The nature of the GTA is such that military families do not live on a base and are therefore spread across the region in local communities. One of the aims of our program is to provide a setting to bring these families together and lessen the feelings of isolation that can be common during the absence of a military member.
Activities, Programs, & Workshops
Bringing Families Together
Events and workshops run at different times throughout the year, usually in the evening and occasionally on weekends. The events provide an opportunity to participate in social activities, learn more about the CF and the deployment cycle, and meet other families who are also experiencing a prolonged separation.
- Pre-Deployment & Reunion Information Sessions:
Sessions are available for family members of a CF member who will be separated for a long period of time for overseas deployments. These information sessions will look at the cycle of deployment and reunion. We will discuss common reactions and ways of coping while your loved one is away and preparing for homecoming and what to expect after a long deployment. Contact the Family Separation and Reunion Coordinator to schedule an appointment or find out when the next group information session is happening.
- Pre-Deployment & Reunion Packages:
Information packages are available prior to departure and reunion. The package includes information on preparing for the departure or return of your loved one, what to expect, Toronto MFRC deployment services, and more. Contact us to request a package be sent out to you.
- Warm Heart Line:
The main purpose of the Warm Heart Line is to ensure that families of CF members remain connected to the military community, other families and services during separations. The Warm Heart Line is run by staff and specially-trained volunteers. It is not a counselling service. The role is to offer a friendly voice and a listening ear. All contacts are strictly confidential.
- Email Support:
You may also wish to connect with us by email to ask questions or to check in. Please contact the coordinator to be added to the email distribution list for updates regarding events and activities, or to receive an electronic version of our monthly newsletter.
- Support Groups:
Support Groups are set up for family members who would like to meet with others who are experiencing the deployment of a loved one. There is also an educational element to the groups; specialized topics including coping skills and self-care – are presented depending on interest, and deployment-focused coping materials and resources will be provided. Support groups require a minimum of 5 families to run. Please contact the coordinator if you are interested in joining a group.
- Mentor Program:
This new program matches people who have lived through a deployment with those who are experiencing it for the first time. The mentor provides practical support and a friendly ear to people who are dealing with the separation or reunion of a loved one.
- Individual Counselling:
Support counselling can be arranged for those who may need some extra support during a difficult time. All sessions are geared towards teaching self-care and coping strategies and are completely confidential. These can be done in person and over the phone. Contact our counsellor at 416-633-6200 x 4330.
- Free Overseas Mail Drop-Off Location:
This free service lets families of deployed personnel send parcels free of charge to their loved ones who are serving overseas. For more information visit our Morale Mail Parcel Services page.