Ottawa – Today, Mayor Jim Watson, Councillor Shad Qadri, Chair of the Ottawa Board of Health, Dr. Isra Levy, Medical Officer of Health, together with the Canadian Mental Health Association, the Canadian Public Health Association, Military Family Services, and the Mental Illness Caregivers Association (MICA) released The Mental Health Caregiver Guide.
The Guide is an important new national resource to support caregivers of people of all ages who are living with mental illness, or experiencing mental health challenges. The Guide is accompanied by a comprehensive Resource Guide: Ottawa Area, profiling social service resources located in the Champlain Local Health Integration Network (LHIN) for both caregivers and those living with mental illness.
The release of the Guide coincides with Mental Health Week May 2 to 8, an annual health promotion week which presents an opportunity to recognize the strong commitment and appreciation for caregivers and those they care for.
“The Guide presents an innovative way to provide caregivers with helpful tips, tools, and information about the things that you can do to complement a treatment plan or promote recovery,” said Mayor Jim Watson. “With over half a million Canadians acting as caregivers to people living with mental health problems or illnesses, it’s clear that a resource like this would benefit caregivers not only in Ottawa, but across the country.”
“Caregivers play a vital role in recovery from mental illness and addictions and I am pleased that we are working directly with caregivers and our partners to take support and information for caregivers to the next level,” said Councillor Shad Qadri, Chair of the Ottawa Board of Health. “The guide will support caregivers in how to care for themselves as well as the individual.”
“The development of this resource to support caregivers can directly benefit all families living with a mental illness or injury, including military families,” says Lieutenant-Colonel Jeanette Bishop, Acting Director of Military Family Services. “We thank the City of Ottawa for making a concentrated effort to ensure that programs and services specific to military families have been included in their comprehensive mental health resource guide for the citizens of Ottawa. This is one more resource to ensure that military families are aware of the mental health resources available to them.”
“MICA is proud to be a part of this important initiative; enhancing resources for caregivers across the region and country is a step in the right direction to support families and caregivers of individuals living with a mental illness,” said Paul McIntyre, President of the Mental Illness Caregivers Association of Canada.
The information contained in the guide is evidence-informed by trusted mental health providers including nurses, psychologists, psychiatrists, social workers, caregivers, and individuals with lived and living experience.