While physical distancing is currently the primary measure to protect our community members and loved ones, this can have very serious impacts on our mental health. Feelings of isolation are exacerbated, the end of summer can begin to trigger seasonal affective disorders, and the added anxieties for a start of a new academic year amidst a pandemic can prove overwhelming, to say the least. Although it can be scary during this difficult time, know that you are not alone in feeling this way. We live in such a complex society, with high demands and constant stimulation that it is increasingly difficult to take time for ourselves.
Today, on World Suicide Prevention Day, try to take extra care for yourself and be mindful of those around you. If it is within your capacity, please take some time to educate yourself on the signs of someone reaching out for help, such as those noted by the Suicide Awareness Voices of Education (SAVE) and Bridges to Recovery.
It is also critical to remember that mental health support is still not accessible to everyone. Many barriers to care exist, as people belonging to marginalized communities face disproportionately high rates of mental illness and a lack of access to culturally-sensitive mental health support. We need to ensure the safety of racialized, Black, and Indigenous peoples are at the forefront of mental health care. This starts with calling for public investment into medically-trained first-responders and social workers in place of an inherently racist police system.
In addition, the Federation has a series of available resources to guide and support the work of your students’ union; including the Graduate Mental Health Toolkit, our factsheet on student wellness and COVID-19 and the new Accessible First-Aid Lobby Guide which has been sent via email to your member local.
We are in this together. Please see below for a series of mental health resources and community organizations available for support.
- Crisis Services Canada
- English: 1-833-456-4566 (24/7)
- Francais: 1-866-APPELLE (277-3553)
- Text: 45645 (4pm-midnight EST)
- About: “Crisis Services Canada (CSC) is a national network of existing distress, crisis and suicide prevention line services. We are committed to supporting any person living in Canada who is affected by suicide, in the most caring and least intrusive manner possible.”
- Black Mental Health Canada Inc
- Phone: 289-432-1377
- About: “We are Canada’s only black mental health agency dedicated to serving the unique needs of. the black community.”
- Mission: “To facilitate access to affordable, culturally safe and affirming mental health services to the black community through education, advocacy, and provision of resources.”
- Hope For Wellness Helpline
- Phone: 1-855-242-3310
- About: “The Hope for Wellness Help Line offers immediate mental health counselling and crisis intervention to all Indigenous peoples across Canada.
- Experienced and culturally competent Helpine counsellors can help if you:
- want to talk
- are distressed
- have strong emotional reactions
- are triggered by painful memories
- Phone and chat counselling is available in:
- English and French.
- On request:
- Wa-say Healing Centre / Eya-Keen Healing Centre Inc.
- Phone: 204-774-6484
- About: “Way-Say Healing Centre primarily assists former Indian Residential Schools (IRS) students and their families in accessing appropriate levels of emotional health and wellness support services. We also provide holistic health and wellness services and programs to persons of all nations. These include, but are not limited to, mental, spiritual, emotional, and physical well-being.”
- Trans Lifeline
- Phone: 1-877-330-6366
- About: “Trans Lifeline is a trans-led organization that connects trans people to the community, support, and resources they need to survive and thrive.”
- The Trevor Project/Trevor Lifeline
- Phone: 1-866-488-7386.
- About: “The Trevor Project is the leading national organization providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer & questioning (LGBTQ) young people under 25.”