Family Matters Newsletter

Family Mental Health Initiative of Simcoe County (FMHI) is please to share with you the first e-newsletter of "Family Matters." Wanting to create user friendly ways of sharing and receiving information, FMHI created a newer version of the newsletter. We hope you like the new look and find this version enjoyable. The e-newsletter will have parts that are linked to pages within FMHI's website. You'll also be able to read an article with ease as you scroll down the e-newsletter. At the bottom,  you will access our social media by clicking on the images and a click on the web address will take you directly to FMHI's website. Some posts may be longer in length and you may read the full post by clicking on "read more" when you see this. Also, some articles may be linked to the website that was sourced, you may click on the title of the article to be linked to website to read the full article. If you are receiving this e-newsletter for the first time, you will see that subscribing is different than in the past when your privately emailed Tara Maxwell, Coordinator of FMHI and requested a PDF of the newsletter and all notices of future family programs and events. You are now able to manage your subscription. Each issue will have the option to unsubscribe or manage your subscription. You are able to remain on Tara Maxwell's email distribution list as there may be information from time to time that requires being circulated before the next issue of the "Family Matters" e-newsletter. If you experience any difficulties with viewing and/or opening any links in the e-newsletter please feel free to share this information with Tara Maxwell at 


Tara Maxwell

Start Talking About Coping & Drugs Project

The Start Talking About Coping & Drugs (STACD) Youth Transition Project is a 3-year (February 2014 – January 2017) initiative that will be implemented across Simcoe County for youth between 12 – 24 years old. The project is funded by Health Canada’s Drug Strategy Community Initiatives Fund and operates out of Canadian Mental Health Association, Simcoe County Branch.

CAMH Launches Mobile App to Help People Reduce or Quit Drinking

A new mobile app developed by the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) offers those who want to reduce or quit drinking alcohol the ability to track and manage their drinking habits.

The new app, called Saying When, is a mobile version of a self-monitoring program pioneered by Dr. Martha Sanchez-Craig while a Senior Scientist at the former Addiction Research Foundation (now CAMH). Previously a paper-based manual, the program is clinically sound and has helped people cut back or quit drinking successfully for over 25 years.

The Saying When app is now available for purchase in the iTunes store.

Fast Facts about Mental Illness

Who is affected?

  • Mental illness indirectly affects all Canadians at some time through a family member, friend or colleague.
  • 20% of Canadians will personally experience a mental illness in their lifetime.
  • Mental illness affects people of all ages, educational and income levels, and cultures.
  • Approximately 8% of adults will experience major depression at some time in their lives.
  • About 1% of Canadians will experience bipolar disorder (or “manic depression”).

How common is it?

  • Schizophrenia affects 1% of the Canadian population.
  • Anxiety disorders affect 5% of the household population, causing mild to severe impairment.
  • Suicide accounts for 24% of all deaths among 15-24 year olds and 16% among 25-44 year olds.
  • Suicide is one of the leading causes of death in both men and women from adolescence to middle age.
  • The mortality rate due to suicide among men is four times the rate among women.

What causes it?

  • A complex interplay of genetic, biological, personality and environmental factors causes mental illnesses.
  • Almost one half (49%) of those who feel they have suffered from depression or anxiety have never gone to see a doctor about this problem.
  • Stigma or discrimination attached to mental illnesses presents a serious barrier, not only to diagnosis and treatment but also to acceptance in the community.
  • Mental illnesses can be treated effectively. 

'Tis a Gift to be Thankful

Practicing gratitude feeds your well-being.

Practicing gratitude also appears to play a role in promoting resilience. A study in the Journal of Research in Personality (April 2013) examined the role of gratitude and “grit” in reducing suicidal thoughts among 209 college students.

Grit was defined as having long-term interests and passions and a willingness to push past setbacks in order to progress toward goals.

Gratefulness helps you to appreciate and seek out the good aspects in life, while grit helps to accept and overcome frustrations.

In other words, an attitude of gratitude can help you stay focused on your goals and not let life drag you down.

One of the most popular and powerful tools for cultivating thankfulness is to keep a gratitude journal.

A similar practice from Robert Emmons, PhD, a leading figure in “happiness research” and author of Thanks!: How Practicing Gratitude Can Make You Happier, is to write regular thank-you notes once or twice a week—whether cards, letters, texts, or emails.

Or you could use visual reminders: Post pictures of loved ones or meaningful experiences in places where you can see them regularly. You could even create a gratitude wall in your home to act as a constant reminder to savor the wonderful people and moments in your life.

A Simcoe County Mental Health Awareness Campaign


If you are interested in receiving one of the kits available, please print and complete the order form and mail or fax to FMHI attention Tara Maxwell fax: 705-719-0908 

Read more.


Are you looking for other organizations and resources? Here is a list of organizations within Simcoe County, Muskoka Region, Ontario and across Canada. If you have questions regarding services from another organization, please contact them directly, thank you. 

Read more.

Crisis Service

The Simcoe County and Muskoka Addiction & Mental Health Crisis Line is for youth and adults. Crisis Services offers individualized support to assist the person in the resolution of the emotional and personal crisis. Telephone, mobile and residential crisis services are available. 705-728-5044 / 1-888-893-8333 

Read more.

Family Mental Health Initiative of Simcoe County

4 Checkley St., Barrie ON L4N 1W1

705-725-0363 / 1-800-324-3252