We will all be affected by mental illness at some point in our lives. This generation is more inclined to share online than to their own friends and that needs to change. Mental illness is more common than we care to acknowledge and more people struggle with it than we know. According to the Canadian Mental Health Association, 20% of Canadians will personally experience mental illness in their lifetime. In BC alone, 1 in 5 British Columbians will experience a significant mental health problem. Suicide being one of the leading causes of death in both men and women between the ages of 15 and 44. Mental illness does not discriminate.
It’s time we stop suffering in silence and start talking. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Listen to one another. Be kind to one another. Choose your words carefully. Reduce the stigma. We need to work together to break down the barriers that prevent family members, friends, colleagues – anyone – from getting the treatment they need. If you’re struggling know that you are not alone and that you can recover.
The following resources are available to you:
11 Canadian Mental Health Association
Learn how to take control of your mental health and find help with the assistance of the Canadian Mental Health Association. Every year, the CMHA, provides support and life-saving services to over half a million Canadians by helping individuals access resources from within their own communities.
10 Anxiety BC
24/7 Crisis Line: 310-6789
When it comes to mental illness, anxiety disorders are the most common. Anxiety BC promotes awareness of anxiety disorders and provides access to treatment and resources like anxiety plans to help manage anxiety, educational videos, articles and links.
Download the app
9 British Columbia Schizophrenia Society
604 270 7841
The BCSS provides services to families by connecting them to help centres throughout B.C. Their mission is to improve the quality of life for anyone affected by schizophrenia through education, support, public policy and research. Find the family support services locations closest to you online.
8 DUDES Club
An acronym that stands for Downtown Urban Knights Defending Equality and Solidarity, Vancouver-based DUDES Club was created in 2010 by a group of 70 men in the Downtown Eastside concerned about the lack of programming for men’s wellness in the neighbourhood.
This club, a brotherhood in a way, helps men get back on their feet again by reconnecting them with their families and cultures through fun activities and by supporting them on their journey to sobriety in an environment that is welcoming and free of judgement.
7 Kids Help Phone
A safe and confidential resource for teens to receive 24-hour counselling online or over the phone, Kids Help Phone can guide you if you’re struggling with issues of emotional well-being, body, identity, sex and relationship issues in addition to anything relating to school, work, friends and family and bullying and abuse.
Founded by a small group of human rights activists and mental health workers in 1986, the Vancouver Association for Survivors of Torture – or VAST – is BC’s largest centre for refugee mental health working with refugees arriving to British Columbia. The volunteer organization supports refugees suffering from psychological trauma from over 100 countries and offers programs and services in over a dozen languages.
(604) 684-5307 ext. 100
A Vancouver-based, non-profit organization, Qmunity works to create inclusive, safer spaces and provide support, connection and leadership to empower individuals that identify as queer, trans, and Two-Spirit. They do so through free counselling, information and referrals, peer-facilitated support and social groups workshops and special events – to name a few.
4 National Suicide Prevention Line
The National Suicide Prevention Line offers free and confidential support provided by professionals for anyone in a suicidal crisis or suffering emotional distress. This national network is available 24/7 and also offers specific resources ranging from support youth, to veterans to those deaf or hard of hearing.
3 Kelty Mental Health
604 875 2084
Located at Children’s Hospital in Vancouver, the Kelty Mental Health Resource Centre is a free resource for all BC families and offers information and support to children, youth and their families dealing with mental health and substance use issues.
HeadsUpGuys specializes in health strategies that specifically help men manage and prevent depression. Their team of team of clinicians, researchers, and mental health advocates help individuals fight depression on many fronts by providing tips, tools, information and professional services including talk therapy.
Located at the University of British Columbia.
1 Crisis Centre
If you are having thoughts of suicide or know someone who is, you can call The Crisis Intervention and Suicide Prevention Centre of BC for immediate assistance. Phone lines are available in over 140 languages and if needed, an interpreter can be provided.
Did we miss any? Comment below and let us know.
In loving memory of our beautiful friend, Jerry-Jean Baptiste.