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Free mental health resources for you – courtesy of Canadian Mental Health Association Ottawa
Self-isolation because of the coronavirus, also known as COVID-19, makes for a challenging time for everyone, especially when it comes to our mental health.
This guest blog post is from your friends at the Ottawa branch of the Canadian Mental Health Association.
We want to share with you some free mental health resources that may help you and your family get through this tough time. If you or a loved one are feeling depressed or anxious, there are some programs available that can help.
BounceBack is a program that was designed to help adults and teens 15 and older to manage low mood, mild to moderate depression and anxiety, stress or worry. It is delivered over the phone with a coach and through online videos. You will get access to tools that will support you on your path to mental wellness.
You can choose from a series of workbooks that you will find fun and helpful, too. To sign up, ask your family doctor to help with a referral, or you can refer yourself.
Big White Wall
Another program is a free online support community called Big White Wall. You can chat with people going through the same things that you are going through – and you can do it anonymously.
Tips for mental health
If you do not want to sign up for a program like BounceBack or Big White Wall, but you still want some tips for looking after your mental health during the COVID-19 situation, here are some things you can do:
- Try not to ignore your anxious thoughts. Instead, be aware of your anxiety and accept that you are feeling anxious in this situation. Try to keep things in perspective; notice and challenge your thoughts that may be extreme or unhelpful.
- Self-care is very important at this time, as worries can be made worse if you are not taking care of yourself. Try to get enough sleep, eat healthily, exercise and do activities that you enjoy. Do the things you would normally do to support your health, and be sure to use caution and follow health and safety guidelines while doing them.
- Only get your information from reliable news sources.
- Do what has been outlined by Health Canada and other health agencies. Focus on the things you can control, like washing your hands, covering your mouth during coughs and sneezes, and avoiding non-essential travel.
- If your anxiety is causing you too much distress or is getting in the way of your ability to live normally, reach out for help. There are some numbers you can call below, and some websites you can visit.
Remember, if you are experiencing a mental health emergency, please go to the emergency department at your nearest general hospital or call 911.
Here are some more options for when you’re in crisis:
- Distress Centre of Ottawa: 613-238-3311
- Mental Health Crisis Line: 613-722-6914
- Tel-Aide Outaouais: 613-741-6433
- Kids Help Phone: 1-800-668-6868
- Youth Services Bureau: 613-260-2360
Find more helpful information on the CMHA website: https://ottawa.cmha.ca/about-cmha/for-clients/