COVID-19: Resources for Ontarians Experiencing Mental Health and Addictions Issues During COVID-19
Ontarians are suffering from increased anxiety due to COVID-19 and related uncertainties. Ontarians with mental health and addictions issues are particularly vulnerable and may experience increased anxiety or worsening of existing mental and addictions symptoms. The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) has released strategies to maintain your mental wellness during the COVID-19 pandemic to provide information and suggestions about how best to cope in this difficult time. Here are some ideas that might be helpful (further details provided on the CAMH strategy page): Consider and accept that some fear and anxiety is normal; Seek credible information (I.e., information provided by experts and reputable sources); Assess your personal risk; Seek support; Get proper rest and sleep; Stay active. Please be aware that some providers are modifying how they deliver services to better protect their clients and employees from COVID-19; it may be more challenging at this time to connect with your existing publicly funded mental health and addictions provider or peer support group. The Ministry is working with providers to find ways to support both new and existing clients. Public Resources If you feel like you need additional mental health and addictions support, the following resources are available in Ontario free of charge: Your primary care provider, who may be able to provide treatment and support or provide a referral to local mental health and addictions supports over the phone. ConnexOntario (1-866-531-2600), Ontario’s mental health, addictions and problem gambling help line, which can provide contact information for local mental health and addictions services and supports, including crisis lines. Visit Big White Wall, a 24/7 anonymous online education and discussion platform for mental health support. Visit bouncebackontario.ca to access their guided self-help program using workbooks, with phone coaching support, or ask your primary care provider for a referral. Children and youth under 18 can locate mental health services through the Ontario.ca and Kids Help Phone websites, or contact the Kids Help Phone (1- 800-668-6868) or Good2Talk helplines for 24/7 support, if they need someone to talk to. mindyourmind is a mental health website with interactive tools and resources to build capacity and resilience for youth and young adults. Visit Ontario.ca for the latest information and advice on COVID-19, including a self assessment tool for COVID-19. Ontarians may wish to apply for the federal Canada Emergency Response Benefit if you are facing additional financial pressures due to COVID-19.