In light of Mental Health Week, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has issued a statement for those who are struggling to reach out and ask for help. Running from May 4 to 10, Mental Health Week is a time for Canadians to reflect and have discussions about the importance of mental health itself and self-care.
This is especially relevant during these challenging times, since the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic is affecting the safety and daily lives of individuals across the country. In addition to disrupting the daily routines of Canadians, the situation has disconnected individuals from their in-person support networks.
“Many people are left feeling isolated, anxious, and afraid for the future,” Trudeau said. He added that while it is integral to continue with the practice of social distancing, being socially connected is now more important than ever.
Although mental health is often stigmatized, it is nonetheless critical to the well-being of individuals. Without discussions and support, those in need would suffer in silence along with the fear of discrimination.
In order to help those individuals, as well as all Canadians, the government has launched a new online portal called Wellness Together Canada. The website offers wellness self-assessment and tracking, courses, applications, group coaching, counselling via text and phone, as well as a community of support. Canadians who wish to use the online portal can do so at no cost.
The Wellness Together Canada online portal also acknowledges that the Canadian population is diverse. Therefore, in order to meet such preferences and needs, a wide range of resources are being offered to others. An account does not need to be created in order to access the advice and coping strategies provided to youth and adults.
To access the free services, users simply have to create an account. Alternatively, for those who wish to not sign up, they can still access help via text and other resources. This additional support includes crisis hotlines for youth, adults, and frontline workers.
For youth, they should text WELLNESS to 686868, while adults should text WELLNESS to 741741. As for frontline workers, they can text FRONTLINE to 741741.
If the situation is urgent in terms of medical support or immediate danger, then the Wellness Together Canada website advises users to call 911.
Children can access online resources through Kids Help Phone as well. The phone number for a counsellor is 1-800-668-6868. The website itself contains a series of informative articles about how to take care of oneself during COVID-19, how to cope with social distancing, as well as how one can cope with either panic or anxiety. This is in addition to links to videos that include facts about the pandemic, how to spot fake news, and how to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.
Meanwhile, adults are directed to the Homewood Health website, where there are numerous resources that may be downloaded to help cope with the situation. Such resources include content about how to deal with financial stress, move beyond anxiety, and how to improve relationships. This is in addition to self-directed online courses about taking control of one's own mood, stress, and being resilient, as well as free counselling can be accessed by calling 1-866-585-0445.
Whether an individual is feeling sad or stressed, interested in learning more about maintaining their mental health, or dealing with substance abuse, these free tools, resources, and professional services are available to them.
“To get through this, we all need to be there for each other,” Trudeau said. “If you know someone who is having a hard time, send them a text or give them a call. If you are struggling, reach out and ask for help. There is no challenge that we cannot overcome together.”
Prasad & Company LLP is also here for its clients, employees, and community. By supporting everyone during these challenges times, we continue to champion quality and reliable solutions and services. Prasad & Company LLP is committed to bringing exceptional value to our community members. We will try to consistently provide up-to-date information about the constantly evolving circumstances. To contact us, call 416-226-9840.