Strengthening Our Wraparound Response to COVID-19
We have all heard the statistic, “1 in 5 Canadians will personally experience a mental health problem or illness in any given year”. But, with the emergence of COVID-19, the ratio is now closer to 1 in 3. 
 
The pandemic has taken a toll on us all. It is entirely normal to feel increased amounts of stress and anxiety during times of uncertainty - especially as physical distancing guidelines continue. However, maintaining our mental wellbeing is essential to weathering any storm. 
 
At Carizon, we continue to provide accessible, wraparound mental health supports for our community, while looking for every opportunity to collaborate with local partners to enhance our Region’s continuum of care and ensure that everyone gets the help they deserve.
One of our most recent collaborations is with Marillac Place, a local organization that provides a safe space for women ages 16+ who are pregnant, have a child in their care, or who are attempting to regain care of their child. 
 
The partnership means that vulnerable pregnant women and young mothers in our community will receive ongoing counselling support to equip them with the tools and relevant community connections to navigate their current situation, nurture their emotional wellbeing, and, ultimately, create a better future for their family.
 
Our teams continue working diligently to ensure that families in our community receive the breadth of services they need. 
Back in the Fort Classroom
The transition back to school after the summer break can be stressful at the best of times. But with the added complexities of physical distancing guidelines and special considerations for children living with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder, our Fort team wanted to take additional measures to ensure our students and their families felt safe, comfortable, and ready to learn.  
Click here to read more about how our Fort Team is helping families adjust back to school.
Carizon's Growing Healthy Two-Gether Program Celebrates 25 Years of CPNP Support
We are celebrating 25 years of the Canada Prenatal Nutrition Program (CPNP) in Ontario! The program provides funding to community groups that support the wellbeing of pregnant women, new mothers and their babies who face challenges that may put their health at risk - including Carizon’s very own, “Growing Healthy Two-Gether” group. 
 
Our Growing Healthy Two-Gether programming helps pregnant women feel empowered with the knowledge, tools, and resources to give their growing family the best start possible.  To learn more about our CPNP programming, or any of our other services, please visit our website.
Be a Part of Giving Tuesday!
This #GivingTuesday (Dec 1st), please consider supporting Carizon so that we can continue to provide wraparound supports to our community and ensure no one is turned away from accessing mental health and wellbeing resources. 
Mental Health & Wellbeing Resources
Our programs and services would not be possible without the generous support of people, like you, in our community. If you would like to help local families in need, please consider donating today. 
Community LOVE
On November 15, we celebrated National Philanthropy Day, an opportunity to acknowledge the many ways you — our incredible donors, volunteers and partners — make a difference in our community. Because of you, we are able to help individuals and families strengthen their mental health and wellbeing – no matter the circumstances. Thank you for believing in the work we do. 

We are humbled and grateful to be a part of such a collaborative and loving community and we are thrilled to share a few ways our community has come together to help families thrive. 
The United Way Waterloo Region Communities
A heartfelt thank you to the United Way, who’s generous funding allows us to enhance our counselling services, including Credit Counselling, Quick Access Counselling Sessions, and ongoing neighbourhood work. Thanks to United Way, we can continue providing subsidized service offerings to meet the growing needs of our community. 
Ontario Trillium Foundation
A huge thanks to the Ontario Trillium Foundation and their kind support of our new Voices Program. Voices is a survivor-led ambassadors group made up of diverse community members who identify as survivors of intimate partner violence (IPV). This group will help shape and inform new and existing services offered for victims of IPV, helping the community through advocacy and empowerment. 
The Cowan Foundation
We are incredibly grateful for the ongoing support of The Cowan Foundation. Their generous donation to our Connectivity KW4 program - which brings 30+ health and social services agencies together on a weekly basis to collaboratively address situations of elevated risk in our community - means that youth, adults, and families facing critical circumstances will get the wraparound support they desperately need.
Communitech, TD Canada Trust, and All of Our Community Partners
We are incredibly thankful for the support of TD Canada Trust, Communitech, and all of our community partners who have used this moment of crisis as an opportunity to give back and generously support the mental health and wellbeing of our #kwawesome community – thank you!
Running for the Community
Like many others impacted by the cancellation of… well… everything in the wake of COVID-19, one of our Carizon volunteers decided she would not let the pandemic ruin her running aspirations.  Instead, Stephanie Goodman, who had been preparing for a 10-kilometre run later this year, is making use of her training for social good.   She organized her own event, “Running for Our Community,” on August 22nd in support of Carizon.  
 
Using her own individualized fundraising page, Stephanie raised over $2,000! We are so incredibly proud of Stephanie’s accomplishment and grateful for her dedication and advocacy for our organization.
Youer than You: Food for a Cause
In partnership with Show Your Sole – a joint initiative between Carizon, CMHA Waterloo-Wellington, and Lutherwood – the Youer than You event combined gourmet pick-up dinners with online entertainment, all to raise awareness and funds for mental health supports for the hospitality industry.  
Meals were curated and prepared by the Region’s top culinary talents: Chef Jon Rennie; Chef Thompson Tran of the Wooden Boat Food Company; Chef Teneile Warren of Nyam Revival Kitchen; and Chef Denis Hernandez of Swine and Vine. 
 
We would like to thank everyone involved with this year's event and we are proud to share that we raised over $10,000 dollars to put towards hospitality specific mental health resources and programming in our community! 
Even as we maintain our distance, there are so many ways we can stand together, care for one another, and help each other thrive. These featured events are great examples of how you can show your support in a way that’s meaningful to you. 
 
If you have an idea for an initiative or event, please connect with us at development@carizon.ca and we will work with you and help make it a success! 

The Holidays Are Fast Approaching...
And that means it’s time to start finding the perfect gifts for those you care about. For the person that seemingly has everything, why not give the gift of charity?
Giving someone the chance to participate in a charitable donation is a gift you can both feel good about, and one that will never go to waste.  
 
With your gift, a local family can receive the support they need to make their holidays just a little brighter in these trying times. Our team will send a card with your message to the recipient acknowledging your kindness and the impact of the special gift.