Innovation That Supports Mental Health Awareness Month

May is Mental Health Awareness Month. According to The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, in any given year, 1 in 5 Canadians experiences a mental illness or addiction problem, and by the time Canadians reach 40 years of age, 1 in 2 have or have had a mental illness.
The phrase self-care is used more these days, and the topic of mental health is often discussed, with the help of initiatives like Bell Let’s Talk Day, but there is still a long way to go.
There are different methods to increase your mental health, which can range from more simple meditations to start the day, to seeking professional assistance. Every person is encouraged to take care of their mental health, but it can be hard to know where to start, or what suits your needs. For mental health resources, visit here.
Here are a few local startups that support mental health throughout Peterborough and the Kawarthas!


Kawartha Lakes resident Joanne Ilaqua is the founder and CEO of Mamasoup, an app designed to provide mobile support to new moms.
Ilaqua launched the app in 2018, after having 20 years of experience as a nurse, doula and Lamaze childbirth educator supporting new mothers. She recognized how new mothers may feel lonely, isolated, and without support.
Her app is even more valuable now as Covid-19 has caused social distancing.
“Social distancing is hard for most of us, but the physical, emotional and financial toll of caring for children during a global pandemic is a bigger problem than ever for moms,” says Ilaqua.
Various studies have found stay-at-home mothers are more likely to experience worry and depression due to lack of interaction with others outside of family. With the current pandemic, these experiences are likely to increase. Mamasoup helps counter this by providing a mobile community of support.
The app works as a community of local support, and moms can find comfort in having access to that right on their phone.
Learn more about the app here.


Jessica Dalliday, based in Kawartha Lakes, has created multiple platforms that provide a welcoming experience to anyone on the journey for a healthy body and mind.
Dalliday created Pilates on Demand, an online subscription service that provides an abundance of workout videos. From meditation, prenatal to HIIT, anyone can find a healthy activity suited to them. She continues to add new series that supports mental health practices, including meditation and stretching.
With her slogan, redefining what healthy looks like, Dalliday’s mission is to provide a platform that allows any person to find healthy exercises that work for them.
Before Pilates on Demand, she started the blog The Healthy Sweet Potato, providing tips for an overall happy and healthy life, as well as sharing an openness to her own living experiences when it comes to health, eating, fitness and fertility.
You can learn more about the vision behind her work and Dalliday’s story as to why it’s become her passion here.


Danielle Sage and partners came to the Innovation Cluster to gain support in creating Counselling Connection. This online platform is designed to connect psychotherapists to supervisors, so participants can get the required hours needed to become registered with the College of Registered Psychotherapists of Ontario (CRPO).
Sage created this after recognizing those that live in more remote areas struggle to complete the hours needed. Counselling Connection solves this.
She is a graduate of Trent University with a Masters Degree in Social Psychology. Danielle’s experiences in community organizations providing support and program facilitation prepared her well for connecting with others in various capacities.
Sage works with clients to navigate symptoms of anxiety and depression, supports individuals through the grief process, and aids in the enhancement of positive self-esteem, body image and successful life transitions. She is able to assist her clients with improving their communication, building confidence, and developing self-care routines and healthy self-talk.
Learn more about Counselling Connection here.