Taking Care of Your Mental Health
We are all in this together but we each experience it differently. Have you checked in with yourself lately? In these uncertain times feelings of concern, stress, and anxiety are normal. Take one step at a time and try these positive coping tips. We don’t just have to survive this, we can find moments to thrive. Reach out if you need help.
Take it one step at a time
It is okay to take breaks from what you are doing. Allow yourself to slow down.
- Take a deep breath
- Imagine yourself in a peaceful place
- Think about something that makes you happy
- Enjoy fresh air, get outside, go for a walk
Check-in with yourself
Allow yourself to stop and think about how you are feeling. Some questions to ask yourself are:
- How am I feeling?
- Do I feel like myself?
- Am I taking care of myself?
- Am I feeling easily frustrated?
- Am I staying connected with others?
If you feel you may need some extra help, scroll down this page for a list of free mental health resources and supports. Positive coping strategies can also help you take care of your mental health. Try these tips below.
Take care of yourself
Take one step at a time. Small steps can make a difference. Breaking things down into smaller pieces can help.
- Think about the small things you have done and take pride
- Journal your thoughts and feelings
- Unplug from social media
- Protect yourself by following Public Health advice
- Ask for help if needed
Support your mental, emotional, and physical health
- Be kind to yourself
- Create a routine
- Move your body
- Get outside
- Get rest and sleep
- Avoid using alcohol or other substances to relieve stress
Mental Health Resources and Supports
The challenges Hamilton residents face because of COVID-19 are often experienced differently depending on our social identities such as race, Indigenous identity, age, work status, gender identity, sexual orientation and disability.
Resources to support you and your loved ones to cope with stress and anxiety during COVID-19:
- BounceBack: 1-866-345-0224. Free program that provides guided mental health self-help supports for those above age 15 using workbooks, online videos and phone coaching.
- ConnexOntario: 1-866-531-2600. Mental health, addictions and problem gambling support for adults and frontline workers.
- COAST: 905-972-8338. Mental health support for those in crisis.
- Barrett Centre for Crisis Support: 905-529-7878 or toll-free 1-844-777-3571. 24 hour mental health crisis line.
- Internet-Based Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (iCBT) available through MindBeacon or Morneau Shepell: free online cognitive behavioural therapy to develop skills and strategies to address symptoms of mild to moderate anxiety and/or depression, and help cope with situations related to COVID-19, such as isolation, pressure caring for family and community members, information overload and stress. Online support by a therapist.
- Big White Wall: an anonymous online community where members can support each other 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
- Wellness Together Canada portal: free online resources, tools, apps and connections to trained volunteers and qualified mental health professionals
- Mental Health Services in Hamilton: listing of mental health services and supports in Hamilton.
- 50 Ways to Stay Mentally Healthy During COVID-19
For quarantined/isolated individuals
- Dealing With Isolation: information on preparing ahead, self-care, keeping busy, social interaction and supporting a loved one in isolation.
For children, youth & families
- Contact Hamilton: 905-570-8888. Connects those under age 18 with local mental health services.
- Kids Help Phone: 1-800-668-6868. 24/7 mental health support by phone and text for children and youth under age 18 and under.
- Child and Adolescent Services: book a free online or phone counselling appointment for children or youth under 18 and their families. No waitlist.
- Parenting During COVID-19: tips for supporting and engaging with your children as well as self-care tips for parents and caregivers.
- Talking To Your Child About COVID-19: tips to address anxiety in a reassuring way for children.
- Coping With COVID-19: guide to help children cope through self-regulation.
- Back to School Mental Health Kit: resources and tips to help you and your family navigate school during COVID-19.
- School Mental Health Ontario: tips for parents and families during school
If you have concerns about the safety or well-being of a child or youth under 18 years old or if your family is in need of support contact:
- Catholic Children’s Aid Society Of Hamilton: Phone 905-525-2012
- Children’s Aid Society of Hamilton :Phone 905-522-1121
- Emergency After-Hours: Phone 905-522-8053
- For services in French (8:30 am to 4:30 pm): Phone 1-855-550-3571
For youth and young adults
- COVID-19 Youth Mental Health Resource Hub: resources to support youth to take care of themselves and look out for the people they love.
- Kids Help Phone: information and support.
- Good2Talk: 1-866-925-5454. Confidential phone and text support for post-secondary students.
- Speqtrum Hamilton: weekly online check-ins and peer support sessions for 2SLGBTQIA+ youth, age 29 and under, during COVID-19.
For older adults and seniors
- Seniors’ Centre without Walls: 905-973-0891. Free recreational activities over the phone.
- Seniors Mental Health Clinic and Outreach Services: 905-522-1155 ext. 36396. Outpatient and outreach mental health programs via phone.
- Seniors Safety Line: 1-866-299-1011. Safety planning and counseling for older adults who are being abused or at-risk of abuse.
For newcomers, immigrants, and refugees
- COVID-19 Resources & Information: community and government information.
- Mental Health Counselling & Support: 905-526-0000. Virtual mental health counselling and support for refugees and newcomers by Refuge Hamilton Centre for Newcomer Health.
COMPASS Hamilton: 905-523-6611. Virtual counselling and support groups in multiple languages, client advocates and peer support workers.
For Indigenous people
- Indigenous Call Centre: 905-549-4884, ext 416. Niwasa Kendaaswin Teg culturally safe call centre that connects Indigenous residents in Hamilton to resources such as food supports and mental health supports.
- De Dwa Da Dehs Nye>S / Aboriginal Health Centre: 905-544-4320 ext. 215. Mental wellness services by phone that are culturally appropriate and culturally safe for members of the urban Indigenous community.
- Hope for Wellness Helpline: 1-855-242-3310. Immediate mental health counselling and crisis intervention for Indigenous peoples by calling or using live web chat.
- Talk 4 Healing: 1-855-554-4325. 24/7 support and resources for Indigenous women in 14 languages by calling or texting.
- Mental Health & Wellness Tips: The Assembly of First Nations resources and tips for mental health and wellness during COVID-19.
For Black communities
- Caribbean African Canadian Social Services: social services for Black residents, including mental health counselling.
- Black Youth Project: reminders and affirmations to help Black community members through the pandemic.
- 8 Mental Health Practices for People of African Descent while Isolated
For 2SLGBTQIA+ communities
For people with disabilities
- CNIB: free virtual programs for those who are blind or partially sighted, their families, friends and caregivers.
- Surrey Place: supports for those with developmental disabilities and their families.
- Canadian Association of Community Living: COVID-19 mental health resources for those with disabilities.
Health Care Access, Research, and Developmental Disabilities (HCARDD): virtual mental health supports for people with developmental disabilities and their families.
For health service providers and allied health workers
- Counselling During COVID-19: 905-521-0090. Free phone or virtual mental health support offered by Canadian Mental Health Association to Hamilton healthcare and social services staff.
- Mental Health Support Services: free confidential support for healthcare workers including online Cognitive Behavioural Therapy provided by St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton by phone, virtual face-to-face care or online discussion groups.
- Supports For Long-Term Care Workers: resources on health and well-being.
- CAMH: tips and ideas to maintain your mental wellness and cope with stress.
- ECHO Coping with COVID: online peer sessions for health care providers responding to the COVID-19 pandemic, presentations and resources.
- ECHO Care of the Elderly for LTC: online peer sessions for those working in long-term care settings, presentations and resources.
For essential workers
- Caregiving During COVID-19: guide to developing a self-care and resilience plan.
- The Ontario Caregiver Organization: information, resources and videos to support caregivers during COVID-19.
- Tips for People With Dementia, Caregivers and Families: tips to navigate caregiver challenges during COVID-19.
For people experiencing violence
Call 9-1-1 if you need help right away and are in danger.
- Hamilton Interval House - Crisis Line: 905-387-8881. 24/7 crisis line for women experiencing domestic violence.
- Assaulted Women’s Helpline: 1-866-863-0511. 24/7 crisis counselling, support and referrals via phone for women in up to 200 languages. Anonymous and confidential.
- Sexual Assault Centre Hamilton Area: 905-525-4162. 24/7 support line for those 16 years of age or older of all genders who have experienced sexual violence at any point in their lives.
- Woman Abuse Working Group Hamilton: safety planning and support services for women experiencing violence.
- Seniors Safety Line: 1-866-299-1011. 24/7 confidential referrals for seniors suffering abuse.
Canadian Women's Foundation: learn how to safely check on a person if you suspect they are experiencing violence. This video shows "the signal for help" hand movement for those who suffer from domestic or family violence to let others know they need help during video chats/calls.
For people at risk or experiencing homelessness
- CMHA Primary Healthcare Clinic: 905-521-0090, ext. 256. Phone and video mental health and addictions support for those age 16+ who do not have a family doctor and are experiencing homelessness.
- City of Hamilton Housing & Homelessness: information on shelters as well as changes to rent, evictions, and financial supports during COVID-19.
For people who use drugs or alcohol
- ConnexOntario: 1-866-531-2600. Mental health, addictions and problem gambling support for adults.
- COVID-19 Harm Reduction Resources: harm reduction information and guidance for people who use drugs, people working in the sex industry, people on PrEP, people living with HIV and Hep C, and more.
- COVID-19 and Opioid Overdose Response: precautions for responding to an opioid overdose in the community during COVID-19.
- Alternatives for Youth: 905-527-4469. Substance use and addiction treatment services for youth and their families by phone.
Alcohol, Drugs, and Gambling Services Hamilton: 905-546-3606 for information, counselling and programs on alcohol, drugs and gambling. Alcohol and drug programs are for people age 23 + and gambling program for those age 12+. Family and friends can also call for information and support.
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