marisa mariella

easy mouthwatering recipes that unite your family and friends

Food is medicine

True but it’s the preparation and sharing of it that really feeds the mind, heart and soul. You can eat to satisfy the basic need of hunger but it’s only with the mindful attention to wellness that food can truly offer a valuable boost to mood, confidence, and self-esteem.

In my 30 + years as an educator, I have weaved opportunities to welcome students in the kitchen all the time! Whether it was with my peer leadership groups baking treats to sell at community fundraisers, cooking together as part of mental wellness strategies, or running weekly cooking sessions with newcomers, the kitchen was the perfect classroom. A delicious way of building community, the food that we prepared did so much more than just satisfy hunger. Skills in self-care, communication, problem-solving, and resilience were all wrapped up in the kneading of dough for pizza, crushing tomatoes for sauce, and forming chickpea patties for falafels. Sitting together to enjoy the fruits of our labour allowed for story-telling, the sharing of cultures, and most importantly, the forming of new friendships. The powerful connections created were not just with others in the group but with life itself. Lessons in nutrition and budgeting were gently folded in with promoting gratitude and diversity. Even a pot that boiled over or cupcakes that burnt in the oven provided a glimpse into useful life strategies! Any way you stir the pot, cooking and sharing what you’ve created can leave a lasting positive impact on the individual and the community.

Tiger-Cat players join students in mental wellness activity night

Hosted by the Gaels Culinary Club and the Health Action Team, the event was attended by over 40 students. With the theme of mental wellness, participants enjoyed fun and interactive ways to learn something new, meet other students and get a little exercise, all while connecting with two professional football players.

our first Annual Self-Care Night – HWCDSB

What do zumba, henna, make-up tips, button-making, stress-reducing tips, self-esteem and great food have in common? They all were part of CHS’s first annual Self-Care Night on April 24th.

Hamilton students paint to reduce mental health stigma

We talked about mental health and the warning signs and what stigma is,” she said, adding that some shared personal stories. Spalding said it was a very enjoyable experience.

THE spec

School mentorship club named mental health champs

A local high school’s student-led mentorship group has won a national award for its work in mental health education.

THE spec

trying to open everyone’s eye’s

Cardinal Newman’s iMATTER program takes aim at mental health issues

THE spec

Hamilton YWCA mask campaign hits home for volunteer

The women are part of the Donnici Social Club’s campaign to get others to join the effort, known as #sewgratefulYWCAHamilton.. Spadafora recently donated her first 50 masks, having initially perfected her craft by making the protective equipment for her workplace until a supplier was secured, then for the Peterborough Regional Health Centre.

hamilton news

Stoney Creek Schools fills gap in mental health education

It’s noon at Cardinal Newman Catholic Secondary School in Stoney Creek, and the foyer at the centre of campus is bustling with students.


cardinal newman Imatter group earns chamber honour

Cardinal Newman Catholic Secondary School’s peer mentors group is being honoured for bringing mental health and illness education to the forefront.

hamilton news

Bishop Ryan’s celtic circle earns ymca peace medal nomination

Members of the Celtic Circle from Bishop Ryan Catholic Secondary School recently attended the 2014 YMCA Peace Medal Breakfast to accept an award nomination from their principal.

hamilton news

bishop ryan catholic secondary school’s celtic circle welcomes new students

Everyone remembers the first day of high school. So why not ensure a happy memory? With this in mind, Bishop Ryan’s Celtic Circle joined forces with the student council to host the annual orientation day on Sept. 3 for incoming Grade 9 students.

hamilton news

bishop ryan catholic secondary school’s hira waheed earns 2016 ontario junior citizen award

Hira Waheed believes challenges only make you stronger. The 17-year-old Bishop Ryan Catholic Secondary School Grade 12 student suffers from extreme fatigue frequently. But she doesn’t let the…

hamilton news

Stoney creek’s emilie suwala meets premier wynne, Lieutenant Governor Elizabeth Dowdeswell at Junior Citizen presentation

Stoney Creek’s Emilie Suwala, 16, was among 12 recipients honoured on March 9 by the Honourable Elizabeth Dowdeswell, Lieutenant Governor of Ontario, during the 34th annual Ontario Junior Citizens of the Year Awards ceremony in her Suite at Queen’s Park.

hamilton news

chstv news – wednesday dec 19, 2018



petal to the metal for families living with cancer

Cardinal Newman Catholic Secondary School students and staff hopped on stationary racing bikes, pedalled to heart-pounding music and sweated it out for the Coast to Coast Against Cancer Foundation’s Inside Ride Monday.

hamilton news

bishop ryan’s emilie suwala earns 2014 ontario junior citizen of the year award 

For Emilie Suwala, bringing awareness to mental health problems and breaking the stigma around mental illness is personal.

hamilton news

cardinal newman third annual “inside ride” raising funds for teens and children with cancer

Mindy Tweedle stopped by Cardinal Newman Secondary School in Hamilton where over 300 students and staff participated in “Inside Ride” to help their community. This year’s ride was dedicated to student Jacob Binkosky who survived cancer recently.

bishop ryan students explore mental health through artmatters

It’s noon at Cardinal Newman Catholic Secondary School in Stoney Creek, and the foyer at the centre of campus is bustling with students.

hamilton news

imatter – stoney creek community recognition award 2012 

The 2012 Community Recognition Award went to Imatter — Taking care of teen mental health.  Cardinal Newman’s peer mentors group of more than 60 students has garnered national, provincial and local recognition. They were honoured for bringing mental health and illness education to the forefront.

Interview with marisa mariella & students

Fr. William Trusz from Immaculate Heart of Mary Church in Stoney Creek, Ontario hosts a weekly program on Radio Teopoli, AM 530 in Toronto and online every Wednesday from 1-2 p.m. ET.

Today we have special guest Marisa Mariella, head of student services at Bishop Ryan Catholic Secondary School in Hamilton

radio teopoli 530 am

Cardinal Newman teacher raises funds for mental health

Over the course of the summer, Jim Znonar, a teacher at Cardinal Newman Catholic Secondary School, embarked on a cross-country bike ride to raise awareness and funds for mental health.


Youth Spirit of Hope award: weMATTER collaboration addresses teen mental health

More than 400 individuals gathered on May 6, 2015 for St. Joseph’s Healthcare Foundation’s third annual “A Mental Health Morning.” It was there that “weMATTER: Mental Health Team Leadership” was presented with the inaugural “Youth Spirit of Hope award”.


Candy canes symoblize true meaning of Christmast at Bishop Ryan

Ask any member of the Celtic Circle at Bishop Ryan Catholic Secondary School and they will tell you that a little treat can ignite a lot of Christmas spirit.

On Wednesday, Dec. 16, the members of the Celtic Circle Student Leadership Club delivered over 1,600 personalized candy canes to every staff member and student.

Hamilton News

Members of the Celtic circle at Bishop Ryan Catholic Secondary School

In high school, reputation is everything – and mental illness tends to have a bad one. “No one should be judged for something that’s out of their control,” says Michaela Kelly. The Grade 12 student is a member of Celtic Circle, a peer group at Bishop Ryan Catholic Secondary School in Hannon, Ont.

Readers Digest

BR’s Celtic Circle earns provincial award

Members of the Bishop Ryan Celtic Circle Student Leaders were recognized for their exemplary peer helping program at the Ontario School Counsellors’ Association (OSCA) Gala Dinner on November 9th where they were presented with the association’s prestigious Daryl L. Cook Peer Helping Award.


What I know now that I wish I knew then: Tips for success for high school graduates

Are you a senior in high school? Think back to the transition from elementary to secondary school and most students will remember some fun and informative event that included meeting real live high school students.


A bucket list dream became cross-country ride for suicide prevention

Hamilton high school teacher Jim Zvonar will be ending his 54-day cross-Canada bike trip Thursday with a triumphant ride to the Cape Spear Lighthouse, in St. John’s, Newfoundland.


Skating offers an afternoon of fun and more!

Thanks to the efforts of SWIS worker, Jupiter Deveau and Youth Mentorship Coordinator Osama Al-Taie, over 30 students from high schools across both boards recently enjoyed a traditional outdoor skating experience at Hamilton’s Waterfront Outdoor Rink. As most of these students are new to the country, this event gave them their first experience on skates.


Cathedral’s 2nd Annual Candy Cane Campaign goes international

Over 1400 personalized candy canes were delivered during period 1. A simple gesture, the personalized candy cane was meant to deliver more than just a sweet treat…. it was a reminder that everyone is important at CHS.


Cathedral students recognized for volunteerism, academic accomplishments and leadership

Established in 1996, the awards celebrate the rich cultural heritage of the community, with a particular focus on the contributions that African Canadians make to the social, economic, and cultural life of our city. Each year, the Hamilton Black History Committee joins with the wider community to celebrate the achievements of youth and acknowledge the contributions of community members.


Bishop Ryan student selected for Youth Ambassador Program

Selected as one of 17 young Canadians for the prestigious Youth Ambassador Program, DaCosta will spend three weeks in the United States to learn about civic education, community service, youth leadership, and social inclusion.


Student Leaders Making A Difference

Cardinal Newman Peer Mentors try to motivate, inspire, guide, nurture, lead and move others to action. They address transition, not just during the months leading up to the first day of high school, but throughout all of high school. Their team approach ensures that all new students and their parents feel welcomed into the Newman community.


Run 4 Their Lives

Since 2009, more than 250 members have collectively earned almost 10,000 Christian Service Hours and donated over $42, 000 through Run 4 Their Lives. The events that we have supported are the Terry Fox Marathon of Hope, Give the Gift of Life Walk for the Kidney Foundation of Canada, Road 2 Hope for Citykidz and Hope for Haiti, The Freedom Run for the Diabetes Foundation, the Santa Shuffle for the Salvation Army, the Heart & Stroke Foundation (canvassing and the Big Bike), The Inside Ride for Coast to Coast, Every Step Matters – MS Walk, the Brain Tumour Foundation of Can-ada, .M.A.D 4 Maddie, and Gord Paul‘s Triple Ironman for Haiti.


Congratulations to the 2016 champions of mental health

The 2016 Champions of Mental Health Awards were presented last night in Ottawa during Mental Health Week. The annual Champions Awards presented by Bell Let’s Talk celebrates individuals and organizations whose outstanding contributions have advanced the mental health agenda in Canada in the past year.