From November 25 – Dec 1, CMHA Thunder Bay will join with the Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse (CCSA) and addiction prevention, treatment and recovery organizations across the country to mark National Addictions Awareness Week (NAAW).
CMHA Thunder Bay offers GAPPS services to clients in the community who are not connected to traditional services, are homeless and have serious mental health and addictions issues.
Eligibility: 16 and overThe GAPPS Program is a partnership between Canadian Mental Health Association, Thunder Bay Branch (CMHA), St. Joseph’s Care Group (SJCG) and the NorWest Community Health Centres, Thunder Bay Site.
The services of GAPPS reach out and engage with a population of vulnerable persons with serious, unstable, complex mental illness, addiction, and social issues. Clients of GAPPS often have difficulty engaging with traditional services and may not access services in times of need. A multidisciplinary team workers reach out and connect with these individuals to help them navigate mental health and addiction services, connect or reconnect them to community resources and work with them to improve their overall health and well-being.
CMHA Thunder Bay also offers Crisis Response Services with mobile crisis response, crisis support residence, and 24/7 telephone services to both youth and adults who are experiencing a mental health crisis.
Eligibility: All Ages
Thunder Bay: 807-346-8282
District / Toll-Free: 1-888-269-3100
We have all experienced a crisis at one point in our life. Something happens or a chain of events occur that exceeds our capacity to cope. We may have reached out to our families and friends to get support, gotten through it, and moved forward; or, we may have found ourselves alone and unable to cope.
Some situations affecting an individual that could trigger a crisis are:
- the onset or recurrence of symptoms related to a mental illness;
- difficulties with the use of alcohol, drugs or other substances;
- challenges in your relationships with others;
- a significant life change or traumatic event;
- feeling alone and isolated;
- loss of housing;
- the loss of a loved one and associated grief;
- racing thoughts that just won’t stop;
- suicidal ideas and thoughts or the development of a concrete plan to end your life.
This years’ theme for National Addictions Awareness Week is Stigma Ends with Me, highlighting how individuals can take steps to end the stigma associated with substance use and addiction and its impact on the well-being of people touched by this health issue.
To help, CMHA is sharing three steps every person can take to address stigma:
1) Use person-first language which focuses on the individual, not on the substance use. Language used is an important factor in reducing stigma and breaking down negative stereotypes associated with substance use disorders. By using non-stigmatizing language, those who are experiencing challenges may experience fewer barriers to accessing supports. CMHA Ontario has developed a one page primer on talking about substance use to help.
2) Share your experience. Research shows that when individuals hear positive personal stories of hope and recovery, it breaks down barriers about mental health problems and mental illnesses and can change attitudes and behaviours. If you are comfortable, sharing your story of substance use and the challenges of recovery can help educate others and overcome stigma.
3) Take time to self-reflect. Our life experiences and societal influences form our sense of identity and how we think about other identities. Self-reflection is the process of deliberately paying attention to our experiences and behaviours, understanding how our meanings of the world are formed, and noticing the role these play in decision-making. Experiencing this process of reflection and learning one’s own biases, privilege, and roles, can be a challenging practice, and create feelings of stress and discomfort; but it is crucial in reducing stigma towards oneself and others.
NAAW is an opportunity for Canadians to learn more about substance misuse, prevention, and treatment. In Canada, it is estimated that approximately 21 per cent of the population (roughly six million people) will meet the criteria for addiction in their