The COVID-19 pandemic can be a source of stress and impact mental well-being. The Canadian Mental Health Association offers the following basic tips to help people remain calm and balanced as this public health situation unfolds:
- Try not to avoid, ignore or suppress anxious thoughts. Instead, be aware of your anxiety and accept that you’re feeling anxious in this situation.
- Try to keep things in perspective; notice and challenge your thoughts if they may be extreme or unhelpful.
- Lean on social supports (virtually if needed), try to get enough sleep, eat healthy, exercise and engage in enjoyable activities (use caution and follow health and safety guidelines while doing them.)
- Seek information from reliable news sources only.
- Limit checking in on the latest news to short, defined periods. Reliable news sources include:
- Remain focused on things that are within your control, such as washing hands, covering your mouth during coughs and sneezes, avoiding non-essential travel, etc.
If you’re noticing that your symptoms of anxiety (in association with COVID-19 or otherwise) are causing you significant distress or are interfering with your ability to function normally, reach out for formal mental health supports from a recognized agency, such as the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) or other agencies and resources listed below.
- Public Health Agency of Canada’s (PHAC) Taking care of your mental and physical health during the COVID-19 pandemic
- Kingston, Frontenac and Lennox & Addington Public Health: COVID-19: Taking Care of Your Mental Well-Being
BounceBack® is a free skill-building program managed by the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA). It is designed to help adults and youth 15+ manage low mood, mild to moderate depression and anxiety, stress or worry. 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.
BounceBack is a free, guided self-help program that’s effective in helping people aged 15 and up who are experiencing mild-to-moderate anxiety or depression, or may be feeling low, stressed, worried, irritable or angry.
Participants receive telephone coaching, skill-building workbooks and online videos to help them overcome these symptoms and gain new skills to regain positive mental health. To receive telephone coaching support, clients must either be referred by their primary care provider (family doctor, nurse practitioner) or psychiatrist, or they may self-refer as long as they’re connected with a primary care provider. For those who are not quite ready for coaching, the online videos can provide helpful tips.
BounceBack is not a crisis service, psychotherapy or counselling, but a life-skills program that participants work with to develop coping techniques so they can overcome challenges now or in the future. Typically, participants take three to six months to complete the program.
ConnexOntario: 1-866 -531-2600 or www.connexontario.ca
Free and confidential health services information for people experiencing problems with alcohol and drugs, mental health and/or gambling. Available 24/7.
Crisis Services Canada: 1-833-456-4566
Suicide prevention and support.
Distress and Crisis Ontario: http://www.dcontario.org/
Distress Centres (DC’s) across Ontario offer support and a variety of services to their communities. At a DC you can find a listening ear for lonely, depressed, and/or suicidal people, usually 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The website also offers a chat function.
Safe peer-to-peer mental health community that is accessible online 24/7. Free to all Ontarians aged 16+.
Kids Help Phone: 1-800-668-6868 or text CONNECT to 686868
Youth mental health support available 24/7.
Hope for Wellness Help Line: 1-855-242-3310
Offers immediate mental health counselling and crisis intervention to all Indigenous peoples across Canada. Phone and chat counselling is available in English, French, Cree, Ojibway and Inuktitut.
Talk4healing (for Indigenous women): 1-855-554-4325
Talk or text mental health support for post-secondary students
Crisis Assessment and Support Team
Haldimand-Norfolk Health Unit does not provide mental health counselling or treatment.
If you or someone you know is in crisis, having thoughts of hurting yourself or others, call 9-1-1 or go to the nearest emergency department.
You can also call 1.866.487.2278 to reach the Crisis Assessment and Support Team (C.A.S.T.). The Crisis Assessment and Support Team (CAST) is a 24 hour mental health crisis service for people age 16 years and older. The team is made up of clinicians specializing in mental health/addiction service.
- 24 hour phone line offering crisis assessment and support, education, and direction to community resources.
- Face to Face crisis assessment and support of individuals admitted in an emergency department of Haldimand and Norfolk counties
- Crisis assessment and support of individuals urgently referred to CAMHS
- Face to Face short-term crisis counselling and referral to appropriate community service as required.
Assaulted Women’s Helpline:
- TOLL-FREE: 1-866-863-0511
- TOLL FREE TTY: 1-866-863-7868
- #SAFE (#7233) on your Bell, Rogers, Fido or Telus Mobile
24-hour telephone and TTY crisis line for all women in Ontario who have experienced any form of abuse.