Learn about CMHA College

The CMHA College of Health & Well-Being is a Recovery College aimed at empowering people to become experts in their self-care and to develop skills and confidence to manage their recovery journey. It is a program offered by CMHA York Region and South Simcoe. 
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CMHA York Region and South Simcoe (CMHA-YRSS) is an award-winning branch of the national nonprofit, Canadian Mental Health Association. As the nationwide leader and champion for mental health, CMHA facilitates access to the resources people require to maintain and improve mental health and community integration, build resilience, and support recovery with mental illness and addiction.  

At CMHA College of Health & Well-Being, we offer free courses addressing topics related to mental health, physical health, building your best life, finding your voice, increasing skills and connecting to the community. All of our courses are informative and interactive. They are developed and delivered in partnership with our peer supporters who are experts by experience: they have their own story of mental health, substance use concerns or are supporting a loved one.
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Mental health is a journey! We believe that people can understand how to better navigate and manage troubling thoughts, emotions and circumstances by learning from others who have gone through similar experiences. Students are supported to draw upon their own strengths and resources in a safe, non-judgmental learning environment, and encouraged to learn tools to empower them in their journey of recovery. 
About us

What is a Recovery College?  

Recovery Colleges are based on a successful community mental health model from the United Kingdom. They are focused on personal recovery in mental health and well-being. The colleges provide an innovative learning space where anyone can gain new skills, and connect with others in their community.  

It is modelled after a traditional college, but there are no tests at a recovery college, admission is free and everyone is welcome
Recovery Colleges utilize co-productions, which is a process where peers with lived experience and mental health professionals work alongside each other to develop and evaluate courses. 

At the Recovery College, we work within a framework called CHIME. Working within a framework ensures we bring the principles of recovery to the learning environment, and the effectiveness of what we do can be measured. This gives students reassurance that what we do is evidence-based.  
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Frequently asked questions

Where are the courses offered?

Courses are offered in our Community Connections hubs at CMHA office locations, as well as in satellite locations in the community across York Region & South Simcoe. Courses are offered in person and online. 

How long are the courses?

Most courses run between one to eight sessions on different days throughout the work week. Sessions are 1-2 hours long depending on the course.

How is the College different from mental health support groups and therapy groups?

Our courses take an educational rather than a therapeutic approach. They offer more structured learning experiences than a typical group program. They are designed with input from qualified and experienced educators and informed by the community. Each course has clear learning outcomes and activities to help you explore and build resiliency. The courses are all co-facilitated by a Peer Support Worker. Peer Support Workers are individuals who have personal or family experience with mental health or substance use concerns. While our courses offer educational content as a valuable tool for self-directed learning and enhancing mental well-being, it is important to note that they are not intended to replace professional assistance or therapy when required. We acknowledge the importance of seeking professional help when necessary and encourage individuals to do so.

What is a Personal Learning Plan?

Students are invited to develop their own personal learning plan to help focus their learning experience and allow them to see the progress they have made. You will have an opportunity to create on your own or meet with a staff that can help you create one.

Is there a test at the end of the course?

All of our courses are about supporting people to build skills and knowledge. There is no concept of passing or failing, and there are no formalized tests.

What if I cannot attend a group or course after signing up?

If you are no longer able to join one of the sessions in your course, please let us know at least 24 hours in advance. Please contact the facilitator by email or phone, or send an email to cmhacollege@cmha-yr.on.ca. 

Are the courses relevant for someone who wants to work in the mental health field?

CMHA College of Health & Well-Being is not an accredited college, so our courses are not intended to be applied towards college or university programs. It aims to assist participants on their journey to recovery and is more in line with mental health psychoeducation than career preparation.

For those interested in career preparation or formal training opportunities, paid mental health presentations and workshops are available through the Community Education and Training Program at CMHA-YRSS. The Community Education and Training Program is home to a comprehensive mental health education and training program designed to give you, and those around you, the tools to promote, support and achieve enhanced mental health wellness in your home, in the community and in your workplace. Whether you are looking to enhance your personal or professional toolkit, engage in a team building experience, lunch and learn, or professional development opportunity for your workplace or organization - we have a program for you. For more information, click here: https://cmha-yr.on.ca/wp-content/uploads/2023/07/CMHA-YRSS-Education-Training-Brochure-1.pdf  

Who can I contact if I am having difficulty registering for a course or signing up for the website?

If you need any assistance with registering, please contact cmhacollege@cmha-yr.on.ca. 

What do I do if I can't log-in to my learner account?

First of all, make sure that the combination of e-mail and password you tried is correct (for security reasons, our error message doesn’t explicitly reference whether you made a mistake in your email or password. This is done deliberately to make it harder for someone else to guess your account details). If you are still having problems, you might have forgotten your password. In this case, you can ask for a new one to be sent to you. Click on the "Forgot your password?" link located just below the "Login" button.

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