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Mental health

Supporting at-risk women in Orillia and the surrounding area through artistic programs

May 17, 2021

Maintaining mental health continues to be a serious challenge for Canadians during COVID-19. Community support programs help ensure that our most vulnerable feel connected and have access to resources.

One supportive example is the Orillia & District Arts Council, which provides creative outlets for community members that help them remain engaged while receiving mental health support. 

Thanks to a $10,000 grant from the TELUS Friendly Future Foundation, the Council was able to offer a 7-week Discovering the Artist Within program, which included subsidized professional mental health counselling for at-risk women and their dependent children. These low-cost sessions helped vulnerable women suffering from COVID-19 related stress, anxiety and depression learn new skills while creatively engaging with their children.

Orillia & District Arts Council funding also helped the Colborne Street Clinic connect with more clients. Experts in trauma-informed models of therapy, the clinic’s practitioners utilize the expressive arts to treat people who are unable to articulate their trauma in a standard talk therapy model, thereby reducing their isolation and increasing their supportive personal networks. 

We are thrilled to be able to offer this unique program to our clients and appreciate the collective efforts this grant is providing in these unprecedented times

says Colborne Street Clinic Director Tamah Markle.

Thanks to our support, programs like these supported by the Orillia & District Arts Council can help vulnerable members of the Orillia community apply their creativity toward building resilience during these challenging times.