Coming Together to Build Community and Provide Better Service

With the goal of providing the community with more accessible high quality services , the Canadian Mental Health Association  Grey Bruce Grey Bruce(CMHA Grey Bruce) , G & B House and Hope Grey Bruce Mental Health Addiction Services have come together to form a new integrated agency. The three organizations officially joined forces on September 1, 2018 under a newly incorporated agency   The new agency is  “Canadian Mental Health Association Grey Bruce Mental Health and Addiction Services.”  This integration of services will reduce duplication of programming, improve consistency and timely access to care, simplify the navigation of mental health and addiction services, and  equity of access .

The new organization is dedicated to promoting mental health awareness, reducing social stigma surrounding mental illness, and addiction and to improve the lives of those experiencing mental illness and addiction  Under the new agency , all previously offered services will remain in place along with greater community involvement and training opportunities.

Clark MacFarlane has been hired as the CEO of the new agency and brings to the organization 16 years of leadership experience with a focus on Mental Health & Addictions.  (Clark previously worked as the Executive Director of CMHA Cochrane Timiskaming Branch.)   MacFarlane’s dedication to insuring the organization meets our community needs runs deep and he hopes that clients will find it easier to access help and support and ultimately live a more happy and rewarding life.  “It’s important to us that our clients feel that they have a sense of community and a feeling of belonging.  We all need three basic things to sustain our mental health, a home, a job and a friend.  Our organization is committed to doing our part to ensure that individuals living with a mental illness and/or and addiction feel included our community and support them in finding a home, a job and a friend.  We believe that an inclusive community is a strong community.“ says MacFarlane.

Governed by a board of 12 community minded individuals, Canadian Mental Health Association Grey Bruce and Addiction Services is about to launch a strategic planning process through which a variety of community partners will be engaged to determine how best to organize the service resources that are now under one roof to provide the best possible service  to  meet the needs both now and in the future.

With the integration the new organization inherited a wealth of innovative programs such as the Food Forest which not only grows food to sell at the Farmer’s Market, it also provides valuable gardening and agriculture training.  Also, the Fresh Roots Café (due to open early in 2019) will provide hands on training in food services for 30 individuals.  The café is located at their Second Avenue East location will be open to the public and will offer delicious, affordable meals.  They also offer full catering services and that service is available now.  A full professional kitchen is currently being installed and will offer an impressive and fully functional space for those looking to learn the trade.  The goal behind both of these programs is to provide employment skills which will hopefully lead to employment opportunities while at the same time instill self-confidence and pride. Local Owen Sound businesses are encouraged to reach out to the CMHA to learn how they can be involved either by providing employment opportunities for CMHA clients or by supporting the organization and the various programs they offer.

CHMA also operates Community Connections which provides a range of housing supports and provides people with housing and helps them turn it into a home.   A wide range of addiction services are also available for both youth and adults who are dealing with either substance use and/and gambling issues.  The new organization also provides  Mental Health Education and Peer Support programs.  The Peer support program is staffed by individuals who have lived experience with mental illness and are trained in how to utilize their experience to help others live the best life they can If you are in need of help or want to learn more, please contact the Canadian Mental Health Association Grey Bruce Mental Health and Addiction Services at 519-371-3642.  Or visit one of their downtown locations: 1024 Second Avenue East(Union Place, Youth Awareness)  ,1101 Second Avenue East Suite 207 (Addiction Services)  Suite 203 (Administration) 205 (Health Education and Peer Support),  1105 1st Avenue East (Housing Services ), .   You can also visit them online at and on Facebook at @cmhagb.

If you or someone you know is in crisis and needs immediate assistance, please go to the nearest hospital or call the Mental Health Crisis Line at 1-877-470-5200.