The intention of AHandUp.ca is to build a resource to help understand homelessness, addictions and mental illness in vulnerable populations across Canada. It is for both professionals and consumers.

Rick Couchman shares a wealth of understanding and experience in the social sciences, including:

  • a BA double majoring in psychology and sociology from Wilfrid Laurier University
  • 8 years as a caseworker in Ontario Works
  • 4 years as an outreach coordinator with hard-to-employee clients within Ontario Works
  • a stint as an outreach manager with the Canadian Mental Health Association
  • several years as a supportive housing outreach coordinator with The Bridges at the Cambridge Shelter in Galt, ON
  • several years as a supportive housing worker for disadvantaged, homeless youth for Cambridge Kiwanis Non-Profit Housing
  • had a six-month contract as an online communications specialist with a regional health unit.

Rick uniquely brings vast lived experience with severe, medication-resistant depression and general anxiety disorder. He has been hospitalized a dozen times for the affliction, including a couple suicide attempts. He has also tried ECT and rTMS procedures in the past 6 years, as well as numerous CBT and DBT therapies over the past decade.

Rick is married, with a wife Sherry and two awesome kids in their 20s, living in Cambridge, Ontario.