Women's Mental Health

The Women’s Mental Health Program is an innovative program at The Royal that was created out of a need to address the unique way women experience mental illness, treatment and recovery because of differences in biology and social roles.

We promote mental health and well-being for all women. We work to ensure that women’s experiences with the mental health system will reflect their unique biological, psychological and social needs. 

Women’s Mental Health at The Royal has three areas of focus:

  • Capacity Building
  • Peer Support
  • Research

Capacity Building

Capacity building refers to activities that increase the ability of service providers to address the unique mental health needs of women. We provide education and training to service providers internal and external to The Royal. Some of the topics we have addressed include mental health and trauma, gender identity and expression, responding to disclosures of sexual assault, and mental health first aid with a feminine twist.  

Through our capacity building activities, we aim to bridge gaps in knowledge and practice that exist between mental health services and women’s services in the community.

Is your department or organization interested in an education and capacity building opportunity?  Please send an email ann-marie.obrien@theroyal.ca or emma.slaney-gose@theroyal.ca.  

Are you a service provider, family member, or patient looking for more information on women’s mental health? Check out the resources listed on the right for links to general information as well as local organizations.

Peer Support

Peer support is a vital component of the services offered by Women’s Mental Health at The Royal. Our peer volunteers offer a unique form of support to clients by engaging with the shared lived experience they hold in common.

Peer support volunteers in women’s mental health are women who have experienced mental illness, treatment, and recovery. They have completed training in WRAP facilitation, and are registered volunteers. 

To learn more about peer support, click here.

G R O U P  D E S C R I P T I O N S

Wellness Recovery Action Planning

W.R.A.P. is a program that was developed by a woman, Mary Ellen Copeland, who herself, has experienced mental illness, treatment and recovery. W.R.A.P. is a structured  8 to 12 week group that provides a framework for participants to develop wellness plans based on 5 key concepts : Hope, Self Advocacy,Education, Support, and Personal Responsibility. 

For more information on W.R.A.P. click here.

Living a healthy life with chronic conditions

The aim of this self management program is to support and empower women living with chronic conditions. This program is designed to help women make realistic goals, and build confidence in their ability to manage their health, and maintain an active , fulfilling life.

For more information on living with chronic conditions click here.

Journaling as a Wellness Tool

Journalling is a skill that can assist  with processing thoughts, feelings, and emotions. The goal of this group is to introduce women to a variety of writing exercises. Sharing is optional. Women will have the opportunity to begin to incorporate journalling into their daily lives.

Women recovering from addictions

This drop in discussion group is open to any woman at any stage of recovery. The group is facilitated by women in recovery who are designated volunteers at The Royal.


Interested in Signing up for a group? Contact  ann-marie.obrien@theroyal.ca or emma.slaney-gose@theroyal.ca by email, or call +1 (613) 722-6121 ext.6879.


illustration of pregnant woman holding her stomach

Birth, Parenting and Mental Wellness


Over the past several months Women’s Mental Health at The Royal, with the support of Women’s Xchange at Women’s College Hospital in Toronto, has been working on a project to develop a mental health report card on the mental health status of women staying in Violence Against Women (VAW) sector shelters.

Click here to see an abstract offering preliminary results.

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Shirley E. Greenberg Resource Centre for Women

A cornerstone of the program is the Shirley E. Greenberg Resource Centre for Women, which was created as the result of a generous donation from Shirley E. Greenberg. The resource centre’s main focus is to provide information about available supports to women with mental illness and their family members. The centre serves as a hub for education, peer and family support groups, as well as a safer space for women receiving care at The Royal. Often patients will stop by the centre to spend time with visiting children, to simply relax, or utilize centre resources (computers, telephone, reading materials, etc.).

The Women’s Resource Centre is located on the second floor of the Royal Ottawa Mental Health Centre (1145 Carling Ave.), in the Winter Garden (room. 2103).