December 7, 2021 – The months leading up to the end of the year can be not so jolly for many British Columbians—especially as we continue to navigate new ways of gathering and celebrating. It’s a time of year that often puts extra pressure on us, and can affect our mental health. This year is made more difficult for many people as they experience the compounded impact of the pandemic, climate change, wildfires, and flooding.
Canadian Mental Health Association, BC Division (CMHA BC) and the Crisis Lines Network (310-6789 and 1800SUICIDE) have teamed up to offer five tips that can help during this challenging time.
- Know where to get help. If you or a loved one need help, know where to go:
- For immediate help, call 310-6789 (no area code required) to connect with community-based volunteers and staff at BC crisis lines 24 hours a day
- If you are considering suicide, or know someone who is, call 1800SUICIDE province-wide 24 hours a day
- cmha.bc.ca has resources, information, and links to programs and events
- Check in with your emotions. It’s normal to be feeling more emotional than usual with everything going on. Take time to take stock of your emotions and address them in a way that’s productive for you such as journaling, talking to a loved one, finding an online group, or spending quiet time alone.
- Avoid “doomscrolling.” Limit yourself to getting news from one or two reputable sources and set a timer so you only spend 10 to 15 minutes at a time (ideally not before bed, and skip the comments).
- Learn new skills to support mental wellness. If you’re feeling anxious or depressed, you may really benefit from learning some new skills to help build resilience.
- CMHA’s BounceBack® is a free online or over the phone skill-building program designed to help adults and youth manage low mood, mild to moderate depression and anxiety, stress, or worry. Available in English, French, Mandarin, Cantonese, and Punjabi.
- Living Life to the Full is a fun and interactive group course designed to help people deal with life challenges. It’s suitable for all ages and delivered through eight weekly sessions. This program and BounceBack were both developed in partnership with the Province of British Columbia.
- Tools for Managing Stress and Burnout, offered by the Crisis Centre of BC, is a 6-week online program that teaches techniques for managing stress, preventing burnout, and supporting wellbeing.
- Join the free webinar “Are We Done Yet?” featuring CMHA BC and Crisis Lines Network representatives talking about the continuum of crisis care and mental health support in BC. December 14, noon to 1:00 pm. (Register at https://crisiscentre.bc.ca/webinar)
- Take care of your physical health. Many people are facing significant, scary, and tough challenges right now. While it can be hard to prioritize, there is no mental health without physical health, so try to continue healthy habits over the holiday period. Eating a healthy diet, getting regular physical activity, and maintaining good sleep habits can all help your physical and mental health.
About the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA)
CMHA is Canada’s most established mental health charity and the nation-wide leader and champion for mental health. CMHA helps people access the resources they need to maintain and improve mental health, build resilience, and support recovery from mental illness. Each year in BC alone, CMHA serves more than 100,000 people all across the province. For mental health and addiction information and resources visit cmha.bc.ca
About the Crisis Lines Network of BC
The Crisis Lines Network, comprised of 10 local crisis centres across BC, answer calls to 1800 SUICIDE and 310-6789 Mental Health, and regional distress lines. The Network collectively has 515 years of experience providing crisis line services in BC including lifesaving crisis de-escalation, suicide risk assessment, and strengths-based collaborative safety-panning and follow-up services.
BC Crisis Line Network
Director, Development and Communications
604-872-1811 (ext. 222)
Canadian Mental Health Association, BC Division
Senior Manager, Communications