If you are struggling with mental health challenges, including thoughts of suicide, there are things that you can do to help yourself. Remember, you are not alone, and help is available.
Keep Yourself Safe
It is important to try to keep yourself safe. Some ways that you could help to keep yourself safe are:
- Ask for support from family and friends
- Connect with people that you can trust and talk to
- Seek help from a mental health professional or organization such as the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA)
- Talk to your family doctor who may be able to refer you to appropriate services
- Have a safe place where you feel like no one can harm you and you will not harm yourself
- Distract yourself with your favourite things, such as a funny video, a comforting hobby, or a nostalgic movie.
Develop a Support System
Developing a support system can help you to cope with difficult emotions or situations, as well as feel as sense of belonging. Some ways you can develop a support system are:
- Know who you can call & have their numbers available. Make a list that you can keep some place accessible- such as on your phone, the fridge, or your bedroom wall.
- Don’t be scared to ask someone to stay with you
- Know that you can always call the crisis line such as Here 24/7 at (844) 437-3247
- Write a safety plan when you are feeling well. Share it with you circle of support and post it in a place where it is easily accessible for yourself
- Talk to someone that has ‘been there’
- Attend support groups for people with lived experience such as groups through Self Help & Peer Support at CMHA
Day to Day Tips
Often, there are things that can be done on a daily or regular basis to help support overall wellness and increase resiliency. Some day to day tips are:
- Make sure you’re sleeping well, eating healthy (including eating enough), and getting exercise
- Try to relax with yoga, deep breathing, mediation, reading or music
- Stay involved or get involved with activities you enjoy
- Surround yourself with positive people and healthy relationships
- Avoid or limit drugs, alcohol and caffeine
- Get involved with helping others, e.g. through volunteering
- Tip: many cities or regions have an organization that helps to match volunteers with volunteer opportunities. If you live in Waterloo Region, you can check out Volunteer Waterloo Region
- Set small, manageable goals and try to focus on what you have accomplished
- Tip: If you have difficulty remembering your accomplishments, try to keep a list of the things you have done that made you proud or feel good. Place this list somewhere that you can see on a regular basis as a positive reminder of your strengths.
- Journal your experiences or create a video diary
- Discover a way to express yourself and your feelings, such as through art or music.
- Learn about tools you can use to help yourself such as mental health apps, the Wheel of Wellbeing, or the Feelings Wheel.