Connecting with local mental health, wellness resources

There's a lot more to modern public libraries than books and technology. Our motto at Niagara Falls Public Library is, "We power community!" Which is why we're always working to identify community needs that we can find a way to help address.

A big one is the need for access to mental health and wellness resources and services in Niagara. According to the Canadian Mental Health Association, one in five Canadians will experience a mental health issue in any given year, with 50 per cent of the population having experienced one by age 40. Even if you're not directly affected, chances are someone you know someone who is.

The good news is that there are a number of different services available for people experiencing mental health issues.

These include CMHA, Distress Centre Niagara, Pathstone Mental Health, Family Mental Health Support Network of Niagara, COAST (Crisis Outreach and Support Team Niagara), CASON (Community Addiction Services Niagara), Niagara Region Mental Health, Quest Community Health Centre, Niagara Falls Community Health Centre and others I've probably missed.

In December, Niagara Falls NDP MPP Wayne Gates pushed for and got more funding from Queen's Park for mental health services, which will hopefully mean easier, wider access for Niagarans who need them.

So where does the library fit into all of this? One of our goals is to serve as the connective tissue of the community, putting people in touch with resources and services they may not be aware of or know how to access. To start, ask a librarian and they should be able to help you find contact information for any of the mental health organizations listed above.

For people who are not in crisis but struggle with mental issues, Niagara Falls Public Library is starting an ongoing series of free programs that offer an opportunity to hear from and speak with mental health professionals from our community.

On Saturday at our community centre library, psychologist Dr. Jen Rouse of CBT Niagara will offer a session on self-care, sharing tips on checking in with yourself, creating balance and identifying strategies to help you feel your best.

Family Mental Health Support Network Facilitator Darcy Patrick already visited us on Feb. 9, sharing tips on how to change negative thinking from his book "Creative Writing for the Mind, Body and Soul," but he'll be back for a full course on writing as a therapeutic tool Tuesdays, April 23 and 30 and May 7 and 14 at 6 p.m. at our Victoria Avenue branch, so visit or call to register today.

Mental health issues are out in the open and being talked about in a way they never have been before. Drop by your public library and join the conversation.

Greg Janssen is a community development and programming librarian with Niagara Falls Public Library.

Library Notes

2019-05-21

Niagara Falls Public Library launched its Seed to Seed collection May 17.

If you come to any of the library's four locations across Niagara Falls you can "borrow" up to three packages of seeds.

After you've planted the seeds and harvested your vegetables, you can set aside some seeds to give back to the library so another person can enjoy the collection.

2019-05-13

Mental Health Week invites us to be mindful with meditation at Niagara Falls library.

In our ongoing effort to meet community needs wherever we can, Niagara Falls Public Library has been running a series of mental health and wellness programs at our four branches throughout 2019.

2019-05-08

Have you ever been curious about what it would be like to grow your own vegetables? Have you ever thought about teaching your children or grandchildren where their food comes from?

Or, like me, have you ever been known for having a black or a brown thumb?

2019-04-25

On Thursday, April 25th the Niagara Falls Public Library will be unveiling its new board game collection. Board Games are a great way to reduce screen time, to interact face-to-face with family and friends, and to challenge yourself in new and interesting ways.

2019-04-25

Calling all Book Lovers! Please join us for our annual Book Lover’s Luncheon. Enjoy a delicious lunch catered by Tastebuds Cafe and Eatery and meet special guest, Cea Sunrise Person author of North of Normal and its sequel Nearly Normal.

2019-04-12

Since the mid-20th century, human beings have wrought unprecedented changes to the Earth, bringing us into a new epoch of geologic time: the Anthropocene.

2019-03-31

You’re invited to help us at the Library. On April 1, 2019 we are embarking on a year-long project called Bridge to understand how libraries use technology.

2019-03-26

When we think about sports excellence in the City of Niagara Falls, we can include both team sports and individual activities. Although it may not be the first sport that pops into to your mind, one such sport has a long history in the City of Niagara Falls!

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