History of CMHA, Niagara

CMHA St. Catharines Branch had its beginnings in 1966 when a number of volunteers met to see what could be done to assist persons who had spent time in the Hamilton Psychiatric Hospital re-integrate back into the community after their hospital stay.

The CMHA, Niagara South Branch (formerly Welland Branch) received its Charter in November 1975, and had been growing and evolving to meet the mental health needs, initially of the people in the Welland, Port Colborne and area communities.

In 2001, CMHA – St. Catharines and CMHA – Niagara South amalgamated into one organization delivering services across the Niagara Region.  We are recognized as a solid service provider and an effective contributor to the community mental health system.  We have skilled staff and a good partnership of Board, consumers, family members and professional service providers.  Measures have been taken throughout the years to ensure that programs are current and as efficient and effective as possible.

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History of CMHA, Ontario

CMHA Ontario’s stakeholders are the approximately 2.4 million (1 in 5) Ontarians who will experience a mental health problem at some time in their life, along with their families, friends and co-workers.  Their core business is sharing knowledge about mental illness and mental health with the public, with professionals and community leaders, with the media, and with decision-makers in government and business.

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History of CMHA, National

The Canadian Mental Health Association is one of the oldest continuing voluntary health organizations in Canada.

During the Great War, several Canadian doctors recognized the lack of information and facilities in the treatment of mental illness in Canada.  The final push was provided by the need to treat soldiers returning from the Great War suffering from Shell Shock.  The organization’s interests soon branched out into surveying the care and treatment of all mental illness across Canada, recommending improvements to facilities, starting preventative programs and helping recent immigrants.  A beginning was made on public and professional education in mental hygiene and psychiatry.

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