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The Canadian Mental Health Association Across Manitoba is part of a nationwide charitable organization that promotes the mental health of all and supports the resilience and recovery of people experiencing mental illness. 


Founded in 1918, the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) is the most established, most extensive community mental health organization in Canada, with a presence in more than 330 communities across every province and one territory. 


CMHA provides information, advocacy, services and supports that help to prevent mental health problems and illnesses, support recovery and resilience, and enable all Canadians to flourish and thrive.  


There are 11 CMHA provincial and territorial divisions, and 75 community branches across the country. The Manitoba Division of CMHA was established in 1952 and in 1984, CMHA Winnipeg Region was formally incorporated. Over the years, CMHA has been strong leaders in providing leading-edge services, always evolving to meet the needs of our ever-changing community. 



In the early days of our Winnipeg Region, research conducted locally found that housing was one of the most critical needs of persons living with serious mental health problems. CMHA set out to provide supportive housing for people living with mental illness. The Supportive Housing Program was based on the principles of choice and control and in integrated community housing. It has since evolved to an individualized model offering support to each person in choosing from the full range of housing options in the community. Today, the Rehabilitation and Recovery program assists people with a mental illness to choose, get and keep valued roles in the community such as an employee, tenant, or student. Working through a step-by-step process with a Rehabilitation Worker, participants learn skills and make the changes necessary to be successful and satisfied in their chosen role. 


With the goal of addressing today’s housing challenges with making sure every citizen has a home, CMHA provides a person-centered service that supports individuals who are experiencing or are at risk of experiencing homelessness.  Our Housing First model uses a holistic and harm-reduction approach to support participants with getting, choosing and keeping housing.  


In addition, an Assertive Community Treatment (ACT) multi-disciplinary team helps provide wrap around support to individuals who live with persistent mental health concerns and require higher intensity supports.  A holistic, wrap-around model is vital to an individual to live independently in community while ensuring that their mental health needs are being addressed in a person-centered approach.  


Meaningful employment is another important factor in a person’s sense of life satisfaction. In 1991 a supported employment program began operation and assisted people to choose, get and keep employment in the competitive workplace. Today, we have a thriving Employment with Supports program which provides the tools and information for the achievement of satisfying and successful employment using a rapid employment approach.  


Public education has always been a significant role for CMHA. Through a wide variety of communication methods and public awareness events such as Mental Health Week, CMHA promotes awareness and understanding of mental illness, mental health, substance use and recovery in the community. CMHA also has an online learning centre called Well Central, where anyone can freely access short courses on a range of mental health and well-being topics.

CMHA Recovery Colleges and Well-being Learning Centres join a growing international movement, which had its start in the UK in 2009. CMHA launched its first Recovery College and Well-being Learning Centre at CMHA Central Region in Manitoba in 2017. CMHA recovery college and well-being learning centres are innovative learning environments where people with lived experience of mental health issues, peers, family members and mental health professionals work together to co-produce and co-deliver courses that support well-being and recovery.

BounceBack, first launched in 2008, offers free skill-building and guided self-help program grounded in cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) and helps youth and adults manage symptoms of depression and anxiety.

Young people are our future and CMHA has prioritized the needs of youth by partnering with key organizations to establish an Integrated Youth Service Hub called Huddle Broadway where youth (and the caring adults in their lives) can find a welcoming and safe space to support their mental health, and gain ready access to primary health, peer support, indigenous culture and connection and other social services such as housing, finance and more.  

CMHA is also known as a place to contact when you are seeking supports and services but aren’t sure where to turn. Through our Service Navigation Hub and the Mental Health Resource Guide, we listen to your concerns and link you with the best available service or support. Last year the service assisted over 2500 individuals to find what they need.


Since its formation, CMHA across Manitoba has contributed to and collaborated with many organizations and groups in the area of mental health, substance use, housing, employment and disability/accessibility issues with the goal to improve the quality of life for people living with mental health problems and substance use challenges.


Over the years, many other innovative services and supports have been developed to respond to our community’s needs; we are constantly striving to be there for our public. In 2022-23 alone, over 53,000 Manitobans participated in CMHA’s programs and services. Through all the decades of change, CMHA has remained true to its core belief in choice, respect, personal growth and recovery.