5 Resources to Help Manage Your Mental Health During COVID-19
By Ryan Forsyth, Promotions Coordinator.
You are not alone.
There is no question that this is one of the most difficult situations we’ve ever faced. The amount of uncertainty surrounding COVID-19, the impact on our jobs, how we’ll pay our bills, our investments and what will be left of the economy when this is all said and done.
My mind has been racing with these questions and going over almost every possible scenario. As someone who suffers from depression and anxiety, there is almost nothing worse than uncertainty. I know I’m not the only one feeling this way.
We’re all in this together, and no matter what happens, there are people who are trained to help, not only during times like this, but every day. Here are 5 great resources that can help you manage your mental health during this difficult time.
If you’ve been following Ottawa Public Health, they have been doing an amazing job understanding this is a difficult time, and pushing the Ottawa Distress Centre. They are a FREE resource you can call who are trained to deal with numerous situations. They are available 24/7 by calling 613-238-3311. If you are in a crisis, they have a dedicated line that can be reached at 613-722-6914.
We’re including this because we can ALL benefit from mindfulness exercises. You can learn to practice meditation by using apps like Calm and Headspace. You can start practicing yoga by finding videos on the internet or checking out local businesses like Pure Yoga, who are offering classes. But don’t think you have to go all-in, to see benefits. You can do things as easy as breathing techniques, exercise, walking, reading. All you need to do is take a moment to calm your mind and take a step back from all the noise. Don’t take our word for it, there’s science backing it up!
There is a dedicated support line for First Nations and Inuit that are more equipped and trained to assist with a different lived experience and in some cases, their first language. They offer a toll-free Help Line at 1-855-242-3310, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and even have an online chat tool to connect with a counselor online.
It’s important to understand, this isn’t just hard on adults. Kids and teens are suddenly faced with not going back to school, not seeing their friends, and their everyday life completely disrupted. Kids Help Phone offers a variety of services like text, online chat, hotline and daily content consisting of tips, resources and more that’s accessible to a parent and their child. You can get connected with a counselor: 1-800-668-6868 and learn more by visiting their website.
Not everything has to be a crisis. Maybe you’re just starting to experience a mental health issue, or maybe someone you know is having a difficult time coping. Ottawa Public Health offers an abundance of resources available to you that covers many different scenarios, like learning how to talk to somebody about what they’re feeling. It’s really important that we’re there for each other, and this offers support we can ALL use in a time like this.
Just because we’re being physically distant from each other for a while, doesn’t mean we have to be socially distant. Now, maybe more than ever, it’s important that we’re there for each other. Reach out to your family, friends and loved ones. Pick up the phone, send an email, schedule a coffee date over Facetime/Skype. Don’t be afraid to reach out to people you know might be struggling and let them know you’re there for them.
All this news can be overwhelming. Don’t forget to take a break, maybe take a walk outside. We’re all in this together. We’ll get through this. And if you are really worried about immediate harm to yourself or someone else, don’t hesitate to call 911.
Much love, Ottawa. We’re here for you!