Clinic open: Orleans Clinic
*Only* - today 8:30 to 3:30 pm  |  Phone: 613-590-0533

Mental Health

COVID-19 - Resources For Your Basic Needs and Mental Health

Resources in the community to help you meet your basic needs

List of safe options to obtain food or other essentials. Click here or visit this site.

For area Home Support Agencies and their ability to help seniors and persons with disabilities affected by current physical distancing measures, click here

Decision-making aid regarding seniors in care by Ottawa Hospital Research Institute. 

For isolated seniors: A Friendly Voice

Volunteer dog walkers for frontline staff and persons with health issues - Zoomies

Tools to help support your Mental Health and your loved one's

For Women Victims of Abuse

Unsafe at Home Ottawa is offering help by text and chat.
Text: 613-704-5535

Free Teletherapy
Counseling Connect - same day or next day teletherapy

Online Substance Abuse Help: 
Breaking Free Online

Find multiple resources here for UofO and students from other postsecondary institutions

For Employees Receiving Extended Health Benefits from Sunlife: Free virtual and home support services

For Front-Line Healthcare Workers: Free psychological help
COVID Frontline Wellness - offered by The Royal

Peer to Peer Mental Health Support 
Big White Wall (for Ontario residents)

Resources for Children

An illustrated book to help children understand COVID-19
The Story of The Oyster and The Butterfly: The Corona Virus and Me - Ana M. Gomez

COVID with Kids - A Toolkit for Coping with Kids at Home during the COVID-19 Pandemic

Cellphone Apps

COVID Coach - US Department of Veterans Affairs

Managing Your Stress and Anxiety During COVID-19 
- CAMH (Center for Addiction and Mental Health) 


The Five Challenges of Staying at Home 

Grief and COVID


FACE COVID (5 minute animation)
Daily videos on COVID-related anxiety by Dr. Jud Brewer here.

Fact Sheets, Workbooks and Webpages

FACE COVID (infographic)

FACE COVID (ebook)

Managing Fears and Anxiety Around the Coronavirus (COVID-19) - Harvard University Health Services

"Psychology Works" Fact Sheet: Coping with and Preventing COVID-19 - Canadian Psychological Association

Tips to Manage Mental Health During COVID-19 - CMHA Ontario

Tolerance for Uncertainty: A COVID-19 Workbook - A DBT-based workbook to help build the skills to get through this crisis.

The Enquiring Mind - COVID-19 - Self-Care and Resilience Guide

Coronavirus Anxiety Workbook - published by The Wellness Society

Mental Health and the COVID-19 Pandemic - CAMH

Tips to Reduce Stress, Anxiety and Worry - Bounceback

Simple Mindfulness Practices to Help You through Difficult Times 


Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) - Ontario

Living Health Champlain - Living Healthy Webinars

CHEO and PLEO - Pandemic Parenting Playbook

Stress Management 
(available until June 15th) - offered by Shoppers Drug Mart and SilverCloudHealth

Free webinars on various topics (nutrition, mental health, etc.) - offered by Hamilton Family Health Team

Digitally Delivered Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

Bounce Back Ontario - videos
Bounce Back is a free service provided to Ontario residents. Interested persons have the option to work through modules with a coach or use the self-directed videos. You can access the videos directly here. For the coaching, your physican/nurse practitioner needs to send a referral.

Starling Minds


For Urgent Counseling

It's possible that we won't be able to meet your need for urgent counseling. To avoid a wait time, here are some other options:

- If your employer offers an Employee and Family Assistance Program, you can contact them day or night. There is not cost to you. If you don't have their contact info, usually Human Resources or Payroll can provide it to you.

- The Walk-In Counseling Clinic is available seven days/week. To see the daily location(s), check their website here.

- Community Resource Centers (CRC) have intake counselors that you can consult without an appointment. To find the CRC in your area, click here.

- Throughout the pandemic, area residents can receive free same-day or next-day help through Counseling Connect

For students:
- Ontario post-secondary students have access to Good2Talk.
- UofO and St-Paul U undergraduate students also can consult campus Counseling Services and undergrad students also have the option of Empower Me.
- UofO Graduate students can contact the Student Support Program.
- La Cité Collégiale - La Boussole.

For crisis lines click here.

What We Can Offer to Support Your Mental Health


Our patients (ages 12 and over) could benefit from our free mental health services. We offer the following services: 

  • Psychosocial or psychological assessment - To better understand your issues.
  • Referrals - A point of contact for mental health resources, available internally and in the community.
  • Psychotherapy - Short term (up to 8-10 sessions) - Therapies vary according to the clinician: Cognitive-Behavioral (CBT); Acceptance and Commitment (ACT); Dialectical Behavioral (DBT); EDMR, etc.
  • Psychoeducational groups (offered according to demand)
    • Stress management
    • Assertiveness
    • Insomnia
    • ACT
  • Online or phone therapy: For online therapy, we are using OTN (Ontario Telehealth Network)
  • Newsletter: If you'd like to receive our newsletter to stay informed of mental health resources and workshops, please send a message through the portal to let us know your interest.

Some of The Issues We Can Address

It's possible that we can help with certain issues, like these ones:

  • Depression
  • Stress
  • Anxiety
  • Bereavement
  • Insomnia
  • Chronic medical conditions and persistent pain
  • Major life transitions
Certain issues might not fit with our mandate our competencies, like drug and alcohol abuse and eating disorders. If this is the case, we will direct you to the appropriate resource.

To request help for your mental health, please complete the form Request for Mental Health Services and drop it off to the front desk staff. In the span of 2 business days, you will receive a call to set up a 20 minute telephone session where one of our clinicians will explore your needs and direct you to the most appropriate service, either at the clinic or with another service provider. 

Before Your First Appointment with One of our Therapists

Before your first appointment with:


Anne Bilodeau, MSW, RSW
Social Worker, Psychotherapist


Reading and completing the following forms - and bringing them to the first appointment - will help jump right into the important work:

AAQ-II (English)
Information and Consent Form (English)

Animal Assisted Therapy


Our mental health program started offering in 2019 animal-assisted therapy sessions at our Orléans clinic. This involves the presence of a therapeutic dog attending certain psychotherapy sessions to help support the relationship between therapist and client, and to help meet treatment goals. This is a complementary service offered to interested patients undergoing psychotherapy with Anne Bilodeau. Prior to offering this, we sent our patients a survey to determine if there was any interest: 84% of the 350 respondents stated they were interested.

We are very happy to have Stella join our team. Even though Stella's first five years were in difficult conditions, she remains open and warm towards humans and has a contagious joie de vivre. Stella passed the St. John Ambulance therapy dog exam. Not only does she spend time with some of our patients, she also goes to the Ottawa International Airport and other pet therapy locations.

Stella is at our Orléans clinic 1-2 half-days per week.

You can also follow her on Instagram at @stella_lapuguette where she provides basic mental health tips. 

Animal Assisted Therapy

Our Groups


We aim to offer the following groups a few times per year:

Initiation à la pleine conscience - Intro to Mindfulness
This group is offered in French. For more information, please consult our last promotional poster. Next offering scheduled for June 2020. 

See the poster for all the details. Here's the registration form, if you'd like to sign up. Registration is mandatory to participate.

If you'd like to practice mindfulness skills on your own, check out our "Mental Health" page and the section "Tools to Support Your Mental Health".

Restorative Yoga 
No yoga class is planned for summer 2020. Please consult this page for future offerings or 
email or contact your clinic's reception.

This course is offered in both official languages. To learn more about it, please see last year's promotional poster. 

Tools to Support Your Mental Health

Working on our mental health is as important as our physical health. To support you in doing so, here are a few tools. Rest assured that all these tools have been examined in-depth and the vast majority are backed by empirical evidence. 

Short Animations Based on Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT)
The Values-Focused Life vs. The Goal-Focused Life
Sushi Train
Evolution of the Human Mind
The Choice Point
Internal Struggles
The Struggle Switch
Three Happiness Myths

AUDIO RECORDINGS - made in-house
The Eastern Ottawa Community Family Health Team owns the rights on the following recordings and does not permit reproduction for means of commercialization. 

For Dr. Kristin Neff, one of the pioneers of self-compassion, self-compassion is comprised of three elements:
- Self-kindness
- Common humanity
- Mindfulness

Here are a few in-house audio exercises to help develop this stance.
A Compassionate Hand - A 3 minute exercise to help develop compassion for ourselves. Inspired by a similar exercise by Dr. Russ Harris. 

Compassion for the Younger You - A 6 minute exercise to compassionately reconnect with the child within us. Inspired by an exercise by Dr. Russ Harris. 

Jon Kabat-Zinn, one of the champions of the modern day mindfulness movement, defines it as follows: paying attention in a particular way, on purpose and non-judgmentally. 
Here are a few audio exercises to help build the ability to be more in the moment. By practicing daily, we build new neural pathways that facilitate this ability. 

S.T.O.P. Meditation was created by Elisha Goldstein, Ph.D. as a means of stopping and checking inwards throughout the day.
This practice can be adapted to be 30 seconds to 20 minutes or more. 
Here's an introduction to this practice.
A short version
Longer version

Audio exercises to help improve our ability to be in the moment based on Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT)
Leaves on a Stream is a five minute exercise which helps build the ability to look at our thoughts rather than look through our thoughts (watching them like a distant observer). By practicing this exercise regularly, we become better able to access this ability.

Dropping Anchor helps us anchor to our senses, and the present moment, when hit by an emotional storm. It helps ensure we don't get swept away by intense difficult emotions and thoughts. This version is 2 minutes, but this exercise can be done in 30 seconds to 20 minutes or more. 

Mindfulness of the Breath is a 6 minute exercise that trains us to get back to our breath so that we can anchor in the now.

Open Awareness is a 15 minute exercise which helps build the ability to observe at a distance what is going on inside of us.

Passive progressive muscle relaxation is a proven technique that helps lower tension and stress, and if used before sleep, can help to fall asleep.
Here's a recommended version of this exercise.

FAQ - Frequently Asked Questions

Is there a fee for this service?

Individual therapy is covered by your OHIP card. However, failure to comply with the attendance policy
 may result in a $20 fee per missed appointment. For those who can afford it, there is a small fee for our group programs. Also, it often happens that a therapist recommends you read a self-help book. If you cannot afford it, we may be able to lend you a copy or direct you to the public library.

What are the benefits of consulting within my family health team?
Better coordination of your primary care is one the many advantages. 
How can I get these services?
Please complete the Request for Mental Health Services form first. You can get it
here, from one of our secretaries or from any member of your treatment team. Once the form is completed, please submit it to the secretariat. A secretary will contact you to set up a 20 minute telephone screening appointment with on of our mental healh clinicians. 

Is it guaranteed that I can see a therapist from my mental health team?
Your needs may be better served outside the clinic, either because of an extended waiting period or because some issues are not addressed by our therapists, such as addictions and eating disorders.

What if I am in crisis?
Call one of the crisis lines in the area (
see list here) or go to the Walk-in Counseling Clinic: