Help is Available

If you or someone you know is having a mental health crisis please contact the Mental Health Crisis Line at (709) 737-4668 or toll free 1-888-737-4668.

Local Calls

(709) 737-4668

Toll Free

1-888-737-4668

Frequently Asked Questions

In our help centre, you can find a list of useful FAQs, a contact form where you can ask us any questions you might have, and some additional ways you can reach out to our team.

What is good mental health?

“Mental health means striking a balance in all aspects of your life: social, physical, spiritual, economic and mental. Reaching a balance is a learning process. At times, you may tip the balance too much in one direction and have to find your footing again. Your personal balance will be unique, and your challenge will be to stay mentally healthy by keeping that balance.” (CMHA National: http://www.cmha.ca/mental-health/your-mental-health/)

Mental health does not mean the absence of mental illness. We can all have good mental health, regardless of whether or not we are living with a mental illness.

What is recovery?

Recovery is the personal process that people with mental illness go through in gaining control, meaning and purpose in their lives. Recovery involves different things for different people. For some, recovery means the complete absence of the symptoms of mental illness. For others, recovery means living a full life in the community while learning to live with ongoing symptoms.

(CMHA Toronto: http://toronto.cmha.ca/mental-health/your-mental-health/recovery/)

What are some things I can do on my own to improve my mental health and support recovery from mental illness?

Formal mental health services and treatments provided by professionals in hospital, community-based settings, and private practices can be an important part of managing the symptoms of mental illness. There are also many things you can do on your own, based on your personal needs and preferences, to support your mental health and promote recovery.

Self-care is important for your mental health. Some examples of things we can do for our own mental health include but are not limited to the following:

  • Exercise
  • Eating well
  • Mindfulness
  • Listening to music
  • Taking a bubble bath
  • Going to a movie, or watching a movie at home
  • Or simply whatever allows you to relax and unwind

Self-care is not just for someone recovering from a mental illness; it’s the things we do every day to nurture ourselves and look after our well-being.

What is social support?

Social support is the physical and emotional comfort given to us by our family, friends, co-workers and others. It’s knowing that we are part of a community of people who love and care for us, and value and think well of us.

  • Are there people in your life you can turn to when you just need someone to talk to?
  • Someone to help when your basement is flooded or you need someone to watch the kids?
  • Or maybe just someone you can call when something really great happens and you want to share the news?

(CMHA Fort Frances: http://www.cmhaff.ca/social-support)

What are some ways that persons living with a mental illness can help one another?

Support groups and peer support are two examples of ways that persons living with a mental illness (sometimes referring to themselves as persons with lived experience or consumers) can offer support to one another.

What are support groups?

Support groups offer a way for people to share their common experiences and draw on their own strengths to help themselves and one another (CMHA Framework for Support).

Some support groups are run by consumers/persons with lived experience themselves, or they may be organized by a health authority or community-based organization.

What is peer support?

Peer support is a supportive relationship between people who have a lived experience in common. The peer support worker provides emotional and social support to others who share a common experience.

(Mental Health Commission of Canada: http://www.mentalhealthcommission.ca/English/focus-areas/peer-support)

Peer support can be offered informally or casually through social interactions or recreational activities, but it is often organized and run as a structured, formal program by persons with lived experience who are trained specifically to provide support.

Resources

Self-Care Wheel

A TOOL FOR MANAGING STRESS AND ACHIEVING HAPPINESS

With over 80 self-care exercises and healing modalities, the Self-Care Wheel, by Olga Phoenix, is a great beginning for your personalized, preventative, and sustainable Self-Care plan. Use the Self-Care Wheel below to manage every-day stress, increase contentment and life satisfaction, and learn which areas of your life need improvement.

Self-Care Bingo

A TOOL TO HELP GUIDE SELF-CARE ACTIVITIES

Self-care is considered any deliberate activity that supports our mental, emotional, and physical health. By taking time to care for yourself, you can better cope with anxiety and stress, and help improve your overall wellbeing. Additionally, when you take time to meet your own needs, you will be better able to care for others. Use these stackable bingo prompts to get started. Try one or all. Create your own. Start small. Remember: self-care is not selfish.

Self-Care Bingo: Workplace Edition

A TOOL TO HELP GUIDE SELF-CARE ACTIVITIES

Self-care is considered any deliberate activity that supports our mental, emotional, and physical health. By taking time to care for yourself, you can better cope with workplace stressors and anxieties, and improve your overall wellbeing. Encouraging your workplace to opt in to self-care activities can help support employee productivity, retention and create a positive work environment for all. Use these stackable bingo prompts to get started. Try one or all. Create your own. Start small. Remember: self-care is not selfish.

Self-Esteem Journal

A TOOL TO HELP IMPROVE SELF-ESTEEM

Positive journaling has been found to help improve feelings of well-being and self-esteem. Record three daily statements related to your successes, good qualities, and positive experiences. This worksheet, by TherapistAid.com, is great for those who need ideas to journal about and has been designed with daily prompts, such as “Today I accomplished…” and “Something I did for someone…”.

Daily Self-Care Check-In Cards

A TOOL TO HELP GUIDE REGULAR SELF-CARE

Self-care is considered any deliberate activity that supports your mental, emotional, and physical health. When you take time to meet your own needs, you will be better able to care for yourself and others. Use the first card on this handout as a guide to get started. You can use the same prompts each day or create your own (Ex: today I… practiced gratitude; rode my bike; hugged my dog, etc.).

Support vs. ‘Toxic Positivity’

UNDERSTANDING THE DIFFERENCE

Offering someone ‘toxic positivity’ can often shut down the conversation by making them feel they shouldn’t share their ‘bad’ feelings. Supporting others through validation can let them know that their negative feelings are okay and they are not alone. The chart below, by Whitney Hawkins Goodman, LMFT, provides examples of validating statements versus toxic positivity. Which statement will have a more effective outcome for the person you are trying to support?

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