual violence and harassment, this pilot is key, and the Schlifer Clinic is honoured to be a part of it.”

Amanda Dale

Executive Director, Barbra Schlifer Commemorative Clinic

Call for applications to participate in a training for mental health and addiction service user educators

People with lived experience of mental health and/or substance use challenges are invited to participate in a novel training to develop skills as service user educators.

The training will prepare service users to work collaboratively as educators in the context of mental health and addiction professional training, with the ultimate goal of preparing service providers to better meet the needs of service users.

By participating in this series of four half-day workshops, participants will develop their ability to:

  1. effectively facilitate learning of health professionals
  2. create and sustain a service user educator practice
  3. advance the co-production of mental health and addiction professional education.


We seek individuals with lived experience of mental health and/or addiction challenges who wish to make a positive impact on the future of mental health and addiction services in Ontario. Experience using psychiatric and/or addiction services is essential. You must have excellent oral communication skills and be able to engage learners in an open, genuine and collaborative learning process. Experience as a service user educator, peer or advocate is a strong asset.

We are committed to recruiting a diverse group of individuals who represent the service user community in Toronto. Individuals from marginalized and minority groups are strongly encouraged to apply.

It is our intention that participants who successfully complete the training will be matched with a training program that collaborates with service user educators.

Successful applicants will receive a cash honorarium for participating in the training.

To find out more, please join us for a meeting on September 14 from 1:00–3:00 p.m. at the Parliament Street branch of the Toronto Public Library. You can also contact Tucker Gordon at 416 535-8501 ext. 36761 or



Houselink “A to Z in finding Work” workshops- Start Sept 6, 2016

Houselink’s Road to Employment: “A – Z in finding Work”

Where: Lillian H Smith Library – 239 College St ( 1 ½ Blocks East of Spadina)

When: Tuesdays Sept 6, 13, 20, 27 & Oct 4, 1pm to 3pm

  • A – Z in finding Work                       – Sept 6
  • What do you need to be Ready?   – Sept 13
  • Where are the Jobs?                        – Sept 20
  • Tor. Employment & Social Services – Sept 27
  • Want to earn while you Train?        – Oct 4


To know more,  please click here: Houselink A to Z in finding Work @Lillian H. Smith Library Tuesdays 1-3pm Start Sept 6, 2016

Email: or  Call: (416) 516-1422 Ext. 268


Fall Groups at Stella’s Place

We are gearing up for some great new programming and groups at Stella’s Place starting in September. See attached posters for more details and contact information for registration, and feel free to share this information with others who might be interested!

Write it Out!

Fridays 1:00pm-3:00pm, Sept 9 – Nov 4

We invite you to join a new 8 week group that explores writing as a way of coping. Drawing on Narrative Therapy practices, this group will explore difficult experiences, feelings, and thoughts in a safe and supportive environment. All writing styles and abilities are welcome.

Contact Carol Krause, Peer Supporter <> for registration.

Write it Out poster

CBTI – Go to Sleep

Wednesday 1:00pm-3:00pm Sept 7 – Oct 12

Stella’s Place is offering a 6 week Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy group for young adults experiencing Insomnia. We will learn about insomnia, how it manifests, and our body’s natural processes and rhythms in order to better understand how to combat the patterns associated with insomnia. Tools, techniques, and home practice each week will be used to help you get a better night’s sleep.

Contact Carlos Wilson, Mental Health Clinician <> for registration.

Go to Sleep! Poster

Paid Training & Job Placements for Youth

The Employment & Training Centre at St. Stephen’s Community House is recruiting 15 youth for their OPPORTUNITY KNOCKS program!

The program consists of PAID pre-employment training and a job placement in the food industry. They also acquire their food handler, health and safety, and smart serve certificates. Upon successful completion of the placement, youth receive a financial bonus.

  • Experiencing barriers to employment
  • 18-30 years old
  • Out of school and out of work
  • Eligible to work in Canada

To register or for more information contact: Beth at 416.925.2103 ext. 4223/ or Katie at 416.925.2103 ext. 4303/

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