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Increased mental health, addictions peer support coming to Elmira


Increased mental health and addictions support is coming to Elmira. The Canadian Mental Health Association Waterloo Wellington’s Self Help Services, in partnership with Woolwich Community Services, are introducing three new peer support groups – some which will meet weekly, and others which will meet every second week. The peer support groups will cover depression and anxiety, addictions, and supporting a family member living with mental health or addictions issues.

“Peer support groups allow people with similar lived experiences of mental health or addiction issues a space to come together, share coping skills and strategies, and support one-another in recovery,” says Keely Phillips, Manager of Self Help Services at CMHA WW. “Evidence tells us that when people access peer support, they feel less alone and more empowered on their mental health or addictions recovery journeys.”

The groups will meet at Woolwich Community Services, located at 5 Memorial Ave. in Elmira.

“Elmira is a growing community, and it’s important to make sure its residents have access to support services right in their community. Self Help groups are a part of that,” adds Meghan Pirie, Site Facilitator with Self Help Services.

“Having these groups run in Elmira allows easier access for those who would use public transportation to attend the same groups in the Kitchener-Waterloo area. Many K-W groups can run in the evenings, and local public transportation does not run late enough,” says Tina Reed, Coordinator of Community Support at Woolwich Community Services. “We are excited to be able host these groups at Woolwich Community Services.”

About the groups:

Depression & Anxiety Group (meets weekly on Tuesday evenings, 7-8:30pm, starting November 14th)
Facilitated by peers, the Depression & Anxiety Group is for people who have experienced depression and/or anxiety. Participants share experiences, information, and provide mutual support to promote and maintain optimal health.

Addictions Group (meets every second Wednesday evening, 7-8:30pm, starting November 15th)
The Addictions Group is for people struggling to break the cycle of addiction and/or those who have a difficult time recognizing triggers. The group involves peer-led discussions on how to create safe and healthy changes – not a 12-Step program. Suitable for all addictions. Educational materials provided.

Supporting the Supporter Group (meets every second Wednesday evening, 7-8:30pm, starting November 22nd)
This group is for people who are supporting a family member or friend living with mental health or addiction issues. Peer-led discussions about mental health issues, how best to be supportive while considering personal boundaries, community resources, and self-care. Educational materials provided.

About the Canadian Mental Health Association Waterloo Wellington:
CMHA WW is Canada’s largest CMHA chapter and provides a full care system for those with addictions, mental health or developmental needs. CMHA WW serves everyone from children to adults to seniors, all under one roof. It is also the lead partner in Here 24/7, the single access point to the entire mental health, addictions and crisis sector in Waterloo Region and Wellington County.

About Woolwich Community Services:
Woolwich Community Services is a social service agency providing opportunities and resources for Individuals and Families, Children and Youth, and for all residents of Woolwich and North Wellesley. Our eight core programs are Community Information & Support, Christmas Goodwill, Food Bank, Family Violence Prevention Program, Low German Family Support, Youth Centre, Kids & I, and Employment Services. Our vision: Together Making a Difference.

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