Mosaic Counselling and Family Services

Mosaic Counselling and Family Services

How you can help?
Volunteer or Donate
A program of Carizon family and community services
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Carizon is a source of hope for our community. When children, youth, adults, couples or families face life’s challenges, Carizon programs and services provide the care and compassion to help them achieve wellness. Carizon specializes in children’s mental health, youth engagement and development, family violence services, individual and family counselling, parental support and education, credit counselling, workplace resilience, settlement support and community wellness.

Mosaic is a program of Carizon that provides counselling, credit counselling and community outreach services to children, adults, couples and families.



Coping with Tough Times

Coping with Tough Times is a group program that runs on Thursdays, 1 – 3 pm from July 24 – September 25, 2014. Topics include: Understanding Stress, Balance and Self-care, Mindfulness, Managing our Thoughts, Coping with Pain and Loss, Creativity and Coping, Acceptance, Compassion and Strengths, Peace and Positivity and Goal Setting.

Click here for more information about Coping With Tough Times group.

The Fort: For Kids Living with FASD

The Fort GraphicOperated in partnership with Waterloo Region District School Board, The Fort is a pilot Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder class for students ages 8—12 years that has been operating since September 2013. The name “The Fort” was recently created to reflect a classroom that is a safe place, guided by the needs of the students where students can learn and have fun together because they are understood and supported. The name also echoes its French derivative “forte” – meaning strong point.

Learn more about The Fort and the next steps for this pilot project in September 2014.


Trauma Informed Parenting Workshop

Front Door LogoFront Door is offering a Trauma Informed Parenting Workshop for parents/caregivers of children and youth who have experienced and been impacted by trauma. This is an educational workshop with the objective of assisting participants in understanding and parenting their child from a trauma-informed perspective. Check out the flyer. Participants will leave the workshop with a tool kit of resources to support their learning. The workshop has no fee, but registration is required.

Date: June 17th, 2014
Time: 6 – 8 pm
Location:  Front Door, 1770 King St. East, Suite 5, Kitchener , ON

To Register: Contact Melissa Voisin at 519-749-8740 ext 254 or

Trauma Informed Parenting Workshop Flyer June 2014

Dynamic Girls Group Spring 2014

Dynamic Girls is a group for teen girls aged 15-18 that focuses on improving social interaction, increasing self-esteem, and improving mood. Each week we will cover different topics and teach girls skills that will help them cope with difficult times, overcome obstacles, and develop healthy relationships with themselves and others while they navigate their teen years.

The group will cover the following topics: self-esteem, body image, mood, anxiety & stress, and healthy relationships, with a Domestic Violence component.

The group runs for 7 weeks and will cost $140 ($20/ session).

For more information on this group please call (519)743-6333.

Encompass program launches camp for kids living with FASD

boy with star glassesWe know that the summer break can be a challenge for families living with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder, so the kidsLINK Encompass Program created a camp that supports the kids and helps the parents to relax, knowing that their children are in good hands. Our trained professionals have the skills, experience and expertise to provide a specialized camp that is safe, therapeutic and fun.

The camp provides opportunities for children ages 8-12 to experience indoor and outdoor play, creativity, and skill development.

The camp will run for two one-week sessions: July 28-August 1, and August 25-29.

For more information, parents can check out the camp flyer.

HairUnited, The Show 2014, coming June 1st!

PrintPlease mark Sunday, June 1st on your calendar and plan to attend a fabulous fundraiser. HairUnited The Show 2014 is an evening of inspiration, creativity, talent, fashion and fun. Organized by Artline Salon in cooperation with a group of local salons, the evening is dedicated to raising funds for our Encompass Recreation Program. The doors open at 5:30 and the show starts at 6 p.m. Tickets are $30 in advance and can be purchased at any of the participating salons, or $35 at the door. Check Out the HairUnited Poster

Many thanks to Artline Salon for organizing this event. Participating salons include: Artline Salon, Pino’s Salon & Medi Spa, Fad Hair Studio, Teknik Salon & Spa, St. Louis Adult Learning Centre, Bilalo’s Hair Artistry, Flo Hair Lounge, So Chiq, and Cucci Cabello.

HairUnited The Show 2014
Sunday, June 1, 2014,
Doors Open at 5:30 p.m.; Show Starts at 6 p.m.


106.7 Country, Crowne Plaza Hotels & Resorts, Astley Gilbert Intelligent Imaging, TJ Durnan Photography, DJ Kruz, Do It In Style, Fine Feathers, Gemini Models, Artals Promotions Inc., Design UR Dreams, Simply Social.

Spring 2014 Groups

Spring groups are now available for registration.  Please check out our Group Programs for more information.

Taking Action! – Remembering, Caring, Preventing

FVPThe Family Violence Project of Waterloo Region will be hosting a community event in support of National Victims of Crime Awareness week (April 6 – 12, 2014). The event includes a memorial, children’s activities, barbecue and speeches by guest speakers. This is an opportunity for communities to honour all victims, promote victims’ rights, and to remember those impacted by crime.
April 6, 2014, 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Victoria Park Pavilion
80 Schneider St., Kitchener, ON

Pathways to Education Canstruction 2014 – A Great Success!

This past Saturday at Conestoga Mall in Waterloo, eleven Pathways to Education students met to complete the fire pit made from cans that they had spent months designing. The students were incredibly hard working, patient and easy going. They had a blast building all afternoon!

Their hard work paid off as their build was awarded “Best Use of Labels” by the Canstruction judges.

Take a look at the video summary of the day:

If you’d like to vote for their structure by making a donation to the Food Bank. Go to: or visit the build in the mall and make a donation in person.

All of the Canstruction builds will stay standing in the mall until next Sunday, March 16th, so feel free to check them out yourself.

Carizon Introduces new Vision and Mission Statements

Carizon Vision: Hope~Wellness~Community
Carizon Mission: Carizon is a multi-service community organization committed to improving the future of individuals and families through supportive, therapeutic and preventative programs.

Director of Children’s Mental Health Talks About Troubled Youth

Lesley Barraball, Carizon Family and Community Services’ Director of Children’s Mental Health, talks to Gary Doyle on 570 News about troubled youth. Listen to the Podcast.

8 Tips to Keep Your Budget on Track in 2014

A new year is here, and with it comes a new chance to do things right when it comes to your finances. For many of us, a few pointers on budgeting couldn’t come at a better time. According to Statistics Canada, the ratio of Canadians’ household credit debt to disposable income reached an all-time high: 163.7 per cent. CBC Kitchener-Waterloo spoke to Heather Cudmore, the Manager of Mosaic Credit Counselling, a program of Carizon Family and Community Services in Kitchener. Here is a synopsis of some of her tips to keep your budget on track in 2014.

The Empty Nest Syndrome

Mosaic Counselling Supervisor, Theresa Karn, speaks with CBC about The Empty Nest Syndrome.

Pathways Volunteers Saluted at Kitchener Awards Ceremony!

Abdullah and FaridaThe City of Kitchener recognizes the great passion of active older citizens and their role as community champions. As such, the City hosts a special Salute to Seniors awards presentation to honour seniors for being role models through active involvement and contributing to a healthy community. Two of the individuals being recognized at this year’s ceremony on June 13th are Abdullah and Farida Mohibuddin.Abdullah and Farida are both tutors in the Pathways to Education program at Mosaic Counselling. The couple emigrated from Bangladesh two years ago to be with their 3 children, all of whom came to Canada for University and decided to stay. Abdullah and Farida, both in their 60s, are making a difference by bridging the generation gap and contributing to the success of students. Only four months after arriving in Canada, they began exploring ways to volunteer in their new community. Pathways to Education drew their attention because the program involves youth and education. Farida was a teacher in two English schools in Bangladesh, so she is able to draw from her own experience when working with Pathways students. For Abdullah, however, it is something new. He was a commercial pilot prior to coming to Canada. They share a passion for working with the students, and have many stories to impart.They will soon have been with the program for two years. When asked what keeps them going, the answer is simple says the Mohibuddins: “To be with the students, as we love children. Tutoring the students is interesting and brings pleasure for us, especially when we find the students are eagerly waiting for us.”It is a rewarding experience. Farida shares a story of a Grade 10 student who was struggling with Geography. The student said she didn’t like it and found the homework, assignments and tests really hard. At that point, she wasn’t passing and was disheartened. Farida started working with her once per week for three hours and used many encouraging techniques. After only one month, the student came back and told Farida happily that she had improved her mark so much that she passed Geography!Farida and Abdullah strongly believe they are making a difference and are happy to share their experience with the students. They say it all comes down to patience, love and affection.

Children’s Mental Health Week

Todd Nutbrown from kidsLINK talks to Gary Doyle about Children’s Mental Health.

Merger strengthens ability for  service delivery!

Mosaic Counselling and Family Services      kidsLINK

Mosaic Counselling and Family Services and kidsLINK (Notre Dame of St. Agatha Inc.) are pleased to announce today the amalgamation of these two long-standing and successful social and mental health service leaders. The Ministry of Government Services has approved the incorporation of the new organization that will operate as Carizon Family and Community Services as of April 1st, 2013.“Both kidsLINK and Mosaic are recognized for their leadership in providing a multitude of services that strengthen individuals, families and neighbourhoods,” says Carizon’s President of the Board of Directors, Rich Steinmann. “This merger will allow these two agencies to enhance their ability to contribute positively to the well-being of children, youth, adults, families and communities.”CEO Sue Gillespie, who will lead Carizon, identifies the ability of the new organization to provide a continuum of care that meets the changing needs of our community. “Combined, kidsLINK and Mosaic have the experience of providing services to our community for more than 216 years. As a leader in social and mental health service delivery,” says Gillespie, “we will draw on that expertise to leverage complementary strengths and proactively pursue an even more impactful future.”The name Carizon, a combination of the words care and horizon, was designed to capture the nature of the services provided by the agency, as well as its hope and vision for the future of this community.

CTV Investigates Dealing with Debt

CTV anchor Rosie Del Campo looks at the warning signs of financial trouble in the first part of a three part series exploring Canada’s rising household debt to income ratio. Mosaic’s Credit Counselling Manager Heather Cudmore shares her insights.

Mosaic E.D. Sue Gillespie featured as CTV’s Local Hero

Carizon Family and Community Services CEO Sue GillespieOn October 3rd, thanks to her successful United Way bid, Sue Gillespie got to be Police Chief for a Day. CTV followed the story and also recognized Sue’s contribution to the community, honouring her as CTV’s Local Hero. Check it out.

Theresa Karn Talks about Couples & Chores on Gary Doyle’s Show

Listen to the Gary Doyle Show on 570 News as Gary and Theresa talk about a study about Couples and Chores.

Naomi’s Journey and How Mosaic Made a Difference!

Naomi's success story

As far back as she could remember, Naomi recalled a childhood of physical, sexual and emotional abuse. As a young woman, Naomi struggled with panic attacks and the fear that others were watching her. While Naomi had managed to support herself, she was unable to do so in a public environment. Naomi did her work in isolation, grocery shopped at night when no one else was in the store, and avoided any non-essential activity that took her outside of her own four walls. It was an isolating and draining existence. One day shortly after Naomi’s 30th birthday, Naomi was recognized for her thorough and efficient work and was offered a new job in an office. The job, however, necessitated that she walk four blocks to her downtown office and interact with people several times a day. Naomi desperately wanted the job, but she just could not get beyond the fear. That’s when she made an appointment at Mosaic Counselling and Family Services and came in to talk to Pauline. Pauline began by listening to Naomi and helping her to deal with her childhood trauma. Pauline also taught Naomi skills to help her manage her anxiety and provided her with tools and techniques to help her to calm herself and to find emotional freedom. Naomi started by walking one block from her home and back, then two blocks, then three. From there, Naomi added other activities, like Tai Chi. It took a number of months, but Naomi eventually accepted that job. Naomi credits Pauline for “opening up her life.” Today, Naomi not only enjoys her new career, but she has joined a hiking club where she walks for miles on end, all the while socializing with others.Naomi is one example of an individual that has overcome life’s challenges thanks to Mosaic’s Trauma Client Assistance Fund. This fund provides counselling and services to members of our community that have experienced a traumatic event and would otherwise not be able to afford or have access to these services. You can help people like Naomi.