Emergency! NOT!

As much as I know this, sometimes I don’t follow my own advice. Something life and emotions feel like an emergency and we have the tendency to want to talk about it, right this second!

The problem is that our emotions are controling our behaviour at this point and we may react in a negative way – with aggressive, or what I think is worse, passive – aggressiveness, and we may be irrational and not be think with our wise mind.

Give yourself a break.

A day or two at the very least, wait until things ‘cool down’ a bit. If it’s still on your mind in the coming day, then talk about it.
Be patient, it truly is not an emergency.

Try:

I feel_______, because of _______.

Ex. I feel hurt because of the way you spoke to me…

Instead of: You’re a piece of shit, horrible boyfriend/friend, You are a bad person.

Quit judging, and only highlight the facts. “I feel hurt” “I feel disappointed”, because of______.

Rachel Page

My Story – a little bit Bipolar

MY STORY

Health care professional can suffer from mental illnesses too, and I stand proud to announce that I am one of them.

Don’t ever be afraid to share your story!

Where do I even begin?

In my teens, I was treated as an outcast; I was bullied and made to feel small and unimportant. The kids judged me before they even took the time to get to know me.  They said and did hurtful things that still sting to this day. Shouting crude comments, teasing, taunting, harassing, pointing, whispering, eye-rolling, laughing, criticizing, or they left me in silence with no one to turn to, no one to talk to. I was easily rejected because people didn’t want to associate with me. When I did make friends, they weren’t the type of friends that you wanted. They were the type to subject you to the world of drugs and alcohol.

Life became risky, and I became rebellious. I gave little avail to how I was hindering my life and future.
I didn’t care because for once, I was finally feeling something besides hopelessness, fear, and sadness.

FORTUNETALY, a light bulb went off in my brain towards the ending of high school and I made it a goal to at least obtain my High School Diploma.

It was those younger days, when I felt what actual depression felt like. It was sometimes an internal battle of wanting to stay alive and wanting to end all the suffering.

Once high school was over, I entered into a state of equilibrium and it has only been disrupted if triggered by specific incidents, such as a breakup, death, failed friendship, major life change, etc. This state of equilibrium only lasted for a few years, and then as I entered my young adult life, I suffered from constant low-grade depression, with the occasional relapse into Major Depression.

In nursing school, I suffered from debilitating panic attacks. There was nothing worse than feeling like the world was closing in on you; my hands would begin to tremble; my heart would begin to race. My heart would beat so strongly that I was certain that it was going to explode or just stop from extreme exhaustion. My breathing would quicken and my hands would begin to tingle. I would feel like I was breathing but yet no air was getting into my lungs. the lump in my throat made it difficult to swallow. I was more afraid of having another panic attack then of death itself.

Once nursing school finished, so did the panic attacks…. Go figure! Actually, I think they ended up transitioning into generalized anxiety and eventually I was diagnosed with this disorder. At the height of my anxiety driven moments, I remember feeling constantly on-edge, irritable, and constantly worrying about every thought that came into my head. I would make big deals out of minuet things, things the average person would shrug their shoulders too and forget about in the next second.  Everything seemed like a BIG DEAL. And god forbid something ever had to change in my daily routine. It felt like it was the end of the world in most cases. I was fixated on an unfixable schedule. My anxiety ended up getting so bad that it prevented me from attending social gatherings, or even hanging out with friends for that matter. The very thought of having to go to a social event made me want to vomit.

My moods kept cycling between anxiety and depression, but eventually I had enough and decided to reach out for help. I had hit my absolute lowest point in depression and knew I needed help. Lying on the couch, not eating or showering for weeks was a sure sign I was giving up. I needed help!

I pulled myself into my doctor’s office, she knew right away what the problem was when I opened my mouth to speak and all that would come out was a flood of tears.

I was immediately started on an antidepressant, referred to psychiatry, and put on a medical leave of absence for work (which lasted a month and a half).

Something very interesting happened when I was put on the antidepressant, I became activated.

My mood drastically improved. I had an abundance of energy, but my anxiety had returned with vengeance. This was the start of my journey with Bipolar Type 2.

It all started to finally make sense.

My overdriven capacity for change, flood of ideas and tasks, over indulged and hyper focus on new projects, irritability, impulsivity, and the late nights and early mornings. I would get lost in my own thinking. When I had an idea, it had to be done NOW. The lack of impulse control led to purchasing cosmetic procedures and spa treatments, a whole whack of pink stuff, my dog, my vehicle, way too many dresses and books, and a bedroom makeover. I am sure there are more examples, but I think you get the point.

I was started on anti-psychotics, which only made me feel like a zombie.

I do admit, the medications did help to stabilize my mood. I stayed in a neutral state, but I was determined to do it on my own, without chemical medications.

Now please note, I am not discouraging medications by any means. There are many people that require to be on medication for a lifetime and that is perfectly okay. You have to do what is right for YOUR BODY and BRAIN. Before deciding to go off your medication, please consult your doctor first. And NEVER go off of them without tapering the dosage down. Stopping psych-medications abruptly can (and almost always does) result in NASTY side effect, commonly known as withdrawal effects. [Trust me, I learnt the hard way, don’t make the same mistake I did]

My decision to stop taking chemical medication led me to embark on a holistic journey to overcome my own mental health challenges a natural way.

I WANT TO SHARE WITH YOU SOME TIPS I HAVE LEARNED ALONG THE WAY THAT I HAVE USED TO MANAGE MY ANXIETY AND DEPRESSION.

  • Educate yourself (about your disorder)
  • Eat a healthy, Well Balanced Diet
  • Get active, get fit
  • Get enough sleep
  • Natural Remedies
  • Practice Mindfulness
  • Pick up a hobby
  • Lean on your Support Network
  • Establish a Daily routine
  • Indulge in Self-Help Books
  • Clear your mind with Journaling
  • Cognitive Behavior Therapy, self-guided
  • Consider a Coach or Counselor
  • When in a crisis, seek professional help (ie. doctor or psychiatrist).
  • And so much more.

Having gone through what I went through with my mental health and having to navigate the health care system by myself, was exhausting, if not frustrating, to say the least. It was a lot of trial and error to figure out what worked and what didn’t. I am not going to say it will be easy for you either, but with the help of a coach (like myself), they can direct you and go through the process with you.

You are not alone.

I can now say, without a doubt, that I am feeling my absolute best. I feel healthy, both mind and body. I feel mentally strong, and empowered by my own self-determination.  I feel calm, content, and happy. I feel like I can accomplish any obstacle that comes my way. I have learned to become more aware of myself so I can recognize when “warning” signs or triggers are present. I am able to prevent a relapse from taking hold. I have discovered more about myself and what my body and mind need to stay in a state of equilibrium. I have learned to love myself whole heartedly.

And I learned all this through self-discovery.

I smile again.

And so can you!

~ Rachel Page

Medication Phobia

I used to have a medication phobia.

I thought medications were for ‘crazy’ people, and well, I was not ‘that’ crazy.

Sure I’ve had my ups and downs and inbetweens. Actually there were no inbetweens. Either I was more up or more down. I found it very difficult to be in a happy medium. If I wasnt feeling low, I was feeling irritable. Low to me was being disengaged and withdrawn; I thought my low mood was purely boredom. Not wanting to leave the house, or talk to my friends and family, or deciding to put off going to the gym until tomorrow. It was always going to be tomorrow. I became so used to doing nothing, that I convinced myself that I was going to be nothing. The only thing I was going to be was a Nurse. Nothing more, nothing less. At work, I was my happiness. Outside of work, I was a girl that barely wanted to leave the house. I was never quite satisfied. I’d get these brilliant ideas to try something new, only to quit before it ever really began. I started to feel like a failure. I went through 4 years of nursing school, and yet I couldn’t seem to accomplish anything now, no matter how small. Very frustrating to say the least.

I had been well educated with depression, but for some reason, when it came to myself, I was in complete denial.

Anyways… I got a bit side tracked.

Medication Phobia, right!

I finally went to my doctor for something unrelated to depression (or so I thought). I was experiencing very high levels of anxiety, and I was getting to the point where I couldn’t cope well. I was coping, but not to the best of my abilities. I started to show avoidant behaviours.

While I was at the doctors, she made me fill out these questionaires, one of which I score d high on depression. I walked out of her office with not only one diagnosis BUT TWO. Major Depression and Generalized Anxiety Disorder.

Before I walked out though, my doctor kindly provided me with all my options to managing my conditions, and we both agreed that the pharmacological route would be the best option for now.

Boy was I scared.

I had grown up believing that medications were ‘taboo’, and that they were the reason that my Nana turned nutso. Sorry Nana.(God bless her soul – Love you Nana). But it is the truth. It was something that became rooted in my family beliefs. I also thought I was going to become addicted or be on them for life. I probably will be on them for life, and I am okay with that. The fact is, we (and I do mean my specific people in my family), were uneducated, and simply learning about it helped erased that stigma.

Going on medication was the best thing for me. I’m not afraid to admit it. Yes I am a Registered Nurse and take psych meds. NO I’m not crazy. And yes I can save your life. My conditions never affected my ability to practice safety and competently as a nurse. It affected my feelings and emotions but not the knowledge and skills I gained over the years. I am a great damn nurse. I’m really not sure why I felt the need to justify any of that.

Side tracked again.

What have medications done for me?

  • They brought me back to the light
  • The fog has been lifted
  • I can concentrate and focus
  • I can go out with my friends again
  • I can say hello to a stranger
  • I can go to events and parties
  • I can get out of my own head
  • My thoughts don’t race
  • I feel calm and content
  • I have more motivation
  • I am back at the gym
  • I’m wanting to be outside in the warmth
  • I am wanting to discover more hobbies
  • I am blogging again
  • I know I am enough
  • I am doing me, for me
  • Laughing feels great

And the list goes on.

The bottom line is I truly feel like myself again.

And that is what matters the most.

You only have one life to live.

This is it.

Do what you need to do to feel your best.

Follow my Social Media sites for more material related to mental health:

Blog: divineminds.ca
FB Page: /divineminds1
IG: mind_over_mood
Pinterest: /divineminds1

Mental Health | Online Resources

Alcohol & Drugs

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration

National Institute on Drug Abuse

Narcotics Anonymous

Alcoholics Anonymous

Physicians for Responsible Opioid Prescribing (PROP)

National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism

Anxiety Disorders

National Education Alliance for Borderline Personality

Teen’s Health

Anxiety Disorders Association of America

Bipolar Disorder

Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance

National Education Alliance for Borderline Personality

Teen’s Health

Borderline Personality

BPDVideo

National Education Alliance for Borderline Personality

Cutting

Teen’s Health

Self Abuse Finally Ends

Depression

Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance

National Education Alliance for Borderline Personality

Families for Depression Awareness

Teen’s Health

American Psychiatric Foundation

BACCHUS

National Alliance on Mental Illness

HeadsUpGuys

Eating Disorders

Eating for Life Alliance

Teen’s Health

Overeaters Anonymous

National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders

National Eating Disorders Association

Eating Disorders Anonymous

Proud2Bme

Understanding Eating Disorders

Emotional Health

Let’s Erase The Stigma

Love is Louder

Half of Us

Veterans United

American Psychiatric Foundation

BACCHUS

Active Minds

OK2TALK

Make The Connection

Inspire USA Foundation

National Dialogue on Mental Health

Each Mind Matters

Befrienders Worldwide

Veterans Affairs Training

Veterans Affairs Mental Health Toolkit

Veterans Affairs Mental Health

Schizophrenia

Schizophrenics Anonymous

Schizophrenia.com

National Alliance on Mental Illness

Stress

Veterans United

Stress Management-HelpGuide.org

Teen’s Health

Suicide Prevention

American Association of Suicidology

Crisis Text Line

Didi Hirsch Manual for Support Groups for Suicide Attempt Survivors

The Dougy Center – The National Center for Grieving Children and Families

How to Talk to a Child about a Suicide Attempt in Your Family (Rocky Mountain MIRECC)

The Jason Foundation

The Jed Foundation

Lifeline Chat

Man Therapy

Mental Health America

My3 App

National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention

National Organization for People of Color Against Suicide

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline

Now Matters Now

Parents, Families, Friends, and Allies United with LGBTQ People (PFLAG)

Safety Planning Tools

SAVE

The Society for the Prevention of Teen Suicide

StopBullying.gov

Suicide Prevention Resource Center

Teen’s Health

The Trevor Project

The Tyler Clementi Foundation

Veterans Crisis Line

Wounded Warrior Project


Additional Online Resources
and Organizations


FeelingBetterNow

FeelingBetterNow is a confidential, comprehensive mental health assessment tool and resource toolbox. Anonymously complete an assessment in 5 – 20 minutes and receive evidence-based resources for self-management and support for 13 most common mental health problems.
Visit website

Logit AI

Logit AI is an Intelligent Health platform that decodes how daily life impacts the body and how behaviors lead to overall health and wellness. Using scientifically validated questionnaires, wearables, and other life data, the platform analyzes and interprets this information to accurately forecast precursors to injury, illness, burnout and other ailments such as depression and anxiety.

Visit website

There For You

There For You is a quiz game encouraging you to ask those important questions you’re never sure how or when to raise. It is a simple social experiment, a fun way to break away from everyday conversations and engage in mindful conversations with the people we love. Some of the questions featured in the A.I.-powered app are for deepening bonds, others are designed to help deal with specific mental health issues, such as stress, depression, and low self-esteem.

Addictions

THE ADDICTION GUIDE

The Addiction Guide was created to provide the most comprehensive up-to-date information about various addictions and how to overcome them. It is not a treatment center and is an American organization (so you can only locate US based treatment centers on it), but there are lots and lots of useful links here none-the-less.
Their team is comprised of a diverse team of recovering addicts, healthcare professionals, and patient advocates.
NOTE – this is a US resource.

Visit website

EDGEWOOD HEALTH NETWORK

The Edgewood Health Network is an umbrella group of a few Canadian treatment centers including the Edgewood Treatment Centre in Nanaimo, BC, Bellwoods Treatment Centre in Toronto, ON, Waterstone Treatment Centre in Toronto, ON, and a host of outpatient clinics across Canada.

Visit website

Anxiety Resources

ANXIETY AND DEPRESSION ASSOCIATION OF AMERICA

An American national nonprofit organization dedicating to promoting the prevention, treatment, and cure of anxiety, depression, and stress-related disorders through education, practice, and research. Additional anxiety resources such as books, websites, etc. available here.

Visit website

ANXIETY DISORDERS ASSOCIATION OF CANADA

A registered Canadian non-profit organization whose aim is to promote the prevention, treatment and management of anxiety disorders and to improve the lives of people who suffer from them. Additional anxiety resources such as books, websites, etc. available here.

Visit website

ASSOCIATION FOR BEHAVIORAL AND COGNITIVE THERAPIES

A multidisciplinary organization committed to the advancement of scientific approaches to the understanding and improvement of human functioning through the investigation and application of behavioral, cognitive, and other evidence-based principles to the assessment, prevention, treatment of human problems, and the enhancement of health and well-being.

Visit website

FREEDOM FROM FEAR

Freedom From Fear is a national not-for-profit mental health advocacy association established in 1984.

Visit website

MASTERS IN PSYCHOLOGY GUIDE

General information about a variety of anxiety disorders, including GAD, phobias, SAD, PTSD, and panic disorder, as well as links to additional online resources.

Visit website

NATIONAL CENTER FOR PTSD

The National Center for PTSD is dedicated to research and education on trauma and PTSD, working to assure that the latest research findings help those exposed to trauma.
Visit website

INTERNATIONAL OCD FOUNDATION

An American national nonprofit organization dedicated to raising awareness, support, and funds for research into OCD. Many OCD-specific resources available here.

Visit website

ANXIETY DISORDERS ASSOCIATION OF AMERICA.

ADAA is an international nonprofit organization which helps people
to find treatment and prevention of anxiety, depression, obsessive-
compulsive and trauma-related disorders through education,
practice, and research. ADAA is unique because they bring together
clinicians, researchers of different fields to advance science and
treatment, even they engage those who suffer from these disorders
to work together toward the goals.

visit website

Autism & Autism Spectrum Resources

AUTISM SOCIETY OF CANADA

ASC puts special focus on providing information, referral and resources for parents and other family members who are seeking support for children with autism. This site also provides news, resources and links for youths and adults on the spectrum. An exciting feature of our new site is Autism Junction – a searchable Canada-wide Directory of ASD services and related supports.

Visit website

GLOBAL AUTISM COLLABORATION

A multinational nonprofit dedicated to Autism research, awareness, and information.

Visit website

CANADIAN AUTISM INTERVENTION RESEARCH NETWORK

The only Canadian web site dedicated to posting the best available evidence-based findings on autism.

Visit website

THE GRAY CENTER FOR SOCIAL LEARNING AND UNDERSTANDING

The Gray Center is a nonprofit which cultivates the strengths of individuals with autism and those who interact with them, and globally promotes social understanding. Their vision is to assist all individuals in the shared challenge of building and maintaining effective social connections.

Visit website

YALE CHILD STUDY CENTER DEVELOPMENTAL DISABILITIES CLINIC

The Child Study Center is a department at Yale University School of Medicine which brings together multiple disciplines to further the understanding of the problems of children and families.

Visit website

ADHD

CADDAC

CADDAC (The Centre for ADHD Awareness Canada) is a resource for parents of children with ADHD to learn how to better care for and advocate for their children, as well as providing support for the parents themselves.

Visit website

Bullying/Anti-Bullying Resources

BULLYING EPIDEMIC

This bullying prevention blog has tips for recognizing and dealing with bullying in schools, workplaces, sports, and at home. Blog articles, bullying in the news, radio and TV interviews, infographics, and links to books and online resources encourage discussion and early intervention.

Visit the website.

CYBER BULLYING: THE DEFINITIVE GUIDE FOR EDUCATORS, PARENTS, FAMILY MEMBERS

A lengthy, comprehensive article detailing what cyberbullying is, signs of cyberbullying, and how to stop it.

Visit the website

AMANDA TODD LEGACY SOCIETY

A website dedicated to Amanda Todd that includes her story and a variety of anti-bullying and mental health awareness issues, as well as information about the Amanda Todd fund and additional related anti-bullying resources.

Visit the website.

NELSON THE GIANT

The Story of Nelson the Giant: A Heart as Big as His THUMP! is a unique story-song with a gentle approach to bullying awareness and prevention, through imagination, music, and art.

Visit the website.

WITS PROGRAM (WALK AWAY, IGNORE, TALK IT OUT, SEEK HELP)

A Canadian youth violence prevention program that has been implemented in over 400 schools in Canada and the US.

Visit the website.

STOP A BULLY

A Canadian bullying website that includes an incident-report section, which encourages students to report instances of bullying (important note – this website is NOT a crisis line), which are then forwarded anonymously to school principals.

Visit the website.

BEAT BULLYING

A charity that deals strictly with the issue of bullying and offers many resources on the subject, including a live-chat and digital helpline.

Visit the website.

STOP BULLYING

A US government-run website offering advice to parents, teachers, and students about various aspects of bullying, including preventative measures and coping strategies.

Visit the website.

PREVENTING BULLYING WITH EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE

Article outlining the role of teaching emotional intelligence as a harm-reduction technique in schools in an effort to reduce bullying behaviour.

Visit the website

PARENT SUPPORT CONNECTION

A GTA based organization that provides education and peer support to parents of troubled youth (adolescents to young adults).
Visit the website.

Borderline Personality Disorder

BPDWORLD

An international organization and website dedicated to raising awareness and reducing the stigma of mental illness, with a focus on borderline personality disorder.

Visit website

BORDERLINE PERSONALITY DISORDER – FROM THE INSIDE OUT

Borderline Personality Disorder information, support, Ebooks, Audios, Vidoes, A.J. Mahari’s Free BPD Inside Out Podcast, and over a decade worth of articles, an almost 300 blog posts.

Visit website

BORDERLINE PERSONALITY DISORDER RESOURCE CENTER

A wide variety of information on BPD including treatment options, stories, DVDs, signs & symptoms, and other information.

VISIT WEBSITE
BPD CENTRAL

An American website with a variety of information on BPD tailored towards families.

Visit website

NATIONAL EDUCATION ALLIANCE FOR BODERLINE PERSONALITY DISORDER (NEA-BPD)

An American nationally recognized organization dedicated to building better lives for millions affected by Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD).

Visit website

Depression

CENTRE FOR SUICIDE PREVENTION

Affiliated with Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA), CSP offers training (community workshops and online courses) and has the largest English language library dedicated to the collection and dissemination of suicide prevention, intervention, and postvention resources.

Visit website

CHILD AND ADOLESCENT BIPOLAR FOUNDATION

The Balanced Mind Parent Network (BMPN), a program of the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance (DBSA), guides families raising children with mood disorders to the answers, support and stability they seek.

Visit website

MOOD DISORDERS SOCIETY OF CANADA

The Mood Disorders Society of Canada is a national, not-for-profit, volunteer-driven organization that is committed to improving quality of life for people affected by depression, bipolar disorder and other related disorders.

Visit website

CENTRE FOR ADDICTION AND MENTAL HEALTH

Based in Toronto, the Center aims to advance understanding of mental health and addiction, and translate this knowledge into practical resources and tools that can be used in our own programs and in the broader community. Includes resources on understanding and preventing mental illness and caring for the mentally ill.

Visit website

LOCAL CANADIAN SUICIDE CRISIS CENTRES

Visit this site to find a Canadian crisis centre near you.

Visit website

Eating Disorders

NATIONAL EATING DISORDER INFORMATION CENTRE

The National Eating Disorder Information Centre (NEDIC) is a Canadian non-profit providing resources on eating disorders & weight preoccupation.

Visit website

EATING DISORDERS FOUNDATION OF CANADA

A Canadian nonprofit specializing in awareness, treatment, and research of eating disorders.

Visit website

HOPE’S GARDEN

A London, Ontario-based support group for those suffering from eating disorders, offering individual and group support sessions as well as resources for friends and family members of affected individuals.

Visit website

SHEENA’S PLACE
Located in downtown Toronto, Sheena’s Place is a non­institutional, non­residential centre where people with similar issues and concerns come together in groups to share experiences, thoughts, feelings, and coping strategies. There are groups for young adults, adults, mothers, women over forty and families, friends and partners of those with eating disorders.

Visit website

NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF ANOREXIA NERVOSA AND ASSOCIATED DISORDERS

An American nonprofit dedicated to the prevention and alleviation of eating disorders. Phone and email helplines offered here.

Visit website

NATIONAL EATING DISORDER ASSOCIATION (NEDA)

An American nonprofit that provides information on eating disorders and offers a toll-free helpline.

Visit website

LIFE WITHOUT ED: HOW ONE WOMAN DECLARED INDEPENDENCE FROM HER EATING DISORDER AND HOW YOU CAN TOO (BOOK)

Jenni had been in an abusive relationship with Ed for far too long. He controlled Jenni’s life, distorted her self-image, and tried to physically harm her throughout their long affair. Then, in therapy, Jenni learned to treat her eating disorder as a relationship, not a condition. By thinking of her eating disorder as a unique personality separate from her own, Jenni was able to break up with Ed once and for all.

Purchase this book

Gambling

ONTARIO PROBLEM GAMBLING HELPLINE

The Helpline provides information about and referrals to problem gambling counselling services, including telephone counselling and organizations such as Gamblers Anonymous and Gam-Anon.

Impulse Control Disorders

A.D.D. WAREHOUSE

An online store consisting of a variety of ADD/ADHD books, videos, games, training programs, and more.

Visit website

ATTENTION DEFICIT DISORDER ASSOCIATION (ADDA)

The Attention Deficit Disorder Association provides information, resources and networking opportunities to help adults with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder lead better lives.

Visit website

CHILDREN AND ADULTS WITH ATTENTION-DEFICIT/HYPERACTIVITY DISORDER (CH.A.D.D.)
In addition to an informative website, CHADD also publishes a variety of printed materials to keep members and professionals current on research advances, medications, and treatments affecting individuals with ADHD.

Visit website

CONDUCTDISORDERS.COM

“a soft place to land for the battle weary parent.” A forum-based site connecting parents with children who experience a variety of behavioural challenges.

Visit website


General Resources

BP CANADA MAGAZINE

This site profiles a Canadian magazine that offers hope and harmony for people with bipolar disorder. The magazine, which can be subscribed to, is produced by the same publisher as Schizophrenia Digest magazine.

Visit the website

CANADIAN CENTRE ON SUBSTANCE ABUSE

A non-profit organization working to minimize the harm associated with the use of alcohol, tobacco and other drugs.

Visit the website

ONTARIO THERAPIST DIRECTORY

Psychotherapymatters.com is a free, online directory of professional therapists in Ontario. We can help you quickly and easily find a counsellor, therapist, or mental health provider in your area who meets your needs and your budget.

BRITISH COLUMBIA PSYCHOLOGICAL ASSOCIATION

An online tool to help connect you with psychologists in British Columbia, Canada.

Visit the website

CANADIAN HEALTH NETWORK

“Health info you can trust”. This site provides access to the resources of leading Canadian health organizations and international health information providers. Search the A-Z index or see the Mental Health section under Topics.

Visit the website

CANADIAN INSTITUTES OF HEALTH RESEARCH

CIHR is Canada’s major federal funding agency for health research. Its objective is to excel, according to internationally accepted standards of scientific excellence, in the creation of new knowledge and its translation into improved health for Canadians, more effective health services and products and a strengthened Canadian health care system.

Visit the website

CANADIAN PSYCHIATRIC ASSOCIATION

The national voluntary professional association for psychiatrists in Canada. This site links to CPA publications, programs and resources.

Visit the website

CENTER FOR ADDICTION AND MENTAL HEALTH (CAMH)

Based in Toronto, the Center aims to advance understanding of mental health and addiction, and translate this knowledge into practical resources and tools that can be used in our own programs and in the broader community. Includes resources on understanding and preventing mental illness and caring for the mentally ill.

Visit the website

INKBLOT

Inkblot is a completely secure and confidential video counselling app. As an Inkblot user, all you need is a computer and a reliable internet connection. Clients are matched up with counsellors (registered psychotherapists, psychologists and social workers) based on their needs and preferences. Counselling takes place any time, any place and it’s affordable.

Visit the website

INTERNET MENTAL HEALTH

A “free encyclopedia of mental health information”, this site, maintained in Canada, contains information and extensive links to global mental health resources.

Visit the website

MINDYOURMIND.CA

Mindyourmind.ca is an award-winning, innovative Internet resource for youth who are looking for relevant information on mental health and creative stress management.

Visit the website

MOOD DISORDERS SOCIETY OF CANADA

The Mood Disorders Society of Canada is a national, not-for-profit, volunteer-driven organization that is committed to improving quality of life for people affected by depression, bipolar disorder and other related disorders.

Visit the website

MOODS MAGAZINE

This publication desires to fill the many gaps in knowledge and awareness of mood disorders for both individuals and in workplaces.

Visit the website

NATIONAL ALLIANCE FOR RESEARCH ON SCHIZOPHRENIA AND DEPRESSION (NARSAD)

An American organization which raises and distributes funds for scientific research into the causes, cures, treatments and prevention of brain disorders, primarily the schizophrenias, depressions, and bipolar disorders. The site contains resources for researchers and for the public.

Visit the website

NATIONAL INSTITUTE FOR MENTAL HEALTH

The mission of this American organization is to diminish the burden of mental illness through research. The site has sections for funding opportunities, for researchers, for practitioners and for the public.

Visit the website

SCHIZOPHRENIA SOCIETY OF CANADA

This national Canadian organization is dedicated to alleviating the suffering caused by Schizophrenia. The site provides access to the publications of the Society, and links to provincial and local chapters.

Visit the website

SCHIZOPHRENIA24X7.CA BY JANSSEN PHARMACEUTICALS

A great free online resource that may be useful for both patients and their caregivers. Hosted by Janssen Pharmacueticals, it includes a new short video and information about relapse. They also have a facebook community page for caregivers of schizophrenia.
Visit website

TORONTO ADVANCED PROFESSIONAL EDUCATION (TAPE)

TAPE, in affiliation with the Continuing Education Division of St. Michael’s College in the University of Toronto, provides learning opportunities for those working in any aspect of mental health and human services. The TAPE home page provides a link to their popular “Summer Institute” which is designed to provide an opportunity for caring professionals to learn from recognized experts in their fields of expertise. Some of the topics addressed in TAPE programs include: Maximizing Learning for Challenging Children; Critical Issues in Clinical Supervision; Trauma and Resiliency; and Enhancing Leadership Development for Social Agencies.

Visit the website

WELLIN5: ONLINE COUNSELLING FOR WORKPLACE MENTAL HEALTH

Wellin5 is an accessible and easy to use online booking and resource platform that allows member users to access a wide range of online counselling / therapy and coaching services by certified and licensed service providers for improving all aspects of their mental health and wellness.

Visit the website

WOMEN’S CLINIC FOR SCHIZOPHRENIA

The Women’s Clinic for Schizophrenia recognizes the special ways in which schizophrenia presents in women and the importance of careful management of psychological, cultural, and reproductive issues.

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GIVING TUESDAY CANADA

Giving Tuesday is a new Canadian movement for giving and volunteering, taking place each year after Cyber Monday. The “Opening day of the giving season,” it is a day where charities, companies and individuals join together to share commitments, rally for favourite causes and think about others.

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ONLINE SUICIDE HELP

An alternative crisis site that offers support via web chats and forums (not emergency care)

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THE SANDBOX PROJECT

The Sandbox Project’s vision is to help make Canada the healthiest place on earth for children and youth to grow up. Their ambitious but achievable goal is to make measurable progress against international health indicators within the next five years. In particular, they are focused on improving health outcomes with respect to injury prevention, obesity, mental health, and the environment.

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BELL LET’S TALK

Giving Tuesday is a new Canadian movement for giving and volunteering, taking place each year after Cyber Monday. The “Opening day of the giving season,” it is a day where charities, companies and individuals join together to share commitments, rally for favourite causes and think about others.

In 2010, Bell announced the launch of an unprecedented multi-year charitable program dedicated to the promotion and support of mental health across Canada. Over the next several years, this multi-million dollar initiative will support a wide range of programs that will enhance awareness, understanding and treatment of mental illness and promote access to care and research across the country.

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Mood Disorders

CHILD AND ADOLESCENT BIPOLAR FOUNDATION

The Balanced Mind Parent Network (BMPN), a program of the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance (DBSA), guides families raising children with mood disorders to the answers, support and stability they seek.

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Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance (DBSA)

An American nonprofit dedicated to improving the lives of people who have mood disorders. Many of the DBSA’s staff live with a mood disorder. This site provides a variety if information with regards to living with a mood disorder.

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MOOD DISORDERS SOCIETY OF CANADA

The Mood Disorders Society of Canada is a national, not-for-profit, volunteer-driven organization that is committed to improving quality of life for people affected by depression, bipolar disorder and other related disorders.

MOODS MAGAZINE

This publication desires to fill the many gaps in knowledge and awareness of mood disorders for both individuals and in workplaces.

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Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

Best Masters In Counseling – PTSD

A useful infographic with some quick statistics on PTSD.

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Schizophrenia

SCHIZOPHRENIA SOCIETY OF CANADA

A Canadian nonprofit working to improve the quality of life for those affected by schizophrenia and psychosis through education, support programs, public policy and research.
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SCHIZOPHRENIA24X7.CA BY JANSSEN PHARMACEUTICALS

A great free online resource that may be useful for both patients and their caregivers. Hosted by Janssen Pharmacueticals, it includes a new short video and information about relapse. They also have a facebook community page for caregivers of schizophrenia.
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BRAIN AND BEHAVIOUR RESEARCH FOUNDATION

A research foundation that converts donations to grants awarded to projects leading to discoveries in understanding causes and improving treatments of disorders in children and adults.

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SCHIZOPHRENIA.COM

A long-running informative website with article written by researchers and academics on the subject of schizophrenia.

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Suicide

CENTRE FOR SUICIDE PREVENTION

Affiliated with Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA), CSP offers training (community workshops and online courses) and has the largest English language library dedicated to the collection and dissemination of suicide prevention, intervention and postvention resources.

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LOCAL CANADIAN SUICIDE CRISIS CENTRES

Visit this site to find a Canadian crisis centre near you.

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CANADIAN ASSOCIATION FOR SUICIDE PREVENTION

Information and resources provided to reduce the suicide rate and minimize the harmful consequences of suicidal behaviour.

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Telephone Resources and Crisis Lines

For emergencies please dial 911 or contact your medical health care professional.

EMENTALHEALTH.CA

Please click here for a complete list of location-specific crisis phone lines in your area, all Canadian provinces and territories can be found here.

KIDS HELP PHONE

Organization with the mission to improve the well-being of children and youth in Canada by providing them anonymous and confidential professional counselling, referrals and information in English and French, through technologically-based communications media.

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Credit: Healthy Minds Canada

Lets Talk – Therapy

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My Personal Experience with a Therapist.

Therapy. The idea was quite daunting to me; confiding in a complete stranger made my social anxiety meter rage with fear. When things started to spiral out of control (or so I thought), I was desperate to try anything.

It was one of the greatest decisions I ever made.

She has helped me in an abundance of extraordinary ways. She has helped me make connections between my thoughts and reality. She always knows exactly the right questions to ask. She really seeks to understand, and challenges my thought processes. She opens my eyes to new perspectives, and provides me with valuable insights. She has made a significant impact on my life, and I am internally grateful for her guidance and support.

Keep in mind – sometimes finding a therapist, that is right or you, can be a bit of trial and error. You have to find someone you can trust wholeheartedly, and feel comfortable enough to fully open up to and allow yourself to be vulnerable with.

I understand that there may be financial constraints that may hinder your ability to access this type of resource or service (which is a big part of why I created this blog – a project that will hopefully come to light in the next couple of months, so stay tuned), but there is are many organizations that help connect you with “non-profit support services”. Just do a quick google search of the Mental Health Association or Organizations in your location! Hospital websites also provide information about available services that are located in their district. I will also list a few websites at the end of this Post.

Here are a list of common questions I had when I was debating
seeking help from a therapist.


WHY should I seek help from a Therapist?

  • You’re experiencing unexpected mood swings
  • You’re undergoing a big change.
  • You’re having harmful thoughts.
  • You’re withdrawing from things that used to bring you joy.
  • You’re feeling isolated or alone.
  • You’re using a substance to cope with issues in your life.
  • You suspect you might have a serious mental health condition.
  • You feel like you’ve lost control.
  • Your relationships feel strained
  • Your sleeping patterns are off.
  • You just feel like you need to talk to someone

Credit: Huffington Post

WHAT can therapy help me with?

Therapy helps individuals, couples, and families address personal difficulties by allowing you to talk openly and confidentially about concerns and feelings with a trained professional.

Therapy may be useful if:

  • You’re facing situations causing you stress, anxiety and upset.
  • You are experiencing intense or uncomfortable feelings such as anger, sadness, fear, frustration and depression.
  • You are behaving in ways that don’t fit your normal pattern, don’t serve your needs, or are problematic to you or others.
  • You are thinking thoughts that are peculiar, hard to understand, out-of-control or disturbing.
  • You’ve experienced a traumatic event, such as sexual abuse, domestic violence, a serious accident or a criminal injury.
  • You are dealing with a relationship issue or family conflict.
  • You’re going through a difficult life transition, such as the death of a loved one, a life-threatening illness, divorce, separation, or a mid-life crisis.
  • You are challenged by family issues, such as parenting, child-rearing, adolescence, and aging parents.
  • You need help with an addiction such as smoking, alcohol, drugs, sex or gambling.
  • You have an eating disorder.
  • You are facing difficulties with matters of gender identity, sexual orientation, racism and oppression.
  • You wish to explore spiritual issues, questions of meaning or matters of faithCredit: Psychotherapy Ontario

HOW can therapy help me?

  • Understand your mental health condition
  • Define and reach wellness goals
  • Overcome fears or insecurities
  • Cope with stress
  • Make sense of past traumatic experiences
  • Separate your true personality from the moods caused by your condition
  • Identify triggers that may worsen your symptoms
  • Improve relationships with family and friends
  • Establish a stable, dependable routine
  • Develop a plan for coping with crises
  • Understand why things bother you and what you can do about them
  • End destructive habits such as drinking, using drugs, overspending or unhealthy sex

Credit: Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance

WHO provides Therapy or Counselling?

Many kinds of mental health specialists may provide talk therapy. Some common professionals include:

  • Psychiatrists (MD)
  • Psychologists (PhD, PsyD, EdD, MS)
  • Social workers (DSW, MSW, LCSW, LICSW, CCSW)
  • Counselors (MA, MS, LMFT, LCPC)
  • Psychiatric nurses (APRN, PMHN).

Your ability to talk honestly and openly with your therapist, set
clear goals and make real progress are the most important things. Think
of your relationship with your therapist as a partnership. The two
of you will work together to help you feel better. You do not need
to feel ashamed or embarrassed about talking openly
and honestly about your feelings and concerns.

Credit: Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance

HOW do I get the most of my Therapy?

When you first begin therapy, make a list of the things that are bothering you and the issues you would like help with. Bring it with you to your first appointment. You might include:

  • Issues in your family or other relationships
  • Symptoms like changes in eating or sleeping habits
  • Anger, anxiety, irritability or troubling feelings
  • Thoughts of hurting yourself

Credit: Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance


Additional Resources:

Ontario Society of Psychotherapist : Why choose psychotherapy?

American Psychiatric Association: Psychotherapy

Canadian Mental Health Association: Getting Help

American Psychology Association: Understanding Psychotherapy

Credit: Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance

National Institute of Mental Health: Help for Mental Health

Mental Health America : Find Help

Please Comment and Share Mental Health
Resources available in your Country.