The Hamilton Overcoming Obstacles Handbook

Local resources. Inspiring stories. Practical advice.

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The resources below were made possible by the generous support of the following local businesses

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Mutual Help

Jamie McCarthy is a rehabilitation counsellor with an educational background in clinical behavioural sciences. For over 30 years she has worked with patients suffering from developmental disabilities, acquired brain injuries, alcohol and drug addiction, chronic pain, and mood disorders. Jamie continues to work in mental health as a private clinician for individuals with mental health concerns and chronic illnesses.

Our passion spans beyond real estate, into the Hamilton community, it’s people, and their stories. We work to build relationships that support our city’s collective ambition, creating positive change that stretches throughout the region. We believe in a stronger Hamilton — an Ambitious City — that offers opportunities to foster success from a place of compassion and inclusion.

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Operating with a complete wellness lens ~ helping beginners begin again in health, fitness and wellness being. | 

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As a psychotherapist, I aim to build genuine connections with clients, while creating a safe and accepting space for them to share, reflect and grow. I work with children, adults, couples and families and welcome people of all backgrounds and identities to connect with me. 

Energy Tap Counselling
and Consultation Services

If you are experiencing a turning point in your life, we can help you navigate it. There is wisdom within you that can offer you the support you seek. Together, we will find your inner wisdom through empathy, curiosity and connection. We will embark on a journey inward to find what you are looking for outside of yourself.

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Whether it’s physical, financial, professional or psychological, everybody goes through tough times in their lives. Josh Martin was 28 years old when he experienced his biggest challenge yet: an aggressive form of leukemia. Inspired by his journey, the Overcoming Obstacles Handbook is a free collection of real-life stories, practical advice and local resources in the Hamilton, Ontario area geared at helping people who are facing adversity.

Get your copy of the handbook


Video features

Blood donors: helping others

Ten years ago, cancer almost killed me. Blood donors saved my life. And for that, I just wanted to say thanks.

Practicing gratitude

Gratitude. What’s so special about it, and how can we cultivate more of it in our lives to help us through tough times?

Life is awesome. Life is awful.

Sometimes life is an ice cream sundae smothered in chocolate. Other times it’s a flurry of kung-fu kicks to the gut.

Letting go

When my sister Meghan got stuck in the mud, she learned a valuable lesson about the importance of letting go.

Community resources in the Hamilton, Ontario area

One of the most important lessons Josh learned from his health crisis was the importance of community. Whether it was accessing peer support programs, using the Cancer Society’s shuttle service to get to appointments or tapping into educational materials from the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, community resources played a big role in his success.

Whatever obstacle you face in life — personally, professionally or otherwise — be sure to consider the resources available in your community. Fortunately, the Hamilton area boasts all kinds of organizations and programs focused on helping folks overcome a variety of obstacles.

Below, you’ll find information about some of them. This listing is by no means exhaustive, but it will hopefully give you a flavour of the kinds of resources available in your own backyard.

Mental health

Canadian Mental Health Association – Hamilton

Crisis Outreach and Support Team (COAST)
(Hamilton 24-hour crisis line)

Therapists, counsellors & psychologists in Hamilton

Grief counselling in Hamilton

Depression counselling in Hamilton

Anxiety counselling in Hamilton

Quite a Stretch Yoga & Zumba (trauma sensitive yoga)
(offers classes for people with PTSD, people dealing with cronic illness, caregivers facing compassion fatigue, children and adults with ADD/ADHD, and more)

Physical health

Alzheimer Society of Brant, Haldimand Norfolk, Hamilton Halton

Canadian Cancer Society – Hamilton Brant-Norfolk Community Office

Resources for seniors

Accessible transportation services

Families and individuals

SACHA Sexual Assault Centre
Sexual assault 24-hour support line: 905-525-4162

Hamilton Interval House
(women’s shelter & services)
24-hour support line: 905-387-8881

Native Women’s Centre
(emergency shelter for women)

Good Shepherd Centre
(emergency food and clothing; emergency shelters; homelessness programs; and more)

St. Matthew’s House
(emergency food, housing support, senior services, mental health outreach and more)

The King’s Way Outreach Centre
(emergency food and clothing)

Hamilton Food Share
(food recovery program for people in need)

Learning Disabilities Association of Halton

Thrive Child and Youth Trauma Services

YMCA Hamilton

Employment and financial

Credit Counselling Society

Catholic Family Services of Hamilton
(credit counselling)

Employment Hamilton
(free employment counselling services)


Immigrants Working Centre

Settlement Services – Hamilton
(directory of local programs and services)

Want to help others in your community overcome obstacles? Here are few local opportunities to consider:

Neighbour to Neighbour Centre
(volunteer opportunities)

Volunteer opportunities – City of Hamilton

Habitat for Humanity Hamilton

Blood donor clinics
(for nearby clinics, search “Hamilton”)

Big Brothers Big Sisters