As we approach World Mental Health Day on October 10, we collectively find ourselves in a challenging time, navigating uncertainty, fear, stress, burnout and grief as we move though yet another stage of this global pandemic.
World Mental Health Day aims to raise awareness of mental health issues around the world and to mobilize efforts in support of mental health and mental wellness. It recognizes the realities of mental illness and the critical need for action. It's also about naming, expressing and dealing with our emotions.
In 2019, the Ministry of Health launched a Pathway to Hope roadmap for building a comprehensive system of mental health and substance-use care that works for everyone in B.C., no matter who they are, where they live or how much money they make. A recent progress report provides an overview of the new services and supports that have been put in place over the first two years of implementation, across all priority areas: improved wellness for children, youth and young adults; supporting Indigenous-led solutions; saving lives through better substance use care; and improving access to quality care overall.
Let's keep talking about mental health – it helps to reduce stigma and encourages us to reach out to family, friends, colleagues and professionals for support.
Mental health is a continuum. You can be thriving with a mental illness or struggling without one. Please don't wait to reach out if you need support. Here are resources available to you.
S.A.F.E.R. is a free of charge, time-limited counselling service offered at Mental Health and Substance Use Outpatient Services at VCH. S.A.F.E.R. provides counselling for individuals age 19 and older who have made a suicide attempt, are currently suicidal, or have suicidal ideation. It also offers support and education for people who are concerned about the risk of suicide in a significant other or bereaved by a suicide death.
Here2Talk is a free and confidential, always available mental health counselling and referral service.
BounceBack provides free mental health coaching on the telephone for adults and youth 15+ who are experiencing low mood, mild-to-moderate depression and anxiety, stress or worry.
Foundry offers young people ages 12 to 24 health and wellness resources, services and supports – online and though integrated services centres in communities across B.C.
Wellness Together portal offers free counselling, online courses, self-guided programs and peer support groups.
Canadian Association for Suicide Prevention is an information and resource hub for Canadians looking for resources, guidance and education on suicide prevention.
The Crisis Intervention and Suicide Prevention Centre of B.C.
Vancouver Coastal Regional Distress Line: 604-872-3311
Anywhere in BC 1-800-SUICIDE: 1-800-784-2433
Mental Health Support Line: 310-6789 (no need to dial an area code)
Online Chat Service for Youth: www.YouthInBC.com (Noon to 1 a.m.)
Online Chat Service for Adults: www.CrisisCentreChat.ca (Noon to 1 a.m.)
World Health Organization mental well-being resources for the public
Kuu-us Crisis Line provides 24-hour crisis services through education, prevention and intervention programs:
Adult Crisis Line: 250-723-4050
Youth Crisis Line: 250-723-2040
Phone (toll-free): 1-800-588-8717
Hope for Wellness Line offers immediate mental health counselling and crisis intervention to all Indigenous peoples across Canada.
October is Mental Health Awareness Month. Throughout the month, we will be sharing stories about some of VCH's mental health programs and services as well as mental health resources. Learn more via the vch.ca/about-us/news and on our social media channels (find @VCHHealthcare on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook).