Home on the Hill is a Charitable Organization founded by the families of people with serious mental illness. It was incorporated in 2011 and received charitable registration in 2012.
Home on the Hill serves clients from the 2.5 percent of individuals who have serious mental illness. These individuals often do not access service from mainstream mental health agencies. Many have the symptom of anosognosia and lack insight that they have an illness, so believe that they do not need service.
Home on the Hill supports their families, too, who are still not considered part of the “circle of care” by the formal system. The 2013 Guidelines from the Mental Health Commission of Canada, which would pave the way for the family voice to be incorporated into the formal mental health system remain largely unimplemented to this day.
Home on the Hill proudly supports the Guidelines of the Mental Health Commission of Canada and incorporates the recommendations into our model of care. Accordingly, our programs are developed by families together with clients. Our programming supports both the family and their loved ones with serious mental illness.
Family Support Group and Respite:
The Family Support Group meets at St. Mary’s Anglican Church in Richmond Hill on alternate Wednesdays. Please see schedule above to determine which Wednesday.
During this two hour duration, caregivers have the opportunity to express and discuss their feelings in a safe and confidential space. The group is led by a caregiver and a professional facilitator. The goal is that family caregiver leave with a sense of relief and knowing that they are continuously supported by others with similar experiences. This group meets on alternate Wednesdays at St. Mary’s Anglican Church in Richmond Hill at 7 pm.
Families also take part in Home on the Hill funded respite activities like enjoying a restaurant dinner or lunch together. These events are popular and always looked forward to. In addition, Home on the Hill invites speakers to talk on issues of interest to caregivers. Recently, we benefited from the presentation of a local lawyer regarding wills and estate planning. These events are scheduled on an occasional basis.
Robert Veltheer Lecture Series on Mental Illness:
This is our signature program named for our late founder and family caregiver, Robert Veltheer. In this series, psychiatrists and other well regarded mental health professionals give lectures on mental illness and its implications. Subjects which have been covered are diet and exercise, anxiety and depression, schizophrenia, psychotic illness, bi-polar disorder, the relationship between marijuana use and psychosis, and lived experience. Home on the Hill is very grateful for these wonderful speakers who have given freely of their time and expertise! Please see information under Robert Veltheer Series or upcoming events. For further information contact email@example.com The Robert Veltheer Lecture Series is funded by a Community and Cultural Grant from the City of Richmond Hill.
Our art psychotherapy program is offered by a registered art therapist (CATA, ACAT).
Art therapy is widely employed in various settings including retirement homes and long-term care facilities to help people cope with and address both mental and physical challenges.
Art therapy helps family caregivers and their loved ones who suffer from mental health challenges like burnout, depression, anxiety or suicidal thoughts, express their thoughts and feelings in a safe and non-judgmental space.
We offer free art therapy services in one-on-one, as well as semi-private or group settings. To maximize the therapeutic benefit of our services, we strongly recommend that each client participate in at least eight sessions (ideally, once or twice per week).
Art Expression through Painting: Unlike Art Therapy, this is not a therapy class. Participants are encouraged to express themselves freely through painting. The group can include caregivers and those living with mental illness. The weekly session is run by a local artist who engages and inspires us to express ourselves through painting. Materials are supplied and the coffee is on us. This event happens at Cover Notes in Richmond Hill.
Music Jamming: The music session helps participants improve their health in several domains, such as cognitive functioning, motor skills, emotional development, social skills, and quality of life by expressing their creativity through music.
Free Community Lunch : This program is for our loved ones who volunteer in the kitchen but caregivers are welcome. The program believes in a “healthy mind, healthy body” approach. It focuses on communication, cooperation, mindfulness, creativity and appreciation. Working together in the kitchen provides our volunteers with a sense of initiative and belonging. Preparing, and serving these healthy lunches fosters integration, and builds self esteem. Lunch is served at St. Mary’s Anglican Church in Richmond Hill at noon every Friday. All members of the public are very welcome. This program is currently closed. We will keep you posted when it begins again.
Yoga Class: In this class, individuals will participate in a one hour yoga session that focuses on enhancing your mood, relieving stress and improving memory, all while boosting overall fitness. Limited space is available. This class is for caregivers and those living with mental illness. Please contact Maggie@rveltheer.com.
Home on the Hill acquired its first housing unit at the Community Hub at 10415 Yonge Street in Richmond Hill on November 1, 2016. A tenant was selected for this unit and is currently receiving support services from Home on the Hill. The tenant’s family are happy that their loved one has an independent living unit, but continue to play a vital role in the tenant’s life. Our organization has recently been approved to receive a one bedroom housing unit from Richmond Hill Ecumenical Homes.
Who funds Home on the Hill:
Home on the Hill is a family driven organization whose volunteers contributed an average of 4,000 hours per year. Many of the volunteers are family caregivers. On October 28th of 2017, we had our first gala fundraiser which was very successful. We were very honored that this event was attended by both our federal and provincial representatives and two local councilors. We are also the proud recipients of funding from the Mayor’s Golf Tournament, Councillor Karen Cilevitz’s Skating Party, the Town of Richmond Hill, St. Mathews United Church, Richmond Hill Presbyterian Church, St. Mary’s Anglican Church, Richmond Hill Legion, CharityBingo.ca/Richmond Hill and Private Donations. Please see the Donor Recognition page for more information.
For more recent information about our funders, please see the Funders’ page.
Home on the Hill expresses profound thanks and gratitude to the Richmond Hill Lawn Bowling Club for sponsoring the fundraiser “Lawn Bowling with a Goal” which was held at the Lawn Bowling Club on Sunday, July 7th.