National Network for Mental Health is commited to people with disabilities

Membership Archives

The Canadian Alliance on Mental Illness and Mental Health Seeks Nominations from the Public

(Ottawa, Ontario) February 22nd, 2013. Today, the Canadian Alliance on Mental Illness and Mental Health (CAMIMH) announced they are extending the deadline for nominations for the Champions of Mental Health campaign. CAMIMH is an alliance of Canada’s leading mental health care and service organizations, representing health care providers as well as persons and families living with mental health issues. Nominations will now be accepted until March 21st, 2013, a full three week extension.

CAMIMH’s strength is that it brings together Canada’s mental health communities. The Champions of Mental Health Awards is one of Canada’s premiere mental health advocacy events in recognition of individuals or organizations whose outstanding contributions have advanced the mental health agenda in Canada in the past year. Continue reading

To our membership:

Thank you to those who responded to our Rallying the Troops article. Your support means the world. Please keep spreading the word to your networks that the NNMH needs their feedback and support. Also, please encourage people to join the NNMH at The cost to individuals, who are mental health consumer/survivors is FREE, to supporting members, who are not mental health consumer/survivors the cost is $10.00/annum, and for organizations the cost is $50.00/annum.

As you know, the NNMH Board of Directors hired me as a consultant until the end of March to assist the board with fulfilling a couple of items from the NNMH’s strategic plan: 1. Strengthening the board, and 2. Revitalizing and growing the membership. Please note that you may contact me at anytime at [email protected] if you have any questions at all or if you would like to help us out with networking with consumers in your locales. Continue reading

(I use the term troops with respect).

Please come and join us and lend a hand – we need you.

For those of you who do not know, the Board of Directors of the National Network for Mental Health (NNMH) has hired me on a three-month contract to carry out specific tasks resulting from their strategic planning exercise held over a year ago. A couple of these tasks are as follows:

reignite and grow the membership of NNMH
solidify the national Board of Directors

Personally, I have been around mental health for the past 23 years beginning inthe position of Consumer Liaison at the Canadian Mental Health Association, National Office in the “Building a Framework for Support Project: Building a National Consumer Network” initiative in 1989. I began working with established contacts or finding new contacts who were consumers to set up networks in the provinces/territories to develop a national voice and to form a national, consumer-owned and operated organization. Two years later we incorporated the National Network for Mental Health. The NNMH is a source of pride to many of us who believed that we needed something to call our own – and finally – we got it in the last decade of the 20th century. Continue reading

On November 9, 2012, the Supreme Court of Canada (SCC) handed down a landmark decision on disability rights. TheMoore case says that students with disabilities are entitled to receive the accommodation measures they need to access, and benefit from, the service of public education. In this regard, the Court said that adequate special education is not “a dispensable luxury”. The Court acknowledged that such measures serve as “the ramp that provides access to the statutory commitment to education made to all children in British Columbia.”

The Council of Canadians with Disabilities (CCD) intervened in the B.C. Court of Appeal and the SCC. The Moore decision is an important victory for CCD. Moore (SCC) reaffirms that human rights law requires service providers to make their services accessible to persons with disabilities. This means that where a barrier is identified, the service provider must provide accommodation to overcome that barrier, unless to do so would cause an undue hardship. Our challenge is to turn these important court decisions into positive results in the daily lives of persons with disabilities. Read more.

Do you have any stories about how Peer Support helped you cope with your mental illness?

We are working with others to create a Canadian Charter of Peer Support and need your input!

July 13, 2012

The National Network for Mental Health (NNMH) will be holding its 2011/2012 Annual General
Meeting (AGM) on Thursday, September 20, 2012 at 12:00 noon EST via teleconference.

According to our By-Laws, this year the NNMH is in need of Board of Director representation in:
(1) British Columbia/Territories, (2) Prairies, (2) Quebec, and (2) Maritimes/Atlantic.

If you would like to apply for a position on the Board of Directors, please forward your resume and a short bio accompanied by a brief cover letter outlining your reasons for applying and what experience/expertise you feel you could bring to the NNMH and its Board of Directors. We are seeking nominees with expertise in fundraising, finance, human resources, and law. As well we ask that nominees be prepared to sit on a minimum of two board committee’s and to chair a board committee that speaks to their skills set. The nominee slate accompanied by the short bios will be posted to the NNMH website 30 days prior to the AGM for the purpose of informing the membership about their choice in candidates for the position of Board Director. Applications can be submitted by email to [email protected] and must be received no later than 4:30 p.m. EST, August 19, 2012. Continue reading

National Network for Mental Health President, Jean Beckett, announced today, that Joan Edwards Karmazyn has decided to resign from her position of National Executive Director of the NNMH at the end May 2012. Joan, who is planning her retirement from the mental health field will not be totally disappearing from our sights though, as she plans to stay involved and connected with the field in general and in particular with the psychiatric survivor movement as she stays engaged with various programs and projects and especially with the National Network for Mental Health, providing support and advice as needed. I would like to take this opportunity to thank Joan for her leadership and management experience and for her passion in advocating for her peers who live with mental illness. It has been an honour and privilege to work with Joan as we, at the NNMH continue to strive to build strong stakeholder partnerships individually and collectively to embrace the vision of seeing mental health become the foundation of total health for all Canadians.

Jean Beckett,
NNMH President

Council of Canadians with Disabilities
Media Release
30 March 2012
For Immediate Release

Viewing Budget 2012 with a Disability Lens

Budget 2012 made incremental improvements for people with disabilities: The Registered Disability Savings Plan will see a number of reforms making the rules on withdrawals more flexible, improving administration and allowing family members to open plans on behalf of adults who are not currently perceived as being “contractually competent”. An additional $30 million over 3 years will be added to the Opportunities Fund to assist Canadians with disabilities to gain work experience with small and medium-sized businesses. The Government will also be introducing legislation to require federally regulated private sector employers to insure any long-term disability plans they offer to their employees.

Last week, the Council of Canadians with Disabilities (CCD), a national organization of people with disabilities working for an inclusive and accessible Canada, called for the Federal Government to consider the effect of Old Age Security (OAS) reforms on Canadians with disabilities. Budget 2012 indicates the Federal Government will have discussions with the provinces and territories about the impact of OAS reforms on Canada Pension Plan (CPP) disability benefits. CCD has identified questions that need a response from Canada’s governments.

OAS is a disability issue. Canadians with disabilities disproportionately live in poverty. Between 45 and 60 percent of those living on social assistance are persons with disabilities, and this number continues to increase. OAS coupled with the Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS) benefit is better than any social assistance program in Canada. Increasing the age of entitlement for OAS will keep persons with disabilities living in poverty longer.

OAS does not exist in isolation. In fact, many other benefits are designed to work in tandem with OAS. “CCD is making public a number of questions that need answering related to the OAS reform which will see people waiting longer for their old age pension. This change will deepen and lengthen the poverty experienced by people with disabilities and create further inequality for us,” states Marie White, Chairperson of CCD’s Social Policy Committee. “New policy initiatives should enhance the status of Canadians with disabilities, not create greater disadvantages for us,” states White. CCD is seeking answers from Federal/Provincial and Territorial Governments on how increasing the age eligibility for OAS will affect other public policy measures:

Will raising the age of entitlement trigger a change in the Old Age Exemption in the Income Tax Act?
Will Long Term Disability and Workers Compensation policies now extend benefits to age 67?
Will Canada Pension Plan benefits also change the age of eligibility?

Fax/Téléc: 204-942-4625
Toll Free/Sans Frais: 1-877-947-0303

Will this apply to both the early retirement and full benefit?
How will provinces respond to persons with disabilities and others remaining on social assistance for a longer period of time? Will it result in reducing those benefits or limiting future improvements?

How will OAS and GIS eligibility changes affect eligibility to other services such as pharmacare,
subsidized housing, home care, etc.?

“CCD calls upon the Government of Canada to apply a disability lens while establishing the rules governing pension reform and to develop a long term comprehensive strategy designed to ensure the integration of people with disabilities into the labour market – in real, meaningful, good paying jobs,” states Tony Dolan, CCD Chairperson.

For More Information Contact:

Tony Dolan, CCD Chairperson
Tel: 902-569-2817 (H)

Marie White, Chairperson, CCD Social Policy Committee
Tel: 709-739-8233

Laurie Beachell, CCD National Coordinator
Tel: 204-947-0303

Dear friend/colleague,

The NNMH (National Network for Mental Health) has submitted a project to the Aviva Community Fund competition and is asking for your votes!

Our project is called Mental Health Wellness & Recovery and the Role of Peer Support.

It only takes a couple of minutes to vote and you can vote for our project once per day till November 30th!

Please go to to register and begin voting!

thank you for your support,

Joan Edwards Karmazyn
National Executive Director
National Network for Mental Health
P.O. Box 328
South River, ON P0A 1X0

[email protected] or [email protected]

ph: 705-386-8788
toll: 1-888-406-4663
fax: 705-386-8807