HEALTH & WELLNESS
Below are the following links:
London Area Festivals
- London Regional Art and Historical Museum London
- London Regional Children's Museum
- Forest City Gallery
- London Arts Council
- Central & Children's Public Library
- Parents, Friends & Families of Lesbians & Gays (PFFLAG)
- AWOL-Adventurous Women of London
- Holy Fellowship Metropolitan Community Church
- AIDS Committee of London
- Mental Health Crises Service
- The London and District Distress Centre
- Canadian Mental Health Association
- Can Voice
- Family Services London (United Way Agency)
- Jewis Federation
- Interfaith Counselling Service
- Changing Ways
- London Abused Women's Centre
- Sexual Assault Centre
- At Lohsa Native Family Healing Services
- Crisis and Support Line
- Postpartum Depression Support Hotline and Drop-in
- MAPP (Mutual Aid Parents Program)
- Glen Cairn Community Resource Centre
- Public Health Unit
- Merrymount Children's Centre
- London Intercommunity Health Centre
- S.A.F.E (Self-Abuse Finally Ends)
- Women's Resource Centre
- Hospice of London
- SPARC: The Holistic Health Magazine
- Body Mind Inc.
- Pregnancy and Social Assistance
* Prenatal Care
- Family Planning Clinic
- Natural Family Planning Clinic
- Woman Care Associates
- La Leche League Canada
- Birthright London
- London Health Science Centre
- Parenting Classes
- Smart Start for Babies
- Aids Committee of London
- Options Clinic-Intercommunity Health Centre
- Sexually Transmitted Disease Centre
- Drug and Alcohol Registry of Treatment (DART)
- Quinton Warner House
Enjoying as a spectator or participating in art, music, theatre and dance are important to good spiritual, emotional and physical health. There is a direct relationship between good emotional health and good physical health. Being low-income and/or having large families is often a barrier to enjoying the arts, as attending many of these activities require money. There are, however, a number of events and places to attend in this city FOR FREE that we can go to as adults, or with our families. Try to make the time in your week to indulge in these activities, as they connect you to your community, introduce you to new ideas and people, and allow you to relax, have fun, be creative, and get out the house!
Our list here is only a starter: call the Welcome Centre at the London Visitors & Convention Bureau at 661-5000 for free information on what all the updated events are in London.
LONDON AREA FESTIVALS
Contact the Argyle BIA
1815 Dundas Street
London, ON N5W 3E6
Where: Kiwanis Park is located in the Argyle Area, the easiest way to access it is to go south on Hale street from Dundas Street.
Local artists will be showcasing their arts and crafts. There will be interactive art demonstrations, live music and local food vendors. Fun for the whole family.
When: early July
Where: Victoria Park
London comes alive for Sunfest, an international World Music festival. Dance, sing, drum, take in the colourful sights of art and crafts from around the world. Children love the music!
Where: Victoria Park, and throughout London
Outdoor winter fun with prizes for family built snow sculptures.
Where: Victoria Park
Child friendly folk music festival. Children’s activities include musicians, face painting, infant rest station, storytelling, games and music making. All activities are free. Bring a picnic and enjoy the weekend!
Most art galleries and museums in London host a number of activities, including films, art shows, literary and poetry readings, and lectures. Visits to art galleries can be inspirational, relaxing, and informative: another good way to escape the doldrums, get involved in the community, and meet new people – all for FREE!
When: Open all year, Tuesday through Sunday
Where: 421 Ridout Street (at Queen)
Shows include historical and recent works of art, showcasing regional, national and international talent. The art gallery also has a free children’s art program called Be a Sunday Artist, as well as other ever changing events – call them to find out what’s on.
Where: Wharncliffe Rd South
The Children’s Museum does have a fee of $6.00 per adult or child for admission to its events and activities. Children’s under that age of two admitted for free. Free admission Friday evenings from 5to 8 pm. Subsidies are available for low-income families by request. You have to fill out an application in order to be considered for a subsidy. You can apply for a year long pass which would allow you to return with your child to all of the events. Call ahead to find out what the current events are and when they are on. Subsidized memberships, Family Fun Pass, Day Camp and workshops may be available.
Where: 258 Richmond Street
Open: Tues-Sat.12-5 pm.
Forest City is a community centred, artist-run gallery with a political bent – they take on challenging subjects and issues and bring them forth for public discussion. Poetry and literary readings, classes and workshops, music, theatre and film are some of the other activities that happen here – call to find out what’s going on. Some activities may have a fee, but general admission is free.
In addition, there are some theatre productions that have Pay-What-You-Can matinees, or free admission community evenings. Throughout the city there are various writers groups, drumming circles, dance and performance troupes, etc… that we can participate in as adults, or with our children.
For more information on the Arts in our community, contact:
251 Dundas Street, London, N6A 6H9
305 Queen’s Avenue
Tel: 519-661-4600 (Central) - 519-661-5120 (Children’s)
London’s libraries have an amazing selection of free art, music, and film activities for adults and children alike – call to find out what’s happening at your neighbourhood branch, or request a free copy of Access, which lists all library events every 2 months. The library – more than just a book bin!
AND TRANSGENDERED SERVICES
Support and recreational services for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered Londoners remain limited. Gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered people often face discrimination, harassment and violence based on a sexual or gender orientation that differs from the status quo. Youth in particular are targeted in our schools, with an alarming number of these youth dropping out (or are pushed out) of schools, attempting suicide, living on the streets. Our society has not progressed enough yet to value all people, despite our differences, as hatred in the forms of homophobia and racism still exist. We have listed some services that are currently available inLondonproviding gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered people with safe, non-judgmental, opportunities for support, recreation, friendship – all things that are important to gaining and maintaining good health.
Parents, Friends & Families of Lesbians & Gays (PFFLAG)
Supportive group of parents, friends and families meet every third Wednesday of the month between 8-10 pm at Colborne United Church. The group provides peer support, education and information to help break stereotypes about being gay. This group is particularly helpful to people who are having a hard time understanding their child’s/friend’s/relative’s sexuality. PFFLAG is a national organization. The London chapter can be reached through: Diana @ 451-2697 or email @ firstname.lastname@example.org
A lesbian positive, women’s social and recreational network that has been around for 10 years. Form new friendships, participate in outdoor and social activities, get to know London and the surrounding areas. A good opportunity for women who are new to London, or who need a safe space to come out in. Open to all women.
Reverend Marcie Wexler
P.O. Box 25032, 138 Wellington Road, London, N6A 6A8
Holy Fellowship Metropolitan Community Church is a Christian church ministering to all people, with a special affirming outreach to the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered communities. Among the services offered are worship, fellowship, personal spiritual growth opportunities, Holy Unions, funerals and memorial services, baptisms and spiritual counselling. HFMCC has served the London region for over 20 years.
# 186 King St. Unit 30
London, N6A 1C7
Tel: 519- 434-1601
Tel: 519- 434-1843
Support and social group for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered youth. Issues addressed include, family, coming out, positive feelings about sexuality, school, peers, and health. Open to youth between the ages of 14-21.
It is as important to look after your mental health as well as your physical health. As a sole-support parent you will be under a great deal of stress and tension. It is not easy being a parent at the best of times, but when there is only one of you it becomes much more difficult.
The first thing to remember is don’t feel guilty. You can’t always be the perfect mother or father; sometimes you will feel like screaming and running away. If you think that you need extra help dealing with all the stresses in your life don’t feel bad. The first step to feeling better is getting help, either from a close network of support people in your life or from a professional.
There are several ways to do this. First, see your doctor. Any doctor can refer you to a psychiatrist and usually you will be put on a waiting list for a period of time. Psychiatrists are covered by OHIP, so the costs will be covered. If you don’t like this area you can go to a private or group counsellor.
For most types of counselling there is a waiting list. Listed below are services available in London, what they specialize in, how long it takes to get in and how much they cost.
862 Richmond Street
Professional counselling is available 24 hours a day for people with a serious mental illness who are 16 years or older. They offer crises counselling by phone, face-to-face crisis counselling and peer support in an office setting, a visit from the 24-hour mobile crisis counselling team at a location of your choice, safe beds and links to other services.
This centre is a 24-hour. 7 days a week telephone service for people in distress, crisis or in need of an empathetic ear. Trained volunteers staff the phone centre.
648 Huron Street
Provides information, case management and community support services for those who have experienced psychiatric or emotional illnesses.
Activity Centre – for individuals experiencing ongoing emotional/psychiatric challenges
Survivors of Suicide– programs for families who have lost a loved one to suicide
FACT (Family & Caregivers Together) – support group for families of seriously mentally challenged
450 Spruce Street
Provides education and support for consumers and survivors of the mental health system. Peer-support groups, social activities and outreach programs are offered. This is a member co-operative organization.
125 Woodward Ave, London, N6H 2H1
Fax: 519-433-4273 (Intake Line)
Community counselling program offers individual, couple family and group counselling areas include abuse/trauma, self esteem/self awareness, relationships, support/resources, advocacy, etc. Sliding fees. No one turned away due to inability to pay fees.
536 Huron Street
This service provides very limited emergency counselling for members of the Jewish community, only until a long-term counsellor can be found. There may still be a waiting period, so call ahead to request information and an appointment.
141 Dundas Street, 6thfloor
This group provides individuals, family, bereavement and marriage counselling with an ‘interfaith’ perspective. This means that they involve a spiritual dimension into counselling. You do not have to belong to any religion or any particular church to use this service. Fees are geared to income.
388 Dundas Street, Suite 302B, London, N6B 1V7
If your partner or a male friend has trouble controlling his anger and becomes abusive to you or to other women you know, Changing Ways can help. This is an organization run by men who have had personal experience with different types of abuse. This group runs counselling sessions with groups of men to work on the issues of physical abuse, mental abuse and emotional abuse. They also have programs for children who have witnessed violence and abuse.
217 York Street
Provides counselling, support, legal information, safety planning and referrals to women who are victims of physical and emotional abuse. Call for an intake interview.
379 Dundas Street, Unit #121, London, N6B 1V5
Crisis Line Tel: 519-438-2272 or 1-877-529-2272
Provides support and information for survivors and family and friends of sexual assault. They also provide group and individual counselling for women who have been assaulted.
343 Richmond Street, Unit 109
Crisis Line Tel: 519-432-0122
Toll Free: 1-800-605-7477
Provides violence control and prevention services, counselling, support groups, information and referrals for first nations people.
Crisis and Support Line
Office Tel: 519-439-0844
Women’s Shelters are listed
in the Housing and Shelter Chapter
Postpartum Depression Support Hotline and Drop-in
Tel: 519-672-HOPE (4673) Hotline
- Weekly Drop-in Service emotional support for moms and their families, connect with a nurse, peer support mom and other moms who are having similar experiences, child minding provided.
- 1-3 Thursday at Chalmers Presbyterian Church, 342 Pond Mills Rd (at Commissioners Road)
There are also several support groups in London. These groups can help a great deal by providing moral support and someone who shares your experience to talk to. They also are a wonderful place for making new friends and for sharing your experience, such as sole-support parenting, with others.
MAPP (Mutual Aid Parents Program)
(connected to Children’s Aid)
1680 Oxford Street East
This group is a weekly parent/child support group. Bus tickets and childcare for all ages are provided. The group often has guest speakers, crafts, clothing swaps, education programs and other activities. Some parents are required to participate.
150 King Edward Avenue
Offers a range of neighbourhood-based programs for residents of Glen Cairn and Pondmills. Information and referrals available. Emergency assistance for people in need.
50 King Street
Tel: 519-663-5317 ext. 28
This self-development program offers a small support group to help women build skills and awareness in the following; self-esteem, stress management, assertiveness, relationships, etc. These groups are organized to run at different times – please call for information on the next session.
1064 Colborne Street
Tel: 519-434-6848 (Contact Susan Mc Cain Ext. 278)
Provides a broad range of groups – from anger management to parenting support. Also provides groups for children aged 6 to 12 for developing self-esteem, coping with a family break-up and anger management.
It is important to keep yourself and your children healthy. This means eating well, getting enough rest and having regular checkups at your doctor’s. Doctor’s costs for you and your family are covered by the Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP). The only requirement for OHIP is that you be a full-time resident ofOntario. If you are receiving OW or ODSP,your OHIP costs are covered automatically.
For identification and billing purposes, you must have an Ontario Health card. If you do not have one for yourself (or your children), apply for one as soon as possible. Application forms may be picked up at your doctor’s office or from the Ministry of Health (217 York St., 646-2090).
People relocating in Ontariofrom another province have a three-month waiting period during which time they should be covered by the health insurance plan in the province they moved from. Refugees are eligible for OHIP as soon as they arrive inOntario. Landed immigrants have a three-month waiting period during which time their sponsors are responsible for their medical bills. Both refugees and landed immigrants should apply for OHIP as soon as they arrive in Ontario.
To get a health card you will need three pieces of identification including a picture-ID and something with a current address.
You will need one of the following:
v Canadian Birth Certificate
v Canadian Passport (current)
v Canadian Citizenship Certificate
v Baptismal Certificate
v Certificate of Registration of Birth Abroad
v Certificate of Indian Status
v Letter from Indian Band Official
v Immigrant Visa/Record of Landing
v Returning Resident’s Permit
v Convention Refugee Determination Division Letter
v Minister’s Permit
v Employment Authorization
v Other relevant Immigration document(s)
If you are working, it is your employer’s responsibility to ensure that your OHIP is paid for. OHIP covers such things as X-rays, examinations, hospital stays and various tests. However, OHIP dos not necessarily cover prescriptions or dental work. (See “Medical Assistance” section in the SOCIAL ASSISTANCE chapter for information on prescription costs for Social Assistance recipients. See also “Dental Care and Social Assistance” in this chapter, below.)
659 Dundas Street, N5W 2Z1
Tel: 519-660-0874 Ext. 235
Provides health care, dental screening and continuity programs addressing health and other topics. There are many programs for individuals who are new to Canada. The centre also runs several different support groups for women, men, seniors and youths.
S.A.F.E (SELF-ABUSE FINALLY ENDS)
1856 Alderbrooke Rd
Provides information and support for women who abuse and hurt themselves or who are survivors of self-abuse.
WOMEN’S RESOURCE CENTRE
St. Joseph’s Health Centre
Monsignor Roney Building (Richmond and Cheapside)
The resource centre contains books, pamphlets and videotapes on a range of women’s topics including pregnancy and child care. Some material is available in languages other than English. Open to the public Monday to Friday from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm.
837 Talbot Street, London, ON. N6A 2V7
Provides compassionate, emotional and respite care in the home by trained volunteers for adults and children facing a terminal illness. There are no fees involved.
Many people who have become dissatisfied with the services provided by medical doctors have chosen to explore alternative approaches to medical health. There are many varied treatments, therapies and healing systems which could be termed “alternative”. These include: Reflexology, Acupuncture, Chiropractic, Massage Therapy, Herbalism, Homeopathy and Naturopathic Medicine.
Alternative medicine is usually preventative in nature. That is, it identifies and treats causes rather than symptoms of disease. Alternative healing often involves a holistic approach. This means that the whole person is treated, not just the isolated physical ailment. Also, environmental, emotional, nutritional and spiritual factors are taken into consideration.
Much suffering and illness can be prevented by simple, natural and non-intrusive means. If your physical or mental well-being is in jeopardy, or you simply want a healthier, less stressful lifestyle, you may want to explore one or more alternative approaches. If your doctor can’t (or won’t) refer you to someone, do some research on your own. Following is a list of a few local alternative health care organizations.
SPARC: The Holistic Health Magazine
P.O. Box 8058, N6G 2BO
A London-based magazine which presents information on holistic and alternative options and provides information and networking. Also presents holistic health fairs twice a year in London and Sarnia. Officials will explain, by telephone, Holistic practices.
Offers services for those living with cancer, including information on holistic therapies, a resource room, a core program of classes and other groups for emotional and spiritual growth. Programs and services are free to members. Payment plan can be arranged for membership cost, when necessary.
PREGNANCY AND SOCIAL ASSISTANCE
If you are receiving Social Assistance and you become pregnant, you must inform your caseworker. He or she will make an appointment to see you once your baby is born. During this interview, you may be asked personal questions concerning the circumstances of your pregnancy. What they will try to determine is who the father of your child is and whether you can obtain support from him. You will be required to sign and date documents verifying this information.
Social Assistance policies require you to sue the father for child support. If the designated father denies paternity and blood tests are required for proof, you OW/ODSP worker will refer you to Legal Aid. Legal Aid will cover the costs of securing blood tests only under the following conditions:
v You are eligible for Legal Aid.
v The court orders blood tests to be taken.
v Your lawyer asks for approval of payment before tests are taken.
Your lawyer must advise the court that:
v there is a paternity dispute;
v you have signed a sworn affidavit identifying the father;
v there are reasonable grounds for believing that he is the father;
v the father can pay a reasonable amount of support.
Following is a list of agencies and organizations that provide various services for expectant mothers.
FAMILY PLANNING CLINIC
(MIDDLESEX-LONDON HEALTH UNIT)
50 King Street, N6A 5L6
Tel: 519-663-5317 Ext. 2446
Prenatal classes are available for $25.00 but this fee can be waived upon request. No proof of income or rent required. Separate classes are available for couples, single mothers and adolescent mothers. Instruction may be available in your home if you are unable to attend classes.
Infant visiting. A public nurse can visit you on release from the hospital. The nurse will give you and the baby a physical examination and can provide a wealth of information on the care of your infant. This service is especially helpful for first-time mothers.
“Just Beginnings”.A series of four meetings held in local libraries for new parents. Provides discussion, instruction, referral to community resources, and allows the opportunity to meet people in your immediate community who are experiencing similar life changes. This may be the beginning of an informal support network.
Offers pregnancy tests and abortion counselling
NATURAL FAMILY PLANNING CLINIC
1262 Hillcrest Ave., N5Y 4N4
Offers a free monthly course (except August) on fertility awareness and the ovulation method of natural family planning.
WOMAN CARE ASSOCIATES
458 Queens Ave., N6B 1X9
Midwifery care is provided during pregnancy for home or hospital births. Prenatal classes and individual counselling are also available.
LA LECHE LEAGUE CANADA
Provides information and support for women interested in breast-feeding their children. Monthly meetings are held. For contacts names, call informationLondon at 519-432-2211.
903 Richmond Street, 2nd Floor, N6A 3J1
Tel: 519-432-7197 or 432-7198
An anti-choice organization which provides free pregnancy tests, information, moral support and referrals for women who have unplanned or stressful pregnancies. Baby and maternity clothes provided free.
Hours of operation: 9:00 am to 1:00 pm, Monday to Thursday. You can also call their Hotline: 1-800-550-4900, from 8:00 amto 8:00 pm, Monday to Friday.
LONDON HEALTH SCIENCE CENTRE
(WOMEN’S HEALTH CARE CLINIC)
800 Commissioners Road E.,N6A 5W9
Professionally trained staff available for abortion counselling and a variety of obstetric and gynaecological services.
Birth control can be expensive. If you have a family doctor, ask him or her for free samples. If you are receiving OW or ODSP, ask your doctor for a prescription for birth control pills as they are covered by your drug card. If you don’t have drug benefits, you can get birth control pills at cost from the Family Planning Clinic, Middlesex-London Health Unit (519-663-5317 ext. 2446).
It is important to note the following points about birth control pills:
v They only work for 24 hours. If you miss a pill or forget to take one at the usual time, use a condom, additional forms of birth control or abstain from intercourse until your nest period.
v Certain types of prescription drugs (including anti-biotics) can make birth control pills ineffective. If you are prescribed medication, ask your doctor how it may affect your birth control.
(MIDDLESEX-LONDON HEALTH UNIT)
50 King Street, N6A 5L7
Tel: 519-663-5317 ext. 2378
Offers a variety of parenting classes designed to help parents raise cooperative, independent children: deal with feelings; learn how to discipline; and other parenting skills.
SMART START FOR BABIES
(LONDON AND MIDDLESEX PUBLIC HEALTH UNIT)
50 King Street
An informal, no-charge prenatal nutrition and support group. Meets Tuesday mornings from 10:30 – 12:30. Provides pre- and post-natal counselling and healthy lifestyle information in a confidential and relaxed atmosphere.
Unprotected sex is the most common way that people become infected with many serious diseases, including: HIV virus, gonorrhoea, herpes, syphilis, chlamydeous and hepatitis, etc. The proper use of condoms can greatly reduce the risk involved in sexual activity. They can also reduce the risk of unwanted pregnancy.
AIDS COMMITTEE OF LONDON
388 Dundas Street
A public access resource centre that provides educational information on safer sex, safer needle use, counselling, support and a library of recommended reading. The committee also an AIDS Hotline: 434-8160
OPTIONS CLINIC- INTERCOMMUNITY HEALTH CENTRE
659 Dundas Street
While some doctors offer “confidential” testing, it is not anonymous. If you test positive, your doctor can still report your name to the health unit. The Options Clinic offers free anonymous testing, information and counselling.
SEXUALLY TRANSMITTED DISEASE CENTRE
Middlesex-London Health Unit
50 King Street
Offers confidential STDand HIV testing and free treatment. No appointment needed and no health card required.
DRUG AND ALCOHOL REGISTRY OF TREATMENT (DART)
Toll Free: 1-800-565-8603
612 Mornington Avenue
This is a recovery home for men and women who have a desire to live without drugs or alcohol. Admission is based on intake interview and three week trial. Waiting list may be lengthy.
QUINTON WARNER HOUSE
477 Queens Avenue
Provides residential support and detoxification services for men wishing to recover from addictions to drugs and alcohol. Offers a 16-week program that is also available to women on a day program basis. Graduates may be placed in transitional housing for up to 6 months to assist with re-entering the community and developing support networks.