(adapted from the City of Toronto website COVID-19: Mental Health Resources – City of Toronto)
The COVID pandemic has certainly taken its toll in the city of Toronto this past week. With the COVID-19 case numbers soaring, we are back in lockdown and, despite announcements that a vaccine will soon be available, it is easy to feel helpless and overwhelmed by the current situation.
I have heard many people discussing relationship problems, as well as general feelings of stress, anxiety and fatigue. It made me remember a Blog Post I posted here a few years ago (Suffering from Mental Illness? Here are 5 places you can go for help (lorettamurphytranslations.com) and I thought now might be a good time to update the information!
The best local resource I found was the City of Toronto, which has announced a mental health support strategy for residents (City of Toronto announces mental health support strategy for residents – City of Toronto) to support the mental health needs of residents during the COVID-19 pandemic. It acknowledges that measures put in place to slow the spread of COVID-19 have created stress and anxiety for many individuals, which may be compounded by financial loss and loss of critical supports.
Specifically, the City of Toronto has a great website dedicated to Mental Health Resources (See: COVID-19: Mental Health Resources – City of Toronto) where it lists several partner organizations to help connect people to free telephone, text and online mental health support during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The City’s partners provide free mental health supports to diverse communities across Toronto. I think this is an excellent list of Mental Health Centres available to people in Toronto, so I am reposting them here:
- Across Boundaries
- Caribbean African Canadian Social Services
- Crisis Text Line
- Family Services Toronto
- Gerstein Crisis Centre
- Hong Fook
- Kids Help Phone
- Native Child and Family Services of Toronto
- Ontario Psychological Association
- Strides Toronto
- The Access Point
- Toronto Seniors Helpline (WoodGreen)
- Warm Line (Progress Place)
The website also lists places that offer free help for kids and families, such as:
Professional counselling, information and referrals available 24/7 for young people in both English and French. Counselling over text is also available.
Text: HOME to 686868
Provides 24/7 text support for young people in crisis by connecting them to trained Crisis Responders. Powered by Kids Help Phone.
Free mental health counselling by phone or video for children, youth, young adults and their families.
There are 84 entries in the Community Support section of the City’s Mental Health support website. I find it truly amazing that there is so much free support available to Toronto residents, much of which can be accessed online. It makes me feel immensely lucky to live in a city and country that have the resources to devote to this very important cause during such trying times. I know many other Torontonians are also grateful for similar reasons and that, in itself, is a reason to feel a little brighter!
I think I’ll go turn on the Christmas lights.
Stay safe and take care of yourself!
©Loretta Murphy, Loretta Murphy Translations. All Rights Reserved. 2020.