No one is immune to mental health struggles. As humans, we need emotional support at the best of times, and life right now for many is uncertain – especially following last week’s news that a local student had tested positive for COVID-19.
As individuals we all cope with stress in different ways, but often exhibit similar symptoms when struggling with our mental health. These can include:
- feelings of sadness
- problems concentrating
- excessive guilt or worrying
- suicidal thinking
- sudden mood changes
- loss of interest in activities/friends
- change of appetite
- extreme fatigue or insomnia
- excessive anger or hostility
- drug use or increased alcohol consumption
“If you find yourself struggling with your mental health, please know that you deserve treatment and support, and you’re certainly not alone. Mental health issues are NOT a sign of weakness, and they do NOT define who you are,” said Wetaskiwin Mayor Tyler Gandam. “Many of us have endured mental health struggles – whether past or present – and we understand the frustration, fear, and even shame that can accompany the realization that your mental health is taking a hit.”
Here are just a few things for all of us to keep in mind as we continue to navigate this pandemic –on top of anything else we may be dealing with:
- Anyone with pre-existing mental health conditions should closely monitor themselves for any new symptoms. If you know that your friend, family member, or colleague struggles with mental health, reach out to them and check-in.
- Many parents are trying to help their children adjust to being back at school. Children take their emotional cues from their parents, so it’s important to be calm and reassuring when they display signs of emotional distress. Have two-way conversations with your children about mental health and why it’s important. One resource to help you and your child through their mental health struggles include the Kids Help Phone at
1-800-668-6868or online at www.kidshelpphone.ca
- Isolated seniors are at higher risk for mental health decline including loneliness, sadness, depression, anxiety, and suicide. Please check in on any seniors in your life and let them know they aren’t alone. If you’re a senior struggling with mental health, call the Mental Health Helpline at
- If you are in an abusive situation, there is help available. Call 911 if you are in immediate danger or fear for your safety. You can also visit www.sheltersafe.ca to find out more about resources and safe spaces in your area, or confide in a trusted friend to help. You don’t deserve any form of abuse directed your way.
- Another mental health tip is taking breaks from watching, reading and listening to news stories, including on social media. Hearing about the pandemic repeatedly can be very overwhelming and may impact your mental health.
- Adopting healthy lifestyle behaviours can dramatically improve your mental health. A healthy diet, consistent and quality sleep, physical activity, and moments of peaceful calm are all an important part of maintaining good mental health.
If you, your child(ren), or a loved one needs mental health support, please reach out and connect with one of the many resources available. No one deserves to stay in the dark place that usually accompanies mental health struggles. Visit covidwetaskiwin.ca/index.php/mental-health for a list of mental health resources and supports. They are also listed below:
- Kids Help Phone www.kidshelpphone.ca
- Centre for Addiction and Mental Health www.camh.ca Addiction Help Line:
- Mental Health Help Line:
- Canadian Mental Health Association www.cmha.ca
- Shelter Safe www.sheltersafe.ca
- Crisis Services Canada-Suicide www.crisisservicescanada.ca