If you are experiencing suicidal thoughts or behaviours or a mental health crisis please call 911 or contact a professional in your community immediately. The below blog is solely intended to remove mental health stigma, help you and yours find resources, and bring attention to May being Mental Health Month.
Mental Health Month could not come at a more crucial time. As we continue to deal with the effects of Covid-19, now more than ever, taking care of our own and our loved ones’ mental health is paramount. Did you know Mental Health Services is a searchable category on Yelp, with businesses there for you in your community? We’re here.
Below are some tips, online resources and top rated spots around North America that are here to help you during this unprecedented time.
We recently hopped on a video chat with Jesse Hayman, VP of Jack.org, the well-respected Canadian mental health non-profit, to discuss mental health hacks to help us all through this time. Here is what he had to say:
You work closely with mental health experts daily, what are a couple of things people should be doing for their mental health right now, if they can?
Tune out if you need to. The 24-hour news cycle is a lot at the best of times and in this context, there is so much added anxiety. Remember to take a break and tune out from the updates if they’re negatively impacting your mental health.
Figure out what feels good. There’s so much online telling you what to do to be healthy. The truth is, different things work for different people and we can’t really figure out what that is until we start to think about it. Try to be mindful of what you do when you wake up in the morning and how it makes you feel. If what you’re doing doesn’t start your day off well, switch it up and try something else. It can be as simple as trying to make your coffee in a French Press instead of a machine, go for a walk instead of heading straight to your computer to work, the changes in your process might help you find new positive ways to break up your day. We can’t figure this stuff out if we don’t take time to be mindful of how things are affecting us. There’s a lot of new, so we need to take the time to find what works for us.
Stay connected. Check in with the people you love and come up with a plan to stay close and engaged with one another. We have so many digital options, use them! Staying connected isn’t hard, so make the time… but again… do you. If talking to no one for a couple of days makes you feel good, go for it. Anything that works for you.
Don’t forget to play. Use the extra time you have right now to cook up a storm, play a long-forgotten board game, or have a dance party in your kitchen.
The (webby nominated!) Be There campaign is very helpful for people wanting to be good allies. If people can learn one thing from it, about how to be a good ally and friend to someone struggling with their mental health right now, what would it be?
Listen quietly and stay curious. We always feel like we have to ‘fix’ something that’s wrong. It’s not your role to ‘fix’ anything – just be there. Listen and stay curious. When you sit quietly and listen to someone and then ask questions instead of trying to fix or give advice…you make people feel heard and supported. That’s what you’re there for. Anyone can head to bethere.org to learn more, but I think that is one simple thing we can all do that would help support people in our lives when they struggle with their mental health.
Be There If you know someone whose mental health you want to check in on, but aren’t sure how to start, Be There is here to help.
Bounce Back A Canadian government site (helpful for Americans, too!) dedicated to helping you find the tools to reclaim your mental health.
CDC Currently the CDC is providing a helpful homepage to help you with your stress and coping mechanisms.
Crisis Text Line Free, 24/7 support at your fingertips. Available in the USA and Canada.
Jack.org Jack.org has created a Covid-19 mental health resource hub. Don’t be fooled by Jack.org being a youth mental health organization, their provided tools are helpful for all ages.
KOTN Normally a clothier, KOTN has shifted gears. Check out their beautifully curated site on helping to keep community, well community, during this trying time.
Movember Foundation Providing excellent online resources for men. Currently highlighting ways to feel connected during Covid-19.
WE Activities and resources for the whole family, with a focus on day-to-day well being.
Top Rated Mental Health Businesses On Yelp:
Healing Elaine New York, New York Bridging the gap between medical and spiritual, and working virtually during this time. Including regularly updating her popular website.
Currently offering an array of online and phone therapy and counseling options.
Back In Action Vancouver, British Columbia Specializing in mental health and rehabilitation services, Back In Action is currently taking new patients and offering telehealth services.
Pause Meditation Portland, Oregon Pause Meditation offers meditation and mindfulness for modern life, so not surprisingly, they are now live streaming classes online.
Evelyn A currently works for Yelp from home in Toronto. She is quarantined with her partner, their busy four-year old daughter and sleepless nine-month old son.
Jesse Hayman is a VP at Jack.org. He has over a decade of experience working in mental health, working closely with experts to raise much needed awareness and funds. He lives in Toronto with his partner and their adorable dogs. He is not a registered therapist.