Summary: About Us
The Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA), founded in 1918, is one of the oldest voluntary organizations in Canada. Each year, it provides direct service to more than 100,000 Canadians through the combined efforts of more than 10,000 volunteers and staff across Canada in over 135 communities.
About our branch
This CMHA Simon Fraser branch strives to promote mentally healthy people in a healthy society.
Established in 1958, the Simon Fraser Branch is an autonomous branch of the Canadian Mental Health Association, serving the Fraser North region which includes New Westminster (NW), Port Moody, Port Coquitlam, Coquitlam, Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows (a region of 543,461 people). We are dedicated to providing essential social services and assistance to persons with mental health challenges.
Our branch has grown substantially over the last 20 years. Our primary focus has been running housing services, one of the basic needs to assist a person towards recovery.
We provide a continuum of housing services for those who need assistance at different stages of their mental health or addictions diagnosis. We run an outreach program that provides advocacy and housing support to some of the most vulnerable people with mental health challenges in the community. We maintain four staffed houses and one apartment, providing transition services to those who are recovering, but are not yet ready to transition to independent living.
For those with the capabilities to live independently, we manage the housing, provide housing subsidises and independent living support for community integration of youth, adults or families. For those who already have housing, we have a program that assists clients in acquiring the necessary skills (e.g., budgeting, shopping, working assistance) to live independently in the community.
Education, Workplace Training and Mental Health Coaching
The CMHA-SF hosts a series of educational programs which promote mental wellness in the workplace, at home and in the community, including Mental Health First Aid and Bounce Back coaching for people with depression and anxiety. In addition, our Thrift store provides an opportunity for clients who are interested in gaining work experience to volunteer, with the training we provide. We have a registered counsellor to assist these volunteers in integrating into a work environment.
Continuum of Care
To improve the quality of life for those experiencing mental illness in the region, we provide a continuum of care involving housing support, coaching (direct care) and education. We focus on helping clients find, develop and use their resilience and strengths (strength based model of helping). For example, we help clients build coping skills and self-esteem/confidence. We also strive to enhance protective external factors by creating access to services, supportive relationships and creating opportunities for belonging. Using a strength-based model we provide a continuum of care, meaning we provide the different services and support needed during an individual’s path to recovery. Almost all of our services are focused towards assisting clients towards recovery and eventual independence from government supports and services.