The COVID-19 epidemic and the resulting lockdown that’s limited our mobility have disrupted our normal routines. People dealing with mental health challenges have seen a temporary halt to many services, such as in-person psychiatrist appointments, therapy sessions, and group therapy meetings.
Fortunately, we’ve adjusted. Different stakeholders ranging from individual therapists to government agencies have stepped forward to fill the gaps caused by the lockdown. As a result, plenty of essential mental health resources remain available to people in and around the West Island and greater Montreal.
The Mental Health Commission of Canada has published Mental Health First Aid, a guide to help people with self-care and resilience in the face of the Covid-19 pandemic and lockdown. The guide provides a long list of activities that people can take up and incorporate into their daily or weekly lives. Those activities include:
- Writing exercises such as keeping a gratitude list and writing in a journal
- Movement-based activities such as dancing and exercise
- Reflection-related activities such as meditation
- Fun activities such as playing games, enjoying a movie marathon, or just laughing with your kids
Ami Quebec offers a list of local organizations that provide listening services. That way you can talk about your own mental health challenges or the challenges of a loved one with experienced professionals.
Every Canadian province offers its own mental health hotline, including the province of Quebec. With services available in both English and French, you can find even more help right here.
If you or someone you know is experiencing suicidal ideations, the Canadian Association for Suicide Prevention has stepped up with numerous online resources to complement its usual array of in-person programs offered during non-lockdown times.
If you or someone you know is experiencing suicidal ideations and needs more immediate help, the Centre de prevention du suicide de Quebec offers 24/7 telephone intervention services, at 866-277-3553.
The long-running Bell Let’s Talk campaign has also worked to provide online resources so people facing mental health challenges can get help from home. You can find many online articles and guides for handling stress, anxiety, loneliness, and other mental health issues right on the Bell Let’s Talk website.
The Mouvement Santé Mentale Quebec offers one of the most comprehensive sets of online mental health tools that you’ll find anywhere. One of the best features of the website is its ability to connect with many different population groups. For instance, you’ll find mental health tips and tricks for everyone from seniors to adults to youths, as well as job-related help for those working from home during the lockdown.
Friends for Mental Health (West Island) has suspended in-person meetings in accordance with provincial health recommendations. However, we remain committed to helping and serving our community. Our staff continue to offer remote counselling sessions to those in need. Contact us at 514-636-6885 or at firstname.lastname@example.org to set up an appointment by phone, WhatsApp, Skype, Zoom, FaceTime, or any other platform that best suits your needs.