In this week’s blog post, we’re highlighting one of the amazing companies involved in our MENTAL WELLNESS BOX project.  With the theme of Fall in mind, we curated products from across North America, specifically reaching out to companies with a mental wellness/mental health component to their company.  Included in each purchase is a cash donation to WAYPOINT CENTRE FOR MENTAL HEALTH CARE.



Waypoint provides an extensive range of acute and longer-term psychiatric inpatient and outpatient services. They are the region's only specialty mental health hospital and have the province's only high secure forensic mental health programs for clients served by both the mental health and justice systems.

They provide specialized and comprehensive assessment and treatment to individuals suffering from severe mental illness using best clinical practices based on the latest advances in scientific research, patient care and treatment.

Patients benefit from a caring environment that is built on compassion and hope. They work with an inter-professional treatment team to develop individual care plans designed to achieve an optimal level of well-being.  They are a leader in the treatment of mental illness and are currently sustained by 1200 employees, including physicians, from a wide range of disciplines and about 80 dedicated volunteers. 


JENNIFER:  Hi Holly.  Thanks so much for sitting down with us today!  We are thrilled to be in a position to be raising money for the Waypoint Centre for Mental Health Care (Waypoint) with each purchase of the our MENTAL WELLNESS BOX's this fall.  Can you tell us a little bit more about what Waypoint is and the work done there?

HOLLY:  Hi Jennifer.  Great to be here.  Yes, of course I can.  WAYPOINT is a recognized academic and teaching hospital providing specialty mental health and addiction services for Simcoe County, Muskoka and central Ontario, as well as provincially with the province’s only high secure forensic mental health program. The hospital, which includes the Waypoint Research Institute, is located on the beautiful shores of Georgian Bay in the Town of Penetanguishene.

JENNIFER:  Yes, I am familiar with the location here in Penetang.  Such beautiful grounds.  So what kind of services are available at WAYPOINT regarding mental health? 

HOLLY: WAYPOINT provides an extensive range of acute and longer-term mental health and addictions inpatient and outpatient services, as well as the North Simcoe/Muskoka Specialized Geriatrics Services program. The hospital also operates various outpatient and community programs serving the needs of children, youth, adults and seniors. WAYPOINT has also recently partnered with Chigamik Community Health Centre to open a new, modern 40,000 square foot Community Health Hub in Midland and is a partner in the Central Ontario Health Team for Specialized Populations. 

JENNIFER:  So very specialized and experienced when it comes to dealing with mental health services.  Our community and province is lucky to have this resource available.  This isn't always the case.  What kind of an impact does WAYPOINT want to have around mental health?

HOLLY:  WAYPOINT is a mental health and addictions teaching hospital, as well as a research and academic centre. The hospital and the Waypoint Research Institute are dedicated to helping people improve their mental health and wellbeing in hospital, in the community, and preventatively for the future.

JENNIFER:  Those are some amazing goals!  So keeping those in mind, what are the top projects/exciting news/collaborations you would like to tell us about?



HOLLY:  WAYPOINT recently launched a new Child, Youth and Family Mental Health Program in the community and is recruiting child and youth clinicians and psychiatrists to support our community. WAYPOINT is the lead agency for the Specialized Geriatric Services Program, and is one of the lead agencies for the new Community Health Hub and the Youth Wellness Hub.

Throughout COVID, Waypoint has been supporting frontline workers through online mental health and wellness tools and has partnered with Mindfulness Without Borders to provide frontline workers and youth with mindfulness training to build coping and resiliency skills.

JENNIFER:  I love all of this.  I've seen the YOUTH WELLNESS HUB's in town, which I think is much needed resource. Right now, everyone needs all the help they can get to cope and stay strong.  These sound like amazing collaborations. 

Speaking of collaborations, what made WAYPOINT want to be a part of our MENTAL WELLNESS BOX project?

HOLLY:  WAYPOINT was fortunate to be approached by MARNIE & MICHAEL to be a part of the MENTAL WELLNESS BOX PROJECT.  We work hard to support people faced with mental health and addiction challenges and are always looking for ways to strengthen our efforts through meaningful partnerships and collaborative projects. As a community we are so much stronger when we work together.

JENNIFER:  I agree 1000%. So with the theme of our project being Fall, what tips/routines/life hacks would you recommend to someone who is looking to have a bit of a re-set in September?  It always feels like that for me when the season changes and schools get back at it.  

HOLLY:  I cannot speak on behalf of everyone at our hospital but personally, I plan to practice mindfulness, exercise, paint, enjoy time with my family, and keep my schedule from becoming too full.

JENNIFER:  Those sound like great ways to re-set and re-group.  Keeping the schedule from getting too full is a big one for me!  Well I can't thank you enough for taking this time to chat with me Holly.  Thank you again for collaborating with us and hopefully it's the beginning of many more opportunities! 

HOLLY:  Thanks Jennifer.  And good luck with everything.