Free & Virtual Mental Health Resources YOU can access from home
These are unprecedented times.
During this COVID- 19 pandemic, many of us have a lot on our plate. For the most of us, our schedules and daily routines have done a complete one eighty. This change and ever evolving uncertainty can bring a lot of stress. I am sure that many of you reading this right now are going through your own struggles. Whether that be the worry surrounding your finances, the concern for the safety and well-being of loved ones, the up and down emotions that come with isolation, the feeling of hopelessness that you can not do more, or for some of you, the sadness and grief surrounding a loss that you can not be there for.
These are incredibly tough times.
I encourage all of you to stay connected with one another. Personally, I know how hard it is to go without seeing some of the people you love the most. During these times, it is important to recognize that it is okay to not always be okay, and that it is key to have days were you are honest with yourself and check in with how you are feeling. By staying connected, we are getting through this together! So pick up that phone, face-time that friend or family member, and make sure you are still checking in on each-other.
So, where can YOU get help?
This week, I wanted to spread awareness and share some resources to better assist individuals who are experiencing mental health struggles. At this time, you might think that it is easier for people with mental health disorders, however, that is not the case. Even though some of the “triggering situations” such as school or work, are no longer on the table, this is now replaced with a far worse scenario. Now, if you are struggling, you no longer have access to your counseling appointments, social workers, therapists, or nurse practitioners. The list goes on!
Wondering where you can get help is a question that is running through many minds. I wanted to compile a list of free and virtual mental health resources that local agencies are providing so that YOU can get the help you need. Please take a look at this list. I encourage all of you to check in with loved ones, people can be going through battles you have no idea about. If you are struggling, reach out! You are not alone and so many people want to help.
Check out the list below:
BounceBack – https://bouncebackontario.ca/
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”.
They offer telephone coaching, skill-building workbooks and online videos to help you overcome certain symptoms and gain new skills to regain a positive mental health status. However, it is important to note that this is not a crisis service and they not not offer psychotherapy. Ultimately, it is a life-skills program that helps you to develop coping techniques so that you can overcome any current or future challenges. BounceBack runs through CMHA (The Canadian Mental Health Association) and offers two separate programs, on specifically for youth ages 15-18, and the latter for those 19 years of age and older.
I highly recommend that you check it out!
Carea Community Health Centre – https://www.careachc.ca/
Carea Community Health Centre is a charitable organization that offers free services and community programs to members of Durham Region. They have locations in Oshawa, Whitby, Ajax, and Pickering.
Currently, if you call 1-877-227-3217, they will do their best to help you and get you set up with a virtual appointment. They are offering their counselling online currently, and are looking to expand more of their services to the online platform so that they can better assist you. I have linked the website above, please keep a look out on their news page as they will be announcing these expanded services in the very near future.
Good2Talk – https://good2talk.ca/
Good2Talk is an over the phone, free, and confidential counselling service for post-secondary students. You can also receive more information and referrals for your mental health, addictions, and over all well-being through this organization as well. They currently offer call or text options:
To access their services check out the link above, or follow the instructions below:
To TALK – 1-866-925-5454
To TEXT – GOOD2TALKON to 686868
YMCA 360 – https://ymca360.org/#/
A great resource for our mental health is exercise! It can be one of the best methods to boost our mood. If you are getting tired of walks or riding your bike, take a look at YMCA’s 360 virtual platform through the link above. They are currently offering online and virtual exercise videos/ tutorials. They cover everything from yoga, to bootcamp, barre, pilates, tai chi, and have an active older adults section. I highly suggest that you check these out and use it as an opportunity to get moving and boost your mood all in one.
The Gap Comittee – https://gapcommittee.ca/
The Gap Committee is a wonderful grassroot organization that started in Durham region to bring people together to help fight and end homelessness. Their website has an amazing compilation of resources if you, or someone you know, is in need of food, clothing, or shelter.
Currently, the Backdoor mission in Oshawa is open 7 days a week from 9am to 7pm. Meals are being served as take out only, from 10am – 1pm. Bathrooms are available from 9am -11am and from 5pm – 7pm for individuals in need.
The Gap Committee highlights more of these non for profits, warming stations, and COVID-19 local supports on their website. If you, or someone you know is struggling, please check their website and calendar out for more information!
Mental Health/ Crisis Line Telephone Services
There are many help lines available to assist you if you are struggling. No matter what you are going through, there are people that want to help! Here are some great crisis lines that can assist you if you are currently struggling:
Durham Mental Health Services/Mobile Services
Short term crisis beds, visits and 24 hour free and confidential support line for individuals 16+ with a history of mental illness.
905.666.0483 or 1.800.742.1890
Distress Centre Durham
24 hour telephone counselling, crisis and suicide intervention and referral.
905.430.2522 or 1.800.452.0688
Durham Region Domestic Violence / Sexual Assault Care Centre (Lakeridge Health)
24 hour crisis line. Counselling and referrals for male/female sexual assault victims, all ages.
Durham Children’s Aid Society
For youth age 0 to 16 being abused or in fear for their safety.
905.433.1551 or 1.800.461.8140
Durham Rape Crisis Centre
24 hour counselling and support groups for recent or past abuse.
Family Services Durham
Community Access to Care – Durham
Herizon House – Ajax-Pickering
Women’s Centre 24 hour crisis line.
The Denise House (Shelter) – Oshawa
24 hour crisis line for abused women, counselling, children’s programs.
905.728.7311 or 1.800.263.3725
Bethesda House (Shelter) – Bowmanville
24 hour crisis line
905.623.6050 or 1.800.338.3397
YWCA crisis line and emergency shelter for women.
Drug and Alcohol Registry of Treatment (DART)
I hope you are able to benefit from these resources and get the assistance you need during these times. Please remember to stay connected, check in one another, and spread some love! We can get through this together!