Loneliness and isolation have been linked to mental health difficulties in all age groups. Given the need for us all to practice physical distancing, taking care of our mental health is an important part of responding to the COVID-19 pandemic. The resources below include information on how to monitor your mental health and promote positive mental health and social connection for yourself and loved ones. We’ve also listed mental health and addictions services and supports available to both the public and those working on the COVID-19 frontlines.
Self-Care and Managing Mental Health:
Choosing sources of information during COVID-19 and setting boundaries
Understanding how stress, anxiety, and depression can manifest during COVID-19
Op-Ed – ‘Social distancing’ is a misnomer: we should be physically distancing, but remain as social as ever
Tips for maintaining social connection while physical distancing
Supporting the young people in your life during COVID-19
Tips on talking to someone in crisis during COVID-19
Resources and Services:
If you are currently receiving mental health services, contact your service provider if you have not yet done so – many are shifting towards telehealth and virtual care to maintain physical distancing during COVID-19. If you or someone you know is in immediate danger, please contact 911.
Directory of regional crisis support centres in Canada
Wellness Together Canada provides mental health and substance use supports online (in partnership with the Government of Canada)
Resources for health care workers (including information on support groups and helplines for physicians, nurses, and other health care workers)
Children and youth 18 and younger who need to talk to someone about their mental health can call or text Kids Help Phone 24/7 at: 1-800-668-6868
Hope for Wellness provides mental health counselling and crisis intervention for all Indigenous peoples across Canada (phone and chat counselling immediately available in English and French; by request in Cree, Ojibway, and Inuktitut), toll-free and 24/7 at 1-855-242-3310
Talk 4 Healing provides support for Indigenous women 24/7, with services available in 14 languages by calling or texting 1-855-554-4325, or contacting live chat at: http://www.talk4healing.com
Good2Talk provides confidential mental health support services for post-secondary students in Ontario and Nova Scotia
BounceBack provides a free, evidence-based cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) program for adults, youth ages 15-19, and care providers in partnership with CMHA Ontario
Zahra Clayborne is an epidemiologist and PhD candidate at the University of Ottawa, where her research focuses on factors that influence mental health throughout the lifespan and across generations. She is passionate about science communication, and promoting positive mental health and wellbeing for all. You can find her on Twitter @zclayborne.