News & Announcements
Celebrating the Unified Future for Carizon, KW Counselling, and Monica Place
It was unanimous! All three Boards of Directors from Carizon, KW Counselling, and Monica Place came together in December and agreed to formally become one agency. This is after many months of working together at all levels of our organizations, and significant amounts of engagement with our volunteers, community partners and donors. We are so grateful to everyone for the participation and effort that was dedicated to this meaningful work.
As we look ahead to the future, we are inspired to serve our community better than ever before. Together, we will create a system that brings greater impact to the growing mental health and wellbeing needs of individuals, families, and communities in Waterloo Region. We are excited for what our unified organization will achieve. We hope to increase capacity to serve more effectively and become more sustainable, while strengthening and expanding programs and services.
Unification will be effective on April 1, 2023, and the new agency will be led by Carizon’s current CEO, Tracy Elop. Rebecca Webb, the current Executive Director of KW Counselling, will be the Director of Organizational Effectiveness. We are delighted to have Tracy and Rebecca continue to lead our team as a stronger, unified organization. Jennifer Breaton, the former Executive Director of Monica Place, left earlier in 2022 to lead the YW of KW as its new CEO. Jennifer played a vital role in our unification exploration, and we look forward to collaborating with her and her team at the YW of KW.
The people we serve are always our priority and at this time nothing changes for our community and participants – all of our collective services remain the same. The journey that lies ahead is exciting. Join us as we celebrate this incredible milestone.
Mental Health Supports
It’s that time of year again! If the holidays seem overwhelming, you’re not alone. According to the Canadian Mental Health Association (cmha), 52% of Canadians report feelings of anxiety, depression, and isolation during the holiday season. Here are some tips to help get through the holidays.
Have realistic expectations. Sometimes we compare ourselves to an ideal we have in our heads, or what we see on others’ social media. That’s a lot to live up to. What do you love about the holidays? Try and focus on something smaller rather than the big picture having to be perfect.
Set boundaries. Are certain topics off the table? You’re allowed to say, “I’m not comfortable talking about that.” Does your family want you to stay for a few days? It’s ok to say, “I’ll be there for dinner, but I’ll be heading home before bedtime.” It’s ok to take a break if things feel overwhelming.
Letting go of gifting guilt. Showing you care or love someone can be done many ways. Buying things does not have to be one of them. Maybe a gift exchange where everyone buys one gift makes more sense than getting something for everyone. Regifting or rehoming something you already have can be a wonderfully thoughtful gesture.
Food is morally neutral. There is no “good food” and “bad food”. Food is more than just nourishment; food is a powerful mental and emotional health tool! Think about your favourite food as a kid, or a recipe you learned from loved ones. Food can be traditional, culture, connection, and community. When we deny ourselves foods, we can also be denying ourselves these things as well.
You don’t have to ‘do it all’! Delegate. Make it a group effort. Have the holidays always been at your place and you’re kind of dreading it this year? It’s ok to ask that it be at someone else’s place. You are allowed to ask for what you need.
Remember how far you’ve come. Sometimes returning to our family of origin or childhood home can be a reminder of a not-so-great time or patterns that we’ve worked to change. You get to choose what works for you now. You can say, “I’m not having this kind of conversation with you” or “I’m not doing this with you anymore.”
You can make new traditions – or no traditions. You can choose what makes you happy. It’s ok to not want to celebrate or gather. It’s ok not to stay as long as you might have in the past. It’s ok to say you won’t be joining the gathering this year. Give yourself permission to do what is best for you.
Help is out there. Call, text, video chat with a friend or chosen family. There are hotlines and other resources, too:
Just looking for someone to talk to? Check out this “warm line” from WellnessTogether.ca 1.888.768.2488 (check for hours)
CrisisTextLine.org is there for you by texting HOME to 741741
Talk Suicide is available at 1.833.456.4566
In Waterloo Region, Here 24/7 is available anytime at 1.844.HERE.247 (1.844.437.3247) or 519.821.3582
For Holiday Tips for Queer Folks, check out our post on OK2BME.ca
Twelve Reasons to Come to Walk-In Counselling
Mental wellness is a vital part of our overall health and wellbeing. Counselling is one of the ways we can look after our mental health. Have you ever gone to counselling? Maybe you currently have a therapist or counsellor who you see regularly. Have you thought about going to counselling but just haven’t made the leap and booked an appointment? Walk-in may be perfect for you.
Twelve reasons to come to walk-in:
- Life is a lot right now and you could use someone to talk to who won’t judge you or make you feel bad for talking about yourself too much
- You have an appointment booked for next week, but could really use a session this week, too
- Counselling is something you did a few months ago and could use a “top up” session to talk over some things again
- You’d like an objective person to bounce some things around with
- You could use some assurance that you’re on the right track
- You just need someone to listen to you
- You’re feeling a bit stuck
- There’s a parenting challenge that you’re not sure how to deal with
- You feel as if you’re spinning a bit out of control and could use some grounding
- You’re feeling isolated and these last couple years have been really hard
- Talk it through while the concerns are on your mind rather than waiting for an appointment
- Talking helps!
Our Walk-In Counselling Clinic welcomes you every Thursday from 2-6pm at our KW Counselling Services offices at 480 Charles Street East, Kitchener.
If you’re considering it, it’s for you!
News & Announcements
Welcome to the New KW Counselling Services Website!
Welcome to our new website! After months of planning, we are delighted that our launch day has arrived! The new KW Counselling Services website is here for you and our goal is to make your time here as easy and welcoming as possible. This newly designed site should be as smooth to use on your phone or tablet as it is on your laptop or desktop. We’re anywhere you need us to be.
With the continuing trend of more and more being done online, accelerated by the events of the past couple years, we needed to update our site to be able to do as much as you can through this website. This redesign enables you to access needed forms, find information more easily, and request appointments – all online. Of course you will still be able to reach us by phone, but now you have the flexibility of choice. If you prefer to stop by our offices to connect, please check here for our hours.
Whether you’re coming to our website for some support or you want to know how you can support us, we’ve made it easier than ever.
A big thank you to the Ontario Trillium Foundation and their Resilient Communities Fund Grant for making this complete redesign possible.
The new KW Counselling Services website is here for you and our goal is to make your time here as easy and welcoming as possible.