World Suicide Prevention Day highlighting local helping hands

Dozens of resources available in our region alone

Today is Suicide Prevention Day. Over 50 countries mark this day as a means of helping stop suicide and highlight the many resources available to those struggling.

The Canadian Association for Suicide Prevention estimates that each day in Canada, 10 people end their life and 200 make a suicide attempt. Suicide occurs across all age, economic, social, and ethnic boundaries.

The Canadian Mental Health Association says there are ways to show support or intervene. They include taking all threats or attempts seriously, be aware and learn the warning signs of suicide, don’t minimize feelings, and ask if there is anything you can do.

In Simcoe County alone, there are dozens of resources available to residents who need them. Chief among them is the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) Simcoe County office. It offers 24/7 telephone crisis services at (705)728-5044 or 1-888-893-8333. More local resources are detailed below.

The Ontario Government on Thursday announced it is committing an additional $14.75 million to improve access to mental health and addiction services across the province. That includes improving in-person services, culturally safe services for Indigenous communities, and improving online services too.

“We know mental health is just as important physical health,” said Premier Doug Ford. “Even though you may feel alone or helpless, we want you to know that we have your back. If you need someone to talk to, please reach out to some of the amazing mental health and addictions agencies in your local community. They are caring, compassionate, and knowledgeable people who can help.”

Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre offers virtual mental health supports, and has been since the onset of the pandemic. It says the program has proven successful and has the added benefit of removing some obstacles like parking or transportation costs. “It provides patients with the aftercare and support they deserve,” says Brian Irving, manager of Addiction Services. “Patients can now receive the care they require in a convenient way so we’re very grateful for RBC’s donation. It will help us expand access to this important programming now and long into the future.”

The following is a list of services available across the region, provided by the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit:

Crisis

  • Mental Health Crisis Services CMHA
    • Simcoe County 705-728-5044
    • Muskoka and area 1-888-893-8333
      • Services offered:
        – 24 hour crisis line for Simcoe County and Muskoka area
        – Mobile response available in Barrie from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.
        – Crisis response for children and adolescents 16 years and under can be arranged through Crisis Services/youth crisis workers
        – 5 non-medical crisis beds in Barrie for brief stays, available to people 16 years of age or older
        – Follow-up support upon discharge.
  • ConnexOntario www.connexontario.ca
    • Drug and Alcohol Helpline 1-800-565-8603; www.drugandalcoholhelpline.ca 
      – Information and referral to alcohol and drug treatment services in Ontario.
    • Mental Health Helpline 1-866-531-2600; www.mentalhealthhelpline.ca
      – 
      Comprehensive information about mental health services.
    • The Ontario Problem Gambling Helpline 1-888-230-3505; www.opgh.on.ca
      – Information and referral service with interpretation available.
  • About Alcoholics Anonymous www.aacanada.com
    • Find an AA meeting
    • Online options available
  • Barrie AA Intergroup 705-725-8682
    • Meetings for Barrie, Base Bordon, Stroud and Tottenham.
  • Eastern Georgian Bay District 7 Area 86
    • Bracebridge: 705-646-2491
    • Midland: 705-526-3305
    • Orillia: 705-325-6385
      – Meeting for Bala, Beaverton, Bracebridge, Coldwater, Elmvale, Gravenhurst, Midland, Milford Bay, Orillia, Penetanguishene, Port Carling, Port McNichol, Rama Reserve, Victoria Harbour, Washago.
  • AA Huntsville/Parry Sound District 17
    • Huntsville: 705-789-8992
    • Parry Sound: 705-746-2464 

Assessment and Community Treatment

  • Addiction Outreach Muskoka Parry Sound 1-800-668-1856
    • Offices in Bracebridge, Huntsville and Gravenhurst
    • Assessment, community treatment, case management – substance abuse and problem gambling, awareness.
  • Mental Health and Addiction Services of Simcoe County 1-800-263-5060
    • Formerly Simcoe Outreach Services – new name as of December 2010
    • Offices in Barrie, Midland, Orillia, Collingwood and Alliston.
    • Assessment, referral and counseling in Simcoe County regarding alcohol, drugs or gambling.
    • Programs include: gambling, youth, adult, court diversion, methadone, community withdrawal management, significant others and programs for pregnant women/new mothers.

Withdrawl Management

  • Royal Victoria Hospital Community Care Centre, Barrie 705-728-4226
    • Safe and supportive for detoxification.
    • Assessment, referral, motivation

Residential Treatment

  • Simcoe County Muskoka Parry Sound Recover Homes (SCMPS Recovery Homes) Orillia 705-325-3566
    • Long-term program for treatment and rehabilitation.
    • Blended treatment model including bio-psychosocial, cognitive-behavioural and 12-Step. 
    • Three phase program: orientation, intensive, prevention/after-care.
  • Georgianwood Concurrent Disorders Program – Mental Health Centre Penetanguishene 1-877-341-4729
    • 3-month (flexible) residential program for concurrent disorders (substance use disorder and another mental illness).
    • Cognitive-behavioural therapy for depression and anxiety disorders; skills training, psycho-education, relapse prevention skills, self-help, coping skills.
    • Program for concurrent post-traumatic stress disorder, yoga, spirituality, stress management, employment group and problem gambling.

Counselling and Case Management

  • Concurrent Disorders Program: Muskoka Parry Sound Community Mental Health & Addiction Outreach 1-800-668-1856
    • Treatments: bio-psychosocial, therapeutic community milieu therapy, stages of change, harm reduction, multidisciplinary, motivational, and cognitive/behavioural.
    • Counseling and education sessions for those affected by someone else’s substance abuse.
  • CONNECT Counselling Services – Canadian Hearing Society 705-737-4911 or TTY 705-737-3190
    • Offices in Barrie and Bracebridge
    • Mental health, wellness and addiction services for the deaf, hard-of-hearing and families.
    • Support, education, advocacy and counseling.
    • Assessment, treatment and referral.

Inpatient Treatment

  • Mental Health Centre, Penetanguishene (MHCP) 705-549-3181
    • Inpatient admission and assessment.
    • Acute care and long term care for people with serious mental illness. 
    • Including geriatric, dually diagnosed, concurrent disorder, forensic services and long term complex rehabilitation services.
  • Orillia Soldiers’ Memorial Hospital – Mental Health & Addiction Program 705-325-2201 ext. 6337
    • In-patient treatment for acutely mentally ill adults.
    • Multi-disciplinary team.
    • Pharmacotherapy, group therapy and individualized daily assessments.
    • Available to residents of Muskoka and the North East portion of Simcoe County.  

Aboriginal Services

  • Georgian Bay Native Friendship Centre Midland 705-526-5589
    • Intake, assessment, community treatment of alcohol/other drug issues for urban and transient Native people of the Georgian Bay region.
  • Chippewas of Rama Addictions Program , Rama 705-325-3611 ext. 1423
    • Gga wiidookaadmin (let’s all help each other) incorporates the circle model.
    • All decisions are made by consensus.
    • All views are valued and all ideas are respected. 
    • Talking Circle model for healing and growth.
  • Enaahtig Healing Lodge & Learning Centre 705-534-3724
    • Residential and non-residential traditional healing programs integrated with contemporary skills and practices. 
    • Screening and assessment, care planning, counseling, case management, family consultation for families affected by mental health challenges and concurrent disorders.
  • B’saanibamaadsiwin – Muskoka Parry Sound Community Mental Health Service 705-746-2512
    • Culturally relevant and community-specific mental health services to the First Nations communities of Parry Sound and Muskoka.
    • Assessment and referral, crisis counseling, community development and consultation.  

Resources for Family and Friends

  • Family Mental Health Initiative of Simcoe County 705-725-0363 or 1-800-324-3252
    • www.fmhi.ca
    • Fax: 705-725-5496;
    • 151 Essa Road, Suite 202, Barrie, ON L4N 3L2
  • 211
    • Can be accessed by phone and website .
    • Often individuals experiencing addictions have multiple needs. 
    • Visit 211 to access local information regarding community, social, health and government services.
    • Free, anonymous and confidential. Service is multilingual.