Everyday we as parents face challenges. We are no stranger to daily struggles with our mental health, just finding the get up and do and the energy to spend time on what we feel is important. Often as parents we place ourselves on the back burner, long wait times for therapists and resources here in Canada also don’t help. Since COVID though there has been a massive boom in free mental health resources in Canada; something we’ve needed to see for a long time.
*Please remember that if you are in an emergency situation that there are people to help; call 911 or your local non-emergency line.*
Wellness Together Canada
This organization was created because of the pandemic, this was the government’s response to the growing need and cry out for mental health support. For those of us staying home, for those of us in the healthcare industry and for anyone struggling for any reason. Whether you are struggling with mentally or with substance abuse there is someone there 24/7 to listen. Not only do they offer free one on one counselling services, they have a bunch of amazing online resources with reading material, virtual support groups for those just needed to connect going through something similar to them.
Crisis Services Canada
If you or someone you love is struggling with thoughts of suicide Crisis Services Canada has been doing everything they can to help. With an ever increasing need for volunteers this service has worked to help people through listening, kindness and doing what they can to get you in touch with services you need. They make those first steps towards talking to someone for help as easy as they can. This great service is also available 24/7, 7 days a week: call 1-833-456-4566 or text: 45645.
Hope for Wellness Helpline
This service was made specifically for Indigenous peoples across the country. With culturally competent staffing with incredible experience and Indigenous language options. Both French, English, Cree, Ojibway and Inuktitut. They also have a chatbox option on their website in case you are extra nervous about seeking help. I will be happy to see more and more of these resources for Indigenous coming up across the country.
Canadian Mental Health Association
Founded in 1918, the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) is a national charity that helps maintain and improve mental health for all Canadians. They have created a large space for information on mental health, substance abuse and how we can help ourselves and those we care about. This is a great first step if you are having concerns about anything or you are looking for ways to help support those around you who may be struggling. It is all about helping you find tools to cope within your province or territory.
Care for Caregivers
The mental well being of our healthcare workers is so important, especially right now. Things are so hard and many of who are also parents may need a little extra help. Care for Caregivers helps connect you with a Peer Supporter for free, unbiased and confidential mental health support from someone who understands. By making just a simple call to 1-866-802-7337 or using their online platform you can find a kind ear, resources and help you need. They even have free events that can help you connect with others in your field.
Ease at Home
Sometimes the best way for us parents to help ourselves is to know we are doing everything that we can to help our kids. Ease at Home is a great place to start when you are looking for ways to support your child’s mental well being, especially when you notice stress is getting to them. These resources will help you learn to lessen anxieties with breath techniques and amazing resources geared towards grades K-12. A great resource for not just parents at home but for educators and anyone working with kids in these high stress times.
Heads up Guys
Created with men in mind this amazing organisation helps break through the ideas of toxic masculinity to help men find the help they need. Depression is a silent killer and men are often raised to believe that mental healthcare is a sign of weakness and never seek help. In fact suicide is the leading cause of death in men under 50. Heads up Guys understands how important it is for men to know they can reach out, connect with men who have been there or with one on one counselling resources.
Remember your mental health matters, taking time to reach out for help is something that all of us parents need to learn to do more of. We can’t do this alone and we all need some support sometimes. I hope that these will help you find and access the resources you need whenever you or a loved one may need them. Please reach out if you are struggling, you matter, you are loved.