Cooking Connections – Overcoming Stigma

Cooking Connections is an 8 week workshop series that is psychoeducational in nature for persons living with mental health and/or substance use disorders. 

It addresses the different types of stigma people can encounter in their lives and introduces strategies to combat stigma, reduce social isolation and build capacity and confidence.  The overcoming stigma workshops are coupled with food literacy workshops where participants get to assist in the preparation of their meal (with the support of a kitchen workshop facilitator and volunteers).  We believe that cooking and eating together amplifies the power of food in bringing people out of isolation and into community.  

The program is delivered by Peer Facilitators who have themselves gone through the program and undergone Peer Facilitator Training.  The work is also supported by a mental health professional who can assist participants if they need it during program delivery. Participants leave the program with an individualized social inclusion plan for the following three to six months.  We invite all past participants to social inclusion lunches. 

Our partners at Providence Care take the lead on participant recruitment and provide support through the duration of the program, while our partners at Queen’s University take the lead on evaluation and support program development. This grant aims to demonstrate the scalability of Cooking Connections with the support of partners such as The Table in Perth, Ontario, and the Napanee Area Community Health Centre.

Program Offerings/Options

Programs are offered in: Kingston, at the Rideau Heights Community Centre; in Perth and Smiths Falls by The Table; and in Napanee, at the Napanee Area Community Health Centre.

To register for the program in Kingston, please email

To register for the program offered by the Table, please email

To register for the program in Napanee, please email

Staff Contact

Tibratā Gillies
Community Kitchens Manager

Program Partners

Thank you to our various partners for supporting this work in communities across the area!

Funded By

Thank you to The Ontario Trillium Foundation for making this program a reality!

Ontario Trillium Foundation Logo

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