This Version Posted: August 12, 2020
COVID-19 can feel overwhelming. While it’s important to reduce the risk of the virus, you also need to look after your mental health at this time. Here’s what to do:
- Maintain routines as you’re able, keeping in mind the importance to take precautions such as physical distancing to slow the spread of COVID-19.
- Stay connected with family and friends. Consider creating a social circle of no more than 10 people who you can interact without the need for physical distancing. If you are self-isolating, consider connecting through phone, social media or video chatting.
- Seek professional help. If you’re overwhelmed, talk by phone to a health professional or counsellor. If you have coverage for a counsellor through work, access your Employee and Family Assistance Plan.
- Eat well
- Stay active: Doing fun and healthy activities outdoors makes it easier to keep physical distance.
- Get enough sleep
- Look back at challenging situations and see how you successfully coped with them
- Limit your daily dose of COVID-19-related news to reduce anxiety and worry. Fight fear with facts about the pandemic by turning to credible sources of information.
- COVID-19 affects everyone, so be kind to others – regardless of gender, ethnicity, income or age.
- Reduce stigma. Use supportive language like: “people who have COVID-19”, “people who are being treated for COVID19”, or “people who are recovering from COVID-19”. Don’t define others just because they’re affected by the coronavirus.
- Be neighbourly and assist others where possible, being sure to protect your health as well.
- Share positive and inspiring stories of what your community is doing to pull together during this time.
- Be patient and recognize the role caretakers and healthcare workers are playing in supporting people affected with COVID-19.
If You Are Self-Isolating
- Stay connected with friends and family by phone, social media or video calls.
- Ask for help from friends, family and neighbours to deliver necessities to your door. Many community groups (e.g. churches and service clubs) have volunteers to help those who are isolated.
- Even if self-isolating, keep up your personal daily routines at home or create new ones.
- Stay healthy. Be active, eat well and get enough sleep.
If You Have Mental Health and Addiction Issues
It’s extra important to control your anxiety and maintain your mental wellness during COVID-19:
- Consider and accept that some fear and anxiety is normal
- Seek credible information provided by experts and reputable sources
- Assess your personal risk
- Seek support
- Get proper rest and sleep
- Stay active
- Access this Mental Health and COVID-19 Pandemic resource from the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH).
Four County Crisis – If you’re in crisis please call 705-745-6484 or toll-free 1-866-995-9933. By phoning these numbers, you can access 24-hour, free, confidential crisis support.
211 Community Support – Easily find/search government and community-based services during COVID-19. Call or text 2-1-1 day or night to find support for all of life’s challenges. Live Chat also available Monday to Friday from 7 am to 9 pm.
Centre for Addition and Mental Health
- Coping with Stress and Anxiety
- Talking to Children About COVID-19 and Its Impact
- Kids’ Help Phone – Coronavirus Supports
Bounce Back – A guided self-help program for adults and youth aged 15 and over using workbooks with online videos and phone coaching support.
Kids’ Help Phone – 24/7 virtual support service offering professional counselling, information and referrals as well as volunteer-led, text-based support to young people. Services available in both English and French by calling 1-800-668-6868.
Good2Talk – Free, confidential mental health support service providing professional counselling and information and referrals for mental health, addictions and well-being to postsecondary students in Ontario
Wellness Together Canada – Mental health and substance use support.
World Health Organization
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