November 2021 – Volume 1 – Edition 1

NNMH National Network for Mental Health

November 2021   Volume 1    Edition 1

NNMH Bulletin!

National Network for Mental Health


Welcome to the first on-line edition of the National Network for Mental Health’s Bulletin!

NNMH is excited to present our first ever online newsletter the NNMH Bulletin. It is our hope that at the bulletin will aid in our aim to both inform and engage you in our activities here at the National Network for Mental Health.

Who We Are? What We Do?                

It’s been a while, so we thought we would fill you in!

The NNMH is a not-for-profit national charity. The only non diagnostic mental health consumer network that is directed and operated by people with lived experience of psychosocial disabilities. We are an inclusive grassroots organization and our partners include the people from the deaf and disability communities who struggle with psychosocial disabilities.

National Network for Mental Health acts to advocate, educate, and offer expertise and resources to increase the health and well being of people with lived experience of mental illness, living in Canada. Providing the space for an inclusive intersectional framework for mental health communications NNMH engages voices of lived experience from across the disability community to advocate for human rights and social justice in mental health and health care. Offering resources and training in best practices of peer informed interventions through, education and health promotion!


  1. Who We Are? What We Do?
  2. November is Indigenous Disability Awareness Month
  3. Proclamation Statement
  4. What we have been up to?
  5. ATTENTION Members
  6. 29th Annual General Membership Meeting 2020 – 2021
  7. Call for Board Members
  8. Our Rebrand – National Mental Health Inclusion Network
  9. Tools of the Trade
  10. Meet the Board Members

November is Indigenous Disability Awareness Month!

Congratulations BCANDS - November is Indigenous Disability Awareness Month (IDAM) introduced by the British Columbia Aboriginal Network on Disability Society (BCANDS) in 2015, this year 2021 it is the 7th anniversary!

IDAM is the only Indigenous disability specific awareness initiative of its kind in the world. In 2017 the United Nations International Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities recommended to Canada to officially declare November as IDAM annually.

Indigenous Disability Awareness Month (IDAM) brings AWARENESS of the barriers and issues that Indigenous peoples living with disabilities and their families face every day. IDAM also shines a light on the many achievements of Indigenous peoples living with disabilities recognizing the significant and valuable contributions they make to our communities socially, economically and culturally everyday.

By working together, we can work towards a Canada that is inclusive, equitable, and accessible for everyone. Join countless supporters across Canada by filling out your own proclamation statement

Proclamation Statement

It’s about time the rest of the country get on board!

Join countless supporters across Canada by filling out your own proclamation statement (click on the image below- edit as you need), send back to us at, and share widely!  Click the link

What we have been up to!

In the spring of COVID-19 NNMH convened a Mental Health and Disability COVID -19 and Beyond Sub-committee, made up of people from across the deaf and disability communities. With the objective assessing and advocating for mental health and health care services and supports that are accessible and equitable for people from the deaf and disability communities. We held three meetings with ASL interpreters and closed captioning.  The Mental Health Disability COVID-19 and Beyond committee will continue to meet and continue to study and advocate for the needs of the deaf and disability communities.

In June of COVID-19 we applied to ODI for a one-time grant to provide supports to community. To enhance communications, engagement activities to support people during the pandemic and to address the impact of COVID-19.  NNMH was approved and received 21,600 to facilitate activities. With the funds NNMH sponsored three Emotional – CPR trainings, training 36 participants. Two of the trainings were accessible and geared to people from the deaf and disability community providing ASL. This past year the NNMH Annual General Members and a Special Members meeting provided both ASL and CART translation. In December the NNMH hosted a virtual seasonal holiday ZOOM get together that was well attended including people from the U.S.

We have updated the NNMH website and social media includes information from across the disability community, providing resources and information for mental health including COVID-19 support.  NNMH continues to work on the UN-CRPD, the Optional Protocol, the Accessible Canada Act, Disability and Work, and Medical Assistance in Dying (MAiD) the Pan Canadian Disability Alliance partnership and other projects happening in the disability community.

We continue to participate in events from the mental health community with the Mental Health Commission of Canada and the Canadian Alliance for Mental Illness and Mental Health advocacy, and campaigns Faces and Champions of Mental Health.


We have a new website!

If you signed up as a member prior to October 14th on the NNMH’s previous website, we kindly ask that you register with us again. To ensure our information is current in our new system. Thank you so much for your ongoing interest in your membership with National Network for Mental Health. Only through a strong membership, can we affect change for those of us with mental health issues.   Click the link to help us help others by joining today.

Membership Sign Up – National Network for Mental Health (

Join us for our 29th Annual General Membership Meeting 2020 - 2021 via Zoom

Board of Directors invite you to attend National Network for Mental Health’s Annual General Meeting. Celebrating 29 years as the only non-diagnostic mental health consumer network in Canada We are an inclusive grassroots organization and our partners include people from across the deaf and disability communities, those who share the struggle with disabilities.  Saturday November 27 via ZOOM. Link to follow RSVP to

If you require any accommodation or adjustments contact us by November 16th at

Call for Board Members  

In accordance with our bylaws, NNMH is looking for board representation from the following provinces and territories: British Columbia, Northwest Territories, Nunavut, Yukon, Quebec, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Newfoundland & Labrador, Prince Edward Island. We are looking for individuals that reflect our commitment to be an inclusive mental health disability organization. . Please forward your interest for any of the above positions by email to;

Click the link: Board Membership Application  


Our Rebrand – National Mental Health Inclusion Network

Designing for inclusivity was the meaning behind our rebrand. In line with our renewed focus on human rights and social justice in today’s landscape. As an organization our mission is to have a critical role in mainstreaming inclusivity through human-centered design that considers people of all abilities.

National Mental Inclusion Network provides the space for an inclusive framework for mental health communications. Engaging voices of lived experience to advocate for human rights and social justice in mental health and health care. Offering resources and training in best practices of peer informed interventions through, education and health promotion!

Shifting our focus to the disability community, NNMH plays a pivotal role in bridging the mental health community to the larger disability movement, and bringing knowledge of disability into the mental health sector. This shift into the disability community has enabled the NNMH to become actively involved in human rights and social justice.


TOOLS of The Trade

Emotional – CPR (e-CPR)

The National Empowerment Centre 

Emotional-CPR (e-CPR) is a public health education approach designed to teach people to assist others through an emotional crisis by three simple steps: C = Connecting, P = emPowering, and R = Revitalizing. E-CPR is an effective mental health model of non-coercive crisis intervention it is a training program. Developed by people with lived experience of a psychiatric diagnosis and/or emotional distress or trauma; e-CPR is designed to teach people of any background to help others experiencing an emotional crisis. People who have been through the training consistently report that the skills they learned have helped them communicate better in ALL their relationships.”

“E-CPR is based on the principles found to be shared by a number of support approaches: trauma-informed care, counselling after disasters, peer support to avoid continuing emotional despair, emotional intelligence, suicide prevention, and cultural attunement. It was developed with input from a diverse cadre of recognized leaders from across the U.S., who themselves have learned how to recover and grow from emotional crises. They have wisdom by the grace of first- hand experience."


Five Pillars to Facilitation Safe Spaces – A Curriculum for Educators

Why Are Safe Spaces Important?

By Aime Hutton

In Canada every 7 minutes a child is bullied on the school playground. In 2018 the leading cause of death in children and young teens 10 to 14 was suicide. In that year there were 46 recorded deaths of children who died by suicide.

As we have come to know many of the reasons that youth think about attempting suicide is the result of bullying experienced at school. With the advancement of technology bullying is happening at all times of day and night via social media, cell phones, texting, and email.  It is not only on the playground anymore!

My personal experience as a child was the motivation to develop the training. All throughout school I was bullied. For 6 years I had wished that I had a safe space at school to go to. For example, when I was being bullied and attacked in the girl’s locker room in grade 7, I had no where to go to tell my teacher. I needed a safe space and did not have one.

Creating safe spaces for children and youth is a crucial support that should be in every school across the country. Safe spaces to get help and support when they need to speak with a teacher, a mentor, or a peer about the issues and troubles they are struggling with.

I created the 5 Pillars to Facilitating Safe Spaces - for educators, to support and to help them understand the need to create safe spaces. A place where children and youth will know where they can go get help with challenges they are facing daily. This curriculum communicates: What safe spaces are and why are they important!  The Five Pillars are;

  • Recognizing that students in school who need a safe place to talk.
  • Identify the needs of those who might benefit from the safe spaces.
  • Leadership understanding your leadership style in the way you empower youth
  • Safe Space Implementation - making it a reality
  • Communications knowing understanding your communications style


The 5 Pillars to Facilitating Safe Spaces - for educators’ curriculum will provide practical tools for educators to create an environment where youth will feel safe to share about the struggles, they have in their daily lives.  Providing the tools to create and implement safe spaces in schools is a model that can be used from elementary to high school and beyond.  So that our children and youth can grow to be happy productive citizens of the world!

The Five Pillars to Facilitating Safe Space is a four-hour certification program and can be offered online via Zoom.

For more information and to set up a discovery call please send me an e-mail at , and I will respond within 2 business days.

Meet the Board of Directors

Dr. Kathleen Thompson in Regina Saskatchewan: Kathleen is the Co-chair of the NNMH, and a longstanding disability and human rights advocate. She is also the founder and president of her own consulting company, Thompson Policy Consulting Inc. Her work activities include providing crisis intervention and trauma counselling to individual, groups and corporations to support Canada's Covid-19 recovery effort.

Dr. Walter Wai Tak Chan, in Winnipeg, Manitoba: Walter is the Co-chair I am working on a grant for research about the wellbeing of youth land defenders and climate activists.  We will ask participants to take photos and craft narratives about their experiences of fighting for the environment and fighting for Indigenous sovereignty, while navigating the journey of youth and adulthood.  We hope to reach youth from Winnipeg, rural Manitoba, and northern Manitoba, and convey our findings to politicians, policy-makers, and health professionals on giving land back to Indigenous communities, climate policy, and coping with eco-anxiety and despair.

Aime Hutton in Calgary Alberta: Hailing from Calgary Aime has 20+ years’ experience in the field of working with youth and dealing with bullying and abuse. As past leadership has failed her throughout her school years, she has now turned her experiences and attention to helping educators. As a Youth Diversity Advisor and International Speaker/Facilitator, Aime has designed a corporate training for educators called “The 4 Pillars for Facilitating Safe Spaces for Young Female Students in School.” Aime sits on the Board of the National Network for Mental Health Alliance representing the Province of Alberta and is a member of the Gender and Sexual Diversity Advisory Board with the Calgary Police Service.

Grandmother Roberta Oshkabewisens - Indigenous Representative in Ottawa Ontario: Little White Buffalo Woman; Bear and Loon are my teachers.  Odawa/Ojibwe from Wiikwemikoong, Manitoulin Island, and proud mother and grandmother. My experience and training have and is still provide me with a long and rewarding life with our traditional teachings and ceremonies. I have been entrusted to follow through with confidence by those who have spent years of teaching me. Additionally, I facilitate and provide consultations to political leadership, other agencies/organizations, gatherings and individuals. My main goal is to provide and facilitate our traditional healing and wellness ways of life for our anishinaabek to my best ability which I hold highly and respectfully due to the way I was taught throughout my life.  I carry all the teachings with great pride and in honour of my teachers and guides

Anita Levesque – Treasurer, Media & Communications in Stoney Creek, Ontario:  She has been self-employed as a web and graphic designer since 2005.  Anita provides the following services: web design, graphic design, internet marketing, social media marketing and hosting. She is also now a professional photographer. Anita started as a mental health advocate in 2014 and volunteers for many causes and organizations including the NNMH board of directors. Anita’s vast knowledge of mental health is based on her lived experience as a family member growing up with her father who lived with manic depression (Bipolar) all his life. Anita lives with C-PTSD and is a support to both her brother and mother who suffer with depression anxiety and C-PTSD as a result of the domestic violence and abuse witnessed in their home. Anita is a supportive and caring partner, mother, daughter and sister.

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