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

2019-08-09

There’s no denying that so far it has been one scorcher of a summer. Every day seems hotter than the last and that humidity is enough to make a stone sweat!

Luckily for you, each branch of the Niagara Falls Public Library comes equipped with air conditioning and a number of fabulous cookbooks you can borrow to whip up some wonderful frozen desserts that will help you chill out.

2019-07-15

As we enjoy the summer weather, thoughts of cooling off may sometimes cross our minds. Some of us may have fond memories of a few local swimming spots that were once used to beat the summer heat. For more than 35 years, thousands of children and adults made the Cyanamid swimming pool their summer destination of choice.

2019-07-08

At the Library, we truly appreciate the outpouring of support for the Interlibrary Loan Service (ILLO) at the Niagara Falls Public Library (NFPL) after the elimination of the ILLO Delivery Service.  We understand the meaningful impact the service has had on many of our customers. As we know how things change in the world, so it does in the Library world.

2019-07-02

Summer has arrived, and the Niagara Falls Public Library is busy with something for everyone! Be sure to pick up our Summer Library Magazine to learn about all the exciting programs and events happening this summer.  

2019-06-24

June is Pride month and Indigenous month. These topics can be difficult to tackle with children. However, they are also empowering and necessary issues for young minds.

Here at the Niagara Falls Public Library, we have a number of incredible books aimed at younger children that will teach them all about a variety of LGBTQ+ issues and about national Indigenous issues.

2019-06-19

School’s almost out, which means summer reading is almost here.  The Niagara Falls Public Library is once again very excited to participate in the TD Summer Reading Club, Canada’s biggest bilingual summer reading program.  Kids of all ages, interests and abilities can read books, earn prizes and have fun, keeping their reading skills sharp so they’ll be ready when September rolls around.

2019-06-11

Throughout the years, Niagara Falls has certainly seen more than its fair share of Royal visitors. On June 7th of this week, it is the 80th anniversary of one such visit. It also was the first visit ever by a reigning British monarch to Canada.

2019-06-11

When you work in a library, you use library jargon. However, sometimes you forget not all customers know what the “catalogue” is used for. Most recently, with the news about the elimination of the Southern Ontario Library Service’s Interlibrary Loan 

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