As the stigma is being washed away more and more each year, it’s important to remind ourselves that mental health is just as important as physical health.
We’ve come a long way in recent years, paving the way for those living with mental illness to become exceedingly more open to addressing their problems and sharing their experiences. But for all the progress we have made, there continue to be moments that remind us of how much further we need to go.
According to CAMH, 1 in 5 Canadians are struggling with mental illnesses right now. By the age of 40, 50% of us will have experienced it first-hand.
If you are new to anxiety and/or depression, the first thing to note is that you are not alone. Our initial response to harmful thoughts usually is the opposite, but for every horrible feeling you have, know that there are others just like you who have gotten through it. It helps to talk to someone you are comfortable with talking to about your mental health, or someone you know has experienced it themselves. If you believe you have no one to turn to or are uncomfortable talking to friends/family/loved ones, seek a mental health professional. Anyone can get a referral to a mental health professional through their general practitioner.
Here are a couple ways you can get free mental health help in Toronto:
The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) has a 24/7 Psychiatric Emergency Department (the only of its kind in the province) at 250 College Street location.
— will (@willdarbyshire) September 10, 2016
CAMH also has three walk-in-style clinics aimed towards young people set up around the city. The clinics are located in Toronto at ‘What’s up’ walk-in at Scarborough’s East Metro Youth Services, Delisle Youth Services (at Yonge & Eglington) and a new ‘What’s up’ walk-in at the South East Toronto Family Health Team (at Danforth & Woodbine).
For more information on accessing CAMH’s services, visit this page. It is important to understand your (or your loved ones’) illness, so speak to your doctor, educate yourself (get a library card and rent out books for free!) and look to credible sources online for information.
You can also visit the ER at your nearest hospital or please use these free over-the-phone support services:
Toronto Distress Centres (416) 408-4357 or 408-HELP
Gerstein Centre 416-929-5200
Telecare (Mandarin & Cantonese), 416-920-0497
Contact Centre Telecare Peel 905-459-7777, Languages: English, Punjabi, Hindi, Urdu, Spanish, Portuguese
Assaulted Women’s Helpline 416-863-0511, Toll-free: 1-866-863-0511
Progress Place Warm Line 416-960-9276 or 416-960-WARM, every day from 8pm to 12 midnight
Kids Help Phone at 1 800 668-6868
Distress Centre Peel 905-278-7208
Durham Crisis Line 905-666-0483
Oakville Distress Centre – 905-849-4541
For a full listing, please check out CAMH’s extensive list of crisis services for Ontario.
Photo by Pietro De Grandi on Unsplash