2023 Fall Newsletter

Visit our Website

Dear Dave,

As we embrace the changing seasons that signal the arrival of fall, it's an important reminder of the ever-evolving journey of mental health. This season, we're not just aiming for understanding - we're championing empowerment, resilience, and transformative conversations. It's a time to not only raise awareness but to ignite change and inspire healing dialogues within our communities. We are thrilled to share the strides our organization has made in recent months, and we want to express our profound gratitude for your unwavering support. Together, we're not just making a difference; we’re reshaping the future of mental health in Canada.

Warm regards,

The MDSC Team

Click here to view as Webpage


Advocacy remains at the heart of our work. We continue to advocate for better mental health policies and services, making sure those facing mental health issues, and their caregivers, get the help they need.

The Power of Community Mental Health 

Millions of Canadians struggle with mental illnesses including depression and anxiety every year.1 In addition to human suffering, inaction costs us over $52 billion each year.2 The COVID-19 pandemic has made things even tougher, with nearly half of Canadians saying their mental health has worsened.3,4,5 Unfortunately, while many people are reaching out for help, a lot of them feel they're not getting the care they need.6 This has led to more people rushing to emergency rooms, signaling a deeper issue in our healthcare system.7


Community-based mental health services offer a solution. These community-based organizations provide essential services and relieve the burden on mainstream healthcare systems. They assist in the proactive or early treatment of mental health issues, work in concert with current health services, fill care gaps, and support Canadians while they wait for additional services. However, due to resource limitations, they frequently work alone, and other health system professionals including family physicians are not always aware of what community supports exist in their area that they can refer patients to. 


That's where MDSC steps in. We're teaming up with partners to find new ways to boost support for these crucial community organizations across Canada. We developed a report8 where we collected information on the greatest challenges facing these organizations, and we are now working on actioning solutions to help improve health outcomes for all Canadians.

Pre-Budget Ask

Community mental health organizations provide essential services - bridging gaps in care, supporting individuals waiting to access other health services and programs, enabling early identification for individuals experiencing mental illnesses or challenges, and providing proactive programs and services to promote mental health. 


MDSC is advocating for the critical need to better support community mental health organizations. We urge the government to prioritize our pre-budget proposal and stand with us in the mission to fortify mental health care in Canada.

Dive deeper into our advocacy efforts HERE.

Canadian Community Mental Health Network (CCMHN)

We are delighted to announce the launch of the Canadian Community Mental Health Network (CCMHN). This ground-breaking pan-Canadian network aims to unite and empower community-based mental health organizations across Canada. Through this network, we will foster collaboration and partnerships that will address resource gaps while sharing knowledge and resources.

CCMHN will act as an advocacy catalyst to build innovation and support a culture of evidence-based decision-making. We will work to enhance mental health support through increasing access to care across Canada. Lived Experience, the perspectives of those with Lived/Living Experiences will inform all network activities.

For full details and to learn more about the Canadian Community Mental Health Network, we invite you to read the full release by clicking here. Together, we can create a more supportive and inclusive mental health landscape across Canada.

2023 Defeat Depression Campaign

Sudbury Defeat Depression Event


Together, we are making a difference.

For over a decade, your support has empowered us to raise over $3,000,000 to address mental illness and for mental health support. Over the years our efforts and your engagement have assisted more than 130 community organizations throughout the country, and we wouldn't have been able to do any of it without you. 

This year funds raised from the campaign supported community organizations such as Healthy Minds Cooperative (NS), The Pottle Centre (NF), Northern Initiative for Social Action, NISA (ON), CMHA Grey-Bruce (ON), Women’s House Serving Bruce and Grey (ON), Resolve Counseling (ON), and The Sober Friends Society (AB).

Learn more at DefeatDepression.ca.


Our next Defeat Depression Day is May 25, 2024!

Are you a mental health advocate, employer or organization that wants to work with us for 2024?

Are you an existing sponsor or are you a potential sponsor who does not want to miss out? Request a Sponsorship Package, and start the conversation!

Contact us here.

Logos of Defeat Depression Sponsors

Follow Defeat Depression on Social Media

Facebook  Twitter  Instagram  Linkedin  Youtube  

Support for Veterans & their Family Members

Mood Disorders Society of Canada (MDSC) is proud to have the opportunity to offer two support programs for Veterans and their Family Members. The Improving Veterans Wellness Program, funded by Veterans Affairs Canada, and the Ontario Veterans Peer Support Program, funded by True Patriot Love Foundation. Both MDSC programs are provided at no cost for Veterans and Family Members.

The programs offer the following support: Peer Support Training – which is facilitated by skilled members / Veterans and Family Members who are part of the MDSC Peer & Trauma Support Systems Team. They are accompanied by a mental health professional who is experienced in addressing trauma; Companionship Calls - which are an opportunity to have a social call with a caring volunteer; Mental Health Resources – are readily made available.

To register or obtain more information on these programs, please visit: VeteransPeerSupport.ca.

Peer and Trauma Support Training Opportunities

As a result of significant success and incredible demand, the national and internationally recognized MDSC Peer and Trauma Support Services (PATSS) program has grown to include more specialties, including Police, Fire, Veterans and Veteran Family Members, Paramedics, Indigenous, Family Members, 2SLGBTQIA+ and we also offer the training in French.

All courses start with a Mental Health Professional who lays the ground-work for the first 4 hours of the 16-hour class. All our skilled facilitators have a lived experience in their fields. This brings authenticity and depth to the learning process. Firsthand insights offer a unique perspective, fostering deeper understanding and empathy, and bridging the gap between theory and real-world application.

In recognition of our expanded team, our logo has been updated to reflect the many special focus areas that our PATSS team members now support and train:


More than 800 individuals have taken this program globally and our classes do not disappoint. Give us a try and visit our webpage for more information.

MDSC National Youth Advisory Council (NYAC)


Welcome to the latest National Youth Advisory Council (NYAC) update, where we share our ongoing projects and upcoming ventures aimed at engaging and empowering young adults in discussions about mental health.

The Bloom Blog: Our multimedia platform invites youth to share their mental health experiences through various expressive methods. Join us in generating productive conversations and showing young people they are not alone. Explore the Bloom Blog here.

The Project Blue Podcast: Dive into the NYAC Podcast and hear powerful stories of lived experiences. Our latest episode features a discussion on social media advocacy with mental health advocate Veronica Seguin. Check it out on Spotify here.

Pan-Canadian School Wellness Opinion Survey: Help shape our future initiatives by participating in our survey on mental health resource accessibility for students across Canada. If you're a post-secondary student, share your opinion here.

Pride Month Panel – June 2023: In June, NYAC celebrated #PrideMonth by hosting a panel discussion featuring incredible voices from the 2SLGBTQIA+ community and advocates.

Resource Book: We're creating a comprehensive resource book on the 6 dimensions of health. If you're passionate about youth mental health and wellness, we invite you to contribute your expertise. Email us at nyac@mdsc.ca to express your interest.

Stay tuned for upcoming ventures, including a podcast episode with the high-school subcommittee, booths on campus for Mental Illness Awareness Week, and a roundtable in collaboration with peer-help centers nationwide. To stay updated, sign up for our monthly newsletter.

Together, let's make a difference in youth mental health!

Elephant in the Room Anti-Stigma Campaign

The MDSC Elephant in the Room Anti-Stigma Campaign is an effective initiative that has far reaching effects within workplace mental health that is designed to fight stigma head-on. This high-impact, cost-effective, and adaptable program is making waves from coast-to-coast in Canada and has even expanded to the UK. Stigma is discrimination, and we are fighting it through the EITR Campaign. Join our family and show your elephant at your workplace, school or home to pave the way for open conversations and a supportive environment. Discover how this transformative anti-stigma initiative can elevate your organization's mental health approach. Find out more here.

Follow EITR on Social Media

Facebook  X  Instagram

Leading Research and Innovation in Mental Health

MDSC is at the forefront of pioneering research dedicated to enhancing mental well-being in our communities - from supporting efforts to develop a roadmap of care for individuals diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder, through to exploring ways to harness the power of artificial intelligence and wearable technologies to bridge service gaps, so that everyone, regardless of their circumstances, has access to the mental health resources they need. Dive deeper into our ground-breaking initiatives and discover how we're shaping the future of mental health. Click here to learn more about what we are up to.

Access to Mental Illness Medications – Upcoming Report

The Canadian healthcare system is struggling to give all Canadians the mental health support they need. Even with publicly funded healthcare services, people with mental illness continue to face barriers to accessing care and treatment.  

One of these challenges is getting access to the right medications. While some older medications are covered under the public system, access to many modern medications is often delayed. Further, many newer, more targeted medications do not get reimbursed by the health system or are inequitably reimbursed across the country. This means many Canadians can’t get the medicines they need or face uneven support depending on where they live.  

MDSC is diving deep into this issue. We're working on a report that will shed light on these challenges, comparing how different regions in Canada handle medication approvals and access, how we stack up to other countries, and the real-life impact on those affected by mental health issues and their caregivers. The report will be released November 2023.

If you have been impacted by challenges in accessing mental illness medications, we would like to hear from you! Please reach out to us

Team Updates

MDSC welcomes new team members!

New Board Member: Clay Williams.

Clay is a Certified Engineering Technologist with work experience in Germany, USA and Canada, and currently manages Engineering and Quality Control for an industrial manufacturer in Kitchener, Ontario. His volunteer experience includes various positions with the Ontario Association of Certified Engineering Technicians and Technologists and program advisory board at Confederation College in Thunder Bay.

He is also an endurance athlete, published author and motorcycle enthusiast, and has been organizing fundraisers for various charitable organizations since 2005.

Having lived through the suicide deaths of two close family members and mental health diagnoses of other family members, Clay found his voice as a mental health advocate and in 2015 created the first Canal Pursuit for Mental Health, a 785 km run ending on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, as a mental health fundraiser and awareness event. Since then he has built on the momentum of that event by developing it into an annual relay run, and creating Canal Pursuit Productions which hosts other running events and podcasts connecting fitness and mental health.

Clay currently lives in Elmira, Ontario with his wife of 42 years.

New Board Member: Marie-Pier Mazerolle.

Marie-Pier Mazerolle is in her 4th year of her bachelor’s in psychology at the Université de Moncton in Moncton, N.-B. Passionate about wellness and mental health, Marie-Pier volunteers with Kids Help Phone as a Crisis Responder (CR) and as a peer mentor at her university through the “Mentorat Etudiant” program, which helps first-year students navigate the many ups and downs of the post-secondary transition. She is also a member of the Frank McKenna Centre for Leadership, where she will be undergoing a mentorship and community intervention project.

As she aspires to be a professional in the mental health field one day, Marie-Pier’s main motivation is giving back to the community that helped shape the person that she is today. Being a French Canadian in a language minority environment, she has witnessed first-hand the many challenges encountered when trying to access French resources. Marie-Pier is passionate about making resources accessible for youth all over Canada so that they can get the care that they deserve. She is also currently Co-chair of MDSC’s National Youth Advisory Council.

Dr. Jasmine Noble

We are excited to introduce our new National Sustainability Director, Dr. Jasmine Noble, an individual whose journey is a synthesis of experience in mental health research, public policy, communications and stakeholder relations. She is passionate about exploring innovative ways to improve mental health accessibility, as well as enhance system and program/service effectiveness. With a unique career, she has held significant roles in health research and policy, including advising a former Federal Finance Minister. Her educational background includes a PhD in Psychiatry, a Master of Public Policy, and a Bachelor of Education. She is a mom to two mischievous little girls, as well as an avid gardener and traveler.

Closing Thoughts

We invite you to stay connected with us through our website, social media platforms, and upcoming events.  

Thank you once again for your invaluable support. Remember, your voice matters, and your actions can bring about positive change. We look forward to the exciting initiatives that lie ahead, and we welcome you to join us as we continue our journey of promoting mental health education, advocacy, and support. 

MDSC was incorporated in 2001 and has evolved to become one of Canada’s best-connected mental health NGOs with a demonstrated track record for forging and maintaining meaningful and sustained partnerships with the public, private and non-profit sectors throughout Canada. With the overall objective of improving access to treatment, informing research, and shaping program development and government policies with the goal of improving the quality of life for people affected by mood disorders. Learn more at mdsc.ca.


Follow MDSC on Social Media

Facebook  Twitter  Instagram  Linkedin