Ressources de santé mentale
Autism Ontario and Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) Ontario Division are working together alongside their community partners, the York ASD Partnership, SAAAC Autism Centre, and MacART, to provide opportunities for autistic adults and their families in Ontario to gain knowledge, skills, and resources in mental health through an initiative called Mental Health Matters. Mental Health Matters is a mental health promotion program which will offer the CMHA flagship program Living Life to the Full to support these distinct groups.
Living Life To The Full is a 12-hour, eight-week mental health promotion program offering free opportunities for Ontario adults on the spectrum and caregivers of individuals on the spectrum to learn wellness and coping skills using the tenets of cognitive behavioural therapy. Participants are taught how to deal with their feelings when fed up, worried, or hopeless, and learn skills that help them tackle life’s problems.
Activities within the Mental Health Matters project involve local autism and mental health community partner collaboration to create a facilitator adaptation for the existing Living Life to the Full course for both adults living on the spectrum and their caregivers, as well as a new language adaptation in Tamil. As part of this project, the Living Life to the Full course will be offered in English, French, and Tamil.
The refresher courses offered six months after participants complete Living Life to the Full programs provide a great opportunity to build a community of practice. Many of the caregivers, family members, and adults on the spectrum may benefit from this follow-up refresher opportunity, as they can practice their skills and meet up with like-minded people.
The joys and responsibilities of parenting an autistic child often come with a high degree of stress. Caregivers of autistic individuals generally experience high levels of stress, anxiety, and depression when compared to families of neurotypical children and children with other disabilities.
What is the CARES Caregiver Support Program?
The CARES Caregiver Support Program is an innovative, multi-week, group-based program focusing on the social, emotional, and psychological challenges that can arise among caregivers of autistic children.
The CARES program provides a safe space for caregivers to share their experiences and develop a sense of shared identity. This program is focused specifically on caregivers, not on their child’s behaviour or unique journeys, and has been developed by our partners at the South Asian Autism Awareness Centre (SAAAC).
This program offers eight weeks of connection with other caregivers where you will discuss topics such as:
- Let’s Talk About Stress
- Helpful Thinking
- Rewriting Our Story
- Problem Solving