RSLC@Home – Mental Health
If you are struggling with your mental health, we encourage you to reach out. Friends and family can be excellent supports, however we understand that sometimes you need to speak to someone with training, someone outside of your social circle, or someone you can connect with anonymously.
If you are in crisis, you can contact Ryerson’s Centre for Student Development and Counselling at 416-979-5195 from 9AM – 5PM Monday to Friday. After 5PM and on weekends: call the Peer Helpline Good2Talk at 1-866-925-5454.
What you will find on this page:
- General tips on maintaining your mental health
- Health Anxiety resources related specifically to Coronavirus
- Trusted resources for factual Coronavirus information
- Apps to support your mental health
Maintaining Your Mental Health
Like physical health, we all need to work to support our mental health, but that can look very different from one person to the next. With social distancing in place, rapid change, and the complex health challenges we are facing, some of you may be experiencing difficulties maintaining your mental health for the first time. For others, Coronavirus and its effects on daily life may be complicating pre-existing mental health struggles.
We recognize that everyone is different and your coping mechanisms and support structures will look different too!
If you are currently working with a mental health professional, please refer to them for advice and counselling. They have the knowledge, skills, and understanding of you personally to make educated suggestions on how best to cope at this time.
If you are struggling and do not have a mental health professional you are in contact with, we recommend reaching out and finding support the right support for you.
General Tips and Guidance
Looking for some general tips and guidance? YouTuber Anna Akana has some great practical advice on how to Maintain Your Mental Health.
Headspace is currently providing free access to a selection of their guided meditations. Headspace is a great place to start if you are new to meditation. They keep their guided meditations short, clear, and easy to follow.
An Indigenous Perspective
Ryerson’s Indigenous Elder Joanne Dallaire shared a fantastic message on how The Seven Grandparent teachings can guide us through difficult times.
Want to build resiliency and improve your well being? ThriveRU has created a downloadable calendar of weekly exercises designed to help you manage challenges and cultivate your well-being.
Sometimes during states of heightened emotion, stress or anxiety, we forget about our breathing. This short video offers techniques to help you breathe easier.
“I have diagnosed Anxiety. Sometimes it’s very manageable and at other times it flares up and can feel like someone has hijacked my brain and is taking it out for a scary joy ride. When things are manageable I can experience anxiety as part of a normal range of emotions, the kind of anxiety someone might experience before an interview. I call this ‘anxiety with a lowercase a’ it’s uncomfortable but it’s easier to address, manage, and move through. When my diagnosed Anxiety is impacting me, I call it ‘Anxiety with a capital A’ and it’s a much tougher beast to tame.”—Jaleesa, B.Design ’12, Ryerson alum and SLC Creative and Communications Coordinator
Some of you may not have experience with Anxiety ‘with a capital A’ but you may be currently struggling with anxiety surrounding Coronavirus and its impact on your life, or maybe you struggle with “Anxiety with a capital A’ and Coronavirus has now added to that Anxiety in a new way.
Here are some resources directed specifically towards anxiety surrounding Coronavirus:
Anxious about the coronavirus (Covid-19)? Dr. Alit Mattu does a great job explaining how anxiety builds and what to do to stop the cycle and maintain your health!
Ryerson Health and Wellness and Thrive RU have done an amazing job pooling resources and information on how to cope during Coronavirus. Below is a list of resources, tips, and guidance from our very own Ryerson experts!
- Staying In and Staying Well During COVID-19
- Up-to-Date News and Resources from Ryerson Health and Wellness
- Coping with COVID-19: tips from ThriveRU clinical psychologist Diana Brecher
- How to cope with fear and anxiety about COVID-19: Ryerson Psychology professor offers strategies to maintain positive mental health during pandemic
Information overload and misinformation can create unnecessary fear and anxiety. We recommend limiting your news and information sources to ones that you can trust. On top of finding quality sources, limit how frequently you check them. If it’s difficult for you not to fall down the rabbit hole of googling, it may be helpful to have a friend or family member you trust provide you with essential updates.
The Government of Canada has created a fantastic app that provides resources, updates, stats, and an easy to follow tool for self assessment and symptom tracking!
Find all other information here! Proper prevention, news updates, how Canada is responding and how you can make a difference!
Apps to Support Your Mental Health
While an app isn’t a replacement for an excellent mental health professional, they can provide support, immediate and anonymous help, and easy to navigate learning on your time schedule.
Explore different apps to find out what’s right for you! Have an app that’s been helpful for you and don’t see it listed here? Let us know my messaging us on Instagram @ryersonslc or emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In partnership with Morneau Shepell, the keep.meSAFE Student Support program offers free counseling support 24/7/365 through the My SSP app [iPhone and Android]. This is a confidential and voluntary service available to you through your university or college.
Keep.meSAFE can also be accessed with a phone call by dialing 1-844-451-9700.
notOK is a free app developed by two amazing teenagers. The app features a large, red button that can be activated to let close friends, family and your support network know that help is needed. Users can add up to five trusted contacts as part of their support group so when they hit the digital panic button, a message along with their current GPS location is sent to their contacts. The message reads: “Hey, I’m not OK! Please call, text, or come find me.” [ iPhone and Android]
What’s up is an amazing free app that uses Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and Acceptance Commitment Therapy (ACT) methods to help you cope with Depression, Anxiety, Stress, and more. A positive and negative habit tracker helps to maintain your good habits, and break those that are counterproductive. [iPhone and Android]
Mind Shift is a great mental health app designed specifically for teens and young adults with anxiety. Rather than trying to avoid anxious feelings, Mind Shift stresses the importance of changing how you think about anxiety. This app is like a cheerleader in your pocket, encouraging you to take charge of your life, ride out intense emotions, and face challenging situations. [iPhone and Android]
Self-Help for Anxiety Management (SAM)
SAM might be perfect for you if you’re interested in self-help, but meditation isn’t your thing. Users are prompted to build their own 24-hour anxiety toolkit that allows you to track anxious thoughts and behavior over time, and learn 25 different self-help techniques. [iPhone and Android]
CBT Thought Record Diary
Cognitive-behavioral therapy is centred on changing your emotions by identifying negative and distorted thinking patterns. You can use CBT Thought Record Diary to document negative emotions, analyze flaws in your thinking, and reevaluate your thoughts. This is a great app for gradually changing your approach to anxiety-inducing situations and your thinking patterns for future situations. [iPhone and Android]
MoodTools aims to support people with clinical depression by aiding the path to recovery. Discover helpful videos that can improve your mood and behavior, log and analyze your thoughts using Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) principles. [iPhone and Android]
Looking for a happy fix? With its psychologist-approved mood-training program, the Happify app is your fast-track to a good mood. Try various engaging games, activity suggestions, gratitude prompts and more to train your brain as if it were a muscle, to overcome negative thoughts. [iPhone and Android]
Woebot was built by psychologists who worked with Standford for over 10 years before creating this helpful app! Their love of helping people and behavioural science has helped create an interactive bot that learns from you and provides coaching based on Cognitive Behavioural Therapy! [iPhone and Android]
What you do to maintain your mental health or cope with your own unique challenges may look different, and that’s okay. The one thing we all have in common is that we can’t do it alone! Finding the right support system for you is vital. Reach out! To a friend, a family member, or a mental health professional. Not feeling ready to talk? Try an app! Stay safe and take care.