The BC Government has released a list of mental health resources ahead of the upcoming holidays.
“This holiday season will be unlike any other for most of us,” says the Ministry of Mental Health and Addictions in a statement. “Gatherings will be smaller and being alone can feel especially glaring following 10 months of physical distancing and social disconnection.”
The Ministry emphasizes that it’s “okay not to be okay,” adding that it’s more important than ever to ensure that mental health remains a priority over the coming weeks.
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They also shared the following resources, which are available for British Columbians of all ages, including youth, young adults, seniors, families, and frontline healthcare workers:
Mental health supports for everyone:
- Province of BC mental health support page
- BC’s COVID-19 mental health self-assessment tool — A free, anonymous self-assessment tool that helps you understand how you’re feeling and reflect on your mental, physical, and social well-being.
- BounceBack — A free online, video, and phone-based skills-building program for those experiencing low moods, mild to moderate depression, anxiety, stress, or worry.
- Counselling and mental health services — A variety of mental health services, including low- or no-cost community counselling programs.
- Crisis Intervention and Suicide Prevention Centre — A confidential, free emotional support for people experiencing feelings of distress or despair, including thoughts of suicide.
- First Nations Health Authority — Mental health and cultural support during COVID-19
- The KUU-US Crisis Response Service — Culturally aware crisis support available to Indigenous people in British Columbia. Available 24/7 online or by phone.
- Crisis services by region
Mental health supports for youth, young adults, and families:
- Foundry Virtual — BC-wide virtual services that provide counselling, peer support, family support, groups, and workshops. Available by chat, voice, or video call for people between 12 and 24, as well as their caregivers.
- Here2Talk — Confidential, free counselling and referral services for all registered post-secondary students available by app, phone, or online chat. Available 24/7, call 1-877-857-3397 or 1-604-642-5212.
- Ministry of Children and Family Development supports
- Kids Help Phone — Immediate counselling, support, information, and referrals available 24/7. Youth can call or text 1-800-668-6868 or text TALK to 686868. Texting support for adults is also available by texting TALK to 741741.
- Kelly Mental Health Resource Centre — Free mental health and substance use information, resources, and peer support for parents, caregivers, and families of children and youth. Available online or call 1-800-665-1822.
Mental health support for seniors:
- BC211 — BC211 takes calls from seniors looking for help, as well as those who wish to volunteer and help seniors in their community through virtual or telephone visits.
Mental health support for frontline healthcare workers:
- Virtual peer support service and online resource hub — A phone and text-based peer-support service for healthcare workers.