CARP MENTAL HEALTH SYMPOSIUM SUCCESS!! 

Carp and area residents were invited to attend a free Mental Health Symposium held on February 3rd at the Carp Mess Hall. The Saturday morning event was hosted for the community by Carp Health Access (CHA) and focused on the challenges of mental health faced by our growing population. The event attended by 18 people, featured four mental health experts including two who live in the area.

Starting with increasing the awareness of mental health, the speakers laid the groundwork for involvement in one’s own individual mental health journeys. A focus was placed on the foundations of mental health found in healthy eating, sleeping and moving.

Susan Blain is a Mental Health Champion and led off the morning introducing the group to her Dare to be Vulnerable Project and her path that led to its creation. She spoke of vulnerability and mental health in the workplace. Susan works directly in the community and has no specific boundaries, because mental health touches everybody’s workplace. More on the work she has done and the successes that have been achieved can be found here: 

Second to speak was anxiety nutritionist Taylor Gendron. Recounting personal experiences, Tay lead the group through a presentation on the effects of inadequate nutrition on mental health and physical well being. Tay struggled for years with generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder and depression before discovering the vital role diet, digestive & hormonal health plays in mental health. Today she spoke on how to break with chronic anxiety, panic attacks and drastically improve one’s mental health through the powerful combination of food, lifestyle changes, nutraceuticals, gut and hormonal health optimization, nervous system regulation, yoga, meditation, mindset and lifestyle coaching. Tay has a strong online platform that has a wide reach. For more information check out @tay.gendron ,

Dr. Jennifer Barnes from Carp’s Storms and Rainbows Psychology was introduced to the community. Jennifer Barnes is a clinical psychologist who currently works with children and adolescents at her practice in Carp, providing psycho-educational assessments. These assessments can help children and adolescents achieve their maximum potential in their schooling. Individuals may struggle academically for a variety of reasons, including difficulties with attention, learning disorders, or the impact of mental health concerns such as anxiety. Psycho-educational assessments can provide an in-depth look into an individual’s strengths and weaknesses, and can provide recommendations for academic success. Jennifer can be reached at:

The session was rounded off by Christine Harrison, a Registered Psychotherapist, Registered Clinical Therapist and Registered Child and Youth Therapist. Christine is a CHA board member and owner and lead clinician at Focus Forward Therapy Group with clinics in both Carp and Kanata. Mental and physical health are brought together in a boutique setting for all ages through Christine’s team. Christine spoke about cognitive behavioural therapy and stress, providing a basic understanding of both. For more information on Focus Forward Therapy Group: 


To summarize, Christine said “those in attendance were engaged in the symposium all morning. There were some really great questions and one of the things that came up is we have a lot of caregivers in West Carleton, and you really do need to care for yourself to be able to care for others.”

Photo courtesy of Jake Davies. West Carleton Online article by Jake Davies can be found online here.


Carp Health Access and the Huntley Community Association was pleased to host a webinar "Exploring Radon Gas" in November 2023.

This one hour presentation linked community members with Gordon Gillespie, owner of the locally based company “613Environmental”. Gordon gave an excellent overview of Radon Gas, its impacts on our health, where it can be found, and how to measure and mitigate if your home has levels over those accepted to be safe. 

For more information please see the website for the C-NRPP The Canadian-National Radon Proficiency Program available online here:  or via Gordon's website at:

CARP HERITAGE WALK: Carp is an area rich in natural and human history spanned by eons of time. The one billion year-old Canadian Shield landscape of the Carp Ridge rises to the north. The Carp River valley spreads south, its deep, fertile soils deposited by the Champlain Sea. Both are part of the ancestral homeland of the Algonquin Anishinaabeg people who hunted, fished, foraged, and traded in the Ottawa Valley. European settlers arrived, changed the landscape, and created a village in what we now call Carp.

Carp Health Access is working with Friends of the Carp River, Huntley Community Association, Huntley Township Historical Society, and the Village of Carp BIA to create a Carp Heritage Walk to honour this vibrant human and natural heritage.

In the last twenty years, Carp has grown from a small village to over 2,000 residents. In addition, many visitors come to Carp for the Farmer’s Market and the Diefenbunker Museum without exploring other village venues. New residents and visitors alike are unaware of the area’s history. Our group of local organizations wants to change this.

The group’s volunteers envision the Carp Heritage Walk as a walking tour around the village. Physical signs will mark key locations, inviting people to stop and read about Carp’s history. Also available will be a virtual tour that offers more sites to visit where physical signs may not be practical.  

The Carp Heritage Walk has multiple benefits:

  • It adds to the village vibe, fosters civic pride, and improves awareness of the area’s history.
  • It promotes local businesses by encouraging residents and visitors to walk through the village and discover the diversity of goods and services available.  
  • It supports Carp as a “15-minute community”, one where people can walk or bike to places that meet their daily needs.
  • It educates and informs in a way that is fun and healthy.  Various loops will offer different distances for physical activity goals.
  • It supports Carp’s Community Design Plan, which promotes a walkable, vibrant rural village.

As plans come together and heritage sites are identified, we will reach out to local businesses, organizations, and individuals to discuss inclusion in the Carp Heritage Walk. We are also working with the City of Ottawa and Councillor El-Chantiry’s office.

The current plan is to have the Carp Heritage Walk up and running by summer 2023. Funding will come from grants and possibly fundraising activities.

If you would like to be involved, please contact us.

Visit our Facebook page for the latest information.

Carp Memorial Hall at the intersection of Donald B. Munro Drive and Carp Road.

The Carp Review newspaper office on Carp Road (now adjacent to the Carp Post Office).

Today’s Ridge Rock Brewery building used to be a gas station.

Historic view of Donald B. Munro Drive looking west.

Natural heritage like the Carp River will be part of the Heritage Walk.

CARP FITNESS PARK : The Carp Fitness Park project involved installing stationary, outdoor fitness equipment that can be utilized by all ages in Langstaff Park. We needed to raise $38,000 (these funds were matched by the City of Ottawa) to get the park built and with lots of help, WE DID IT!

The project has been completed and the equipment is available for use! Donors of $1000 or more will receive recognition on a plaque at the site of the park, and have received plaques they can display in their home or office, as well as recognition on our website and social media pages.

We'd like to acknowledge the following organizations and individuals who each donated $1000 or more
toward the Fitness Park: David Sweanor, Ken & Denise Hoppner, Tracy & David Caughell, Greg LeBlanc & Sallie Storey, Kathy Fischer. We'd also like to acknowledge the following businesses that supported this initiative:



FUNDRAISER FOR THE FITNESS PARK: This event took place Thursday, March 28th at the new Carp Commons Retirement Village facility. We were able to raise over $4000 toward the fitness park initiative, bringing us that much closer to our goal!


This event took place on Wednesday, August 15th and raised over $900 toward the Carp Fitness Park project! View more pics on our Facebook page.

(December & July 2017) - CHA donated $1050 to the WCFAC on two separate occasions in 2017.Each donation provides support to a family of four for a six-month period.

THE STOCKING PROJECT (December 2017) - CHA donated $500 toward The Stocking Project, an amazing initiative with a simple premise: to provide stockings to families who may need a little helping hand around the holidays, yet who would not normally ask for help or solicit help from an agency of any kind. The Project depends on community members to refer their friends, neighbours and colleagues as project recipients. All referrals remain confidential. CHA's donation went specifically to families residing in Carp.

X-RAY VISION CAMPAIGN (April 2010 to August 2016): The Foundation’s inaugural effort, the X-Ray Vision Campaign, was a smashing success. We reached our initial goal of raising $350,000 to install state-of-the-art digital x-ray equipment which resulted in more efficient, effective service for residents in the western communities including Carp, Stittsville, Constance Bay, Kinburn, Kanata, and Richmond. The Foundation continued the operation of the service in Carp until August 2016, at which time the assets of the clinic were sold to a key employee who is now overseeing the operation of the clinic and is looking to expand the services to potentially include bone density and ultrasound imaging. It's important to note that you do not have to be a patient of the West Carleton Family Health Team to utilize the x-ray clinic's services - access is available to anyone!

We are also researching a number of other projects to support the goal of keeping healthcare access local. Contact us with your ideas - we'd love to hear them!


NURTURING YOUR CHILD IN THE AGE OF ANXIETY: Our most recent event was held on October 26th at the Huntley Parish Hall. The panel of experts included mental health professionals from Ottawa Public Health, University of Ottawa, Family Services Ottawa, and the Western Ottawa Community Resource Centre, who shared the current thinking on: how the developing brain affects children's behaviour; ways to identify the causes and early signs of anxiety and depression; healthy coping strategies, protective factors, and practical tools; and community programs and services.

THE HIGHS & LOWS OF CANNABIS: This event took place on May 25th at the Carp Memorial Hall. 

We put together a panel of experts who presented information and answered questions, including Sylvia Chan, West Carleton Family Health Team; Mark Asfar, Momentum Law; Michelle Davis, Canopy Growth; Rebecca Trueman, Lifted Spirits; and representatives from Ottawa Public Health and the Western Ottawa Community Resource Centre.

CARING FOR THE CAREGIVER: Thiscommunity education event took place on November 10th at the Carp Mess Hall and featured a panel discussion on how to the balance the care of a loved one with the needs of the caregiver, including practical tips for preventing burnout and available resources.

Our line-up of experts included:

  • Dr. Pam Grassau - Carleton University, University of Ottawa, Bruyere Research Institute
  • Margot Beak - Home Instead Senior Care (please visit for more information)
  • Talia Ignacy - West Carleton Family Health Team (please click here for a copy of Talia's presentation)

Addition contributions were made by the West Ottawa Community Resource Centre. Please click here for their brochure outlining the variety of services and resources they provide!

A few other tidbits we'd like to share:

  • in-hospital chaplain services can help patients navigate the hospital system
  • Going Home Program - requires a referral from the hospital social worker; entitles seniors to 10 days of free transition services after discharge (e.g. meals-on-wheels, etc).
  • Not Just Tourists - donate redundant medical supplies to people in developing countries. Click here for more info.

Special thanks to our sponsor: Carp Commons Retirement Village

CANCELLED - The 3rd event in our series of Community Education Sessions unfortunately had to be cancelled due to insufficient registration. However, the Ottawa Regional Cancer Foundation has kindly provided us with information about their program that you can access here.

Please stay tuned to our website and Facebook pages to find out about future events.

The second event in our series of Community Education Sessions was held on Saturday, October 21st, 2017. This session featured a panel discussion on the latest exciting research, therapies, and available resources for autism.

Our line-up of experts included Marnie Potter (Autism Ontario), Shelley Brown (Therapist), Guy Batta (Parent), Carolyn Eartly (CHEO's Autism Program), and Suzanne Jacobson (Quickstart Autism).

Our inaugural Community Education Session was held on March 11th, 2017 and featured Elizabeth Rigley, author of the popular book Smart Aging for Women, with a talk on preventing heart disease.

For a copy of Elizabeth's presentation, click here.

Elizabeth's book can be purchased online in both paperback and e-reader format at: Borealis PressChapters/IndigoKoboAmazon; and iTunes.