People are being challenged like never before due to isolation, physical health concerns, substance use concerns, financial and employment uncertainty, and racial trauma. As you move forward, here are some resources, links and organizations that may help.
This is a curated list of resources that we've found immensely helpful. Please review and share this list of resources and remember it is a work-in-progress and regularly updated. If if you have any feedback please email us.
Wellness Together Canada was funded by the Government of Canada in response to the unprecedented rise in mental distress due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Access support, track your progress and get connected to mental health and substance use support, resources, and counselling with a mental health professional for free and available 24/7. Alternatively, you can also call 1-866-585-0445 to speak with a Care Navigator who can help you find the resources and support on the portal that would be most helpful for you.
MHFA Self-Care and Resilience Guide contains information on self-care and resilience including tools to create your own self-care plan. This free pdf document also features an extensive list of Canadian resources featuring National, Provincial and Territorial Crisis phone lines and websites curated by Mental Health First Aid.
Free pdf download of online resources for addiction and mental health, including a list of 12-step online meetings, recovery tools, support groups, cognitive behavioural therapy apps and more.
Coping with Stress, Anxiety & Substance Use is an infographic with helpful tips for coping with stress, anxiety, and substance use during COVID-19. This free pdf resource was created by Mental Health Commission of Canada and Canadian Centre of Substance Use & Addiction.
For Toronto residents, this is a list of local phone-based counselling for those that prefer telephone support.
SUICIDE PREVENTION SUPPORT
Public awareness and education are key pillars of CAMH suicide prevention efforts, review this page for tools and resources. You can also access suicide crisis and services support here or by calling a crisis helpline. In Canada, Crisis Services has a Suicide Prevention Helpline at 1-833-456-4566 or in the USA call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.
Ever wondered what happens when you call a suicide crisis hotline? Click here to read an article that walks you through the experience.
Words and language matter. Learn how to talk about suicide with hope and respect in order to save lives and ensure suicide is seen for what it is: a public health problem, not a moral weakness. Download the CAMH suicide language guidelines here.
HOSPITALITY FOCUSED SUPPORT
Mind the Bar Foundation provides information and support resources for those in the hospitality industry who are struggling with depression, anxiety, thoughts of suicide, substance abuse, addiction, or workplace harassment.
Kitchens 4 Missions is an online resource and "food philanthropy" event, we work to raise funds for accessible counselling services and normalize conversations about mental wellness.
The Full Plate offers free resources and services designed for all hospitality workers.
Healthy Pour is an organization that provides consultation and education to bars, restaurants, hotels, brands, non-profit organizations and therapists regarding mental health and support of individuals working in and around the hospitality industry.
I Got Your Back has a goal to provide restaurants and workers tools and skills to identify and talk about mental health issues in a safe environment that encourages people to seek the help they may need.
James Beard Foundation highlights organizations, groups, and resources that are working widely as well as specifically within the food community on issues around sobriety and mental health.
Open For Good is the James Beard Foundation’s campaign to help independent restaurants survive this crisis, rebuild better, and thrive for the long term. The mission is to support a diverse community of professionals shaping the future of food and hospitality.
Cooks Who Care is a community-minded food industry group working to develop a supportive network for forward-thinking food and beverage leaders.
Love Letters to Chefs is an educational platform to empower chefs in aspiring towards and achieving a better quality of life.
Focus on Health provides hospitality professionals with the tools and resources to better their lives through health and wellness education, programming and outreach.
Ben's Friends is the food and beverage industry support group offering hope, fellowship, and a path forward to professionals who struggle with substance abuse and addiction.
RACIAL TRAUMA SUPPORT
This is a carefully curated list of anti-racism + racial justice-minded resources to help in the quest to dismantle racist patriarchy by the attorney, activist, speaker and author Rachel Ricketts. If you are new to antiracism, it is suggested starting with the links with the (***) starred resources.
Explore the work of the author, speaker and teacher Layla Saad who shares important teachings and tools for transforming consciousness, cultivating personal anti-racism practice and taking responsibility for our individual and collective healing.
Educate yourself on the work of full-time Psychologist Dr. Jennifer Mullan. Her movement of Decolonizing Therapy creates a dialogue to address how mental health is deeply affected by systemic inequities and the trauma of oppression, particularly the well-being of Queer Indigenous Black Brown People of Color (QIBPOC).
24/7 FREE nationwide texting service providing crisis support. Text "HOME" to 686868 in Canada or to 741741 in USA to text with a trained Crisis Responder. Every text connects you to a real-life human trained to move from a hot moment to a cool calm one through active listening and collaborative problem-solving.
CANADIAN CRISIS SUPPORT
Crisis Line 1-833-456-4566 or text 45645. Crisis Services Canada is a national network of existing distress, crisis and suicide prevention line services
If you are In distress or need emotional support call 416-408-4357 or text 45645. Canada’s oldest volunteer delivered crisis, emotional support and suicide prevention + intervention + postvention service agency provides 24-hour support, 7 days a week, 365 days a year to individuals at risk and at their most vulnerable.
Connex Ontario & Mental Health Helpline 1-866-531-2600
Connex Ontario offers province-wide information and referral services for those experiencing mental health issues, drug or alcohol addiction
AMERICAN CRISIS SUPPORT
By calling 1-800-273-TALK (8255) you’ll be connected to a skilled, trained counsellor at a crisis center in your area, anytime 24/7. No matter what problems you are dealing with, they can help you find a reason to keep living.
NAMI, the National Alliance on Mental Illness, is the nation’s largest grassroots mental health organization dedicated to building better lives for the millions of Americans affected by mental illness. Call the NAMI Helpline at 800-950-NAMI Or in a crisis,
text "NAMI" to 741741.
ONLINE THERAPY SUPPORT
A Canadian online therapy platform offering video mental health counselling from the comfort of home.
A Canadian online healthcare option with a mission to provide timely and convenient access to doctors and other healthcare providers – so that you can feel better, faster.
The Lifeline Canada Foundation is dedicated to Positive Mental Health and Suicide Prevention. The LifeLine App is the National free Suicide Prevention and Awareness App that offers access and guidance to support for those suffering in crisis and those who have suffered the devastating loss of a loved one from suicide.
CANADIAN RESEARCH & SUPPORT
Canada's largest mental health teaching hospital and one of the world's leading research centres in its field. CAMH is fully affiliated with the University of Toronto and is a Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization Collaborating Centre.
MHCC leads the development and dissemination of innovative programs and tools to support the mental health and wellness of Canadians. Through its unique mandate from the Government of Canada, the MHCC supports federal, provincial, and territorial governments as well as organizations in the implementation of sound public policy.
CMHA is a nation-wide, charitable organization that promotes the mental health of all and supports the resilience and recovery of people experiencing mental illness.
TORONTO THERAPY RESOURCES
For anyone in Toronto looking for low-cost talk therapy, we've put together a FREE NOT9TO5 PDF on how to get started and a list of options.
For anyone in Toronto looking for help with substance/alcohol abuse and addiction, we've put together a FREE NOT9TO5 PDF with a list of resources and options for seeking help.
A thorough FREE download of Canadian resources by CMHA Quick Guide to Mental Health Resources serving Toronto. It includes options for abuse, addictions, anger management, bereavement, crisis and more.
TORONTO RETAIL SUPPORT
Hard Feelings is an innovative, welcoming community of professional counsellors who provide low-cost services and support. Our storefront sells carefully curated books and resources to help build and sustain stronger mental health.
Lost and Found offers first aid for the modern soul. The Toronto retail store is a social hub dedicated to the pursuit of mental wellness.
Right in the heart of Toronto's Annex neighbourhood is North America's largest mental health bookstore.
WORKPLACE MENTAL HEALTH
Dear Manager by Made of Millions offers a FREE PDF called "Beautiful Brains: A Mental Health Manual for the Modern Workforce." Beautiful Brains is a six-step program that helps modern businesses implement progressive mental health policies. It covers everything from stigmatizing language and employee accommodations to confidentiality plans and cultural initiatives.
Have a situation that you want to speak to your manager about but don't know where to start? This a great asset by local modern therapy company Shift Collab to guide you on "Asking For What You Need."
Google lead a case study years ago to determine what is crucial to create an effective and productive team. The research showed the most important factor is Psychological Safety, which means team members feel safe to take risks and be vulnerable in front of each other. Click here to learn how to cultivate and foster psychological safety in a work environment.
If you’re a business owner looking to increase employee wellness:
League, an online benefits provider that offers a Mental Health Concierge available via live chat. Depending on your needs, you can have access to personalized recommendations for counselling and online resources for exercises from a medical professional.
Another online mental healthcare is Dialogue. The company offers stress management and wellness services through its app or online. The Dialogue platform works on three core values: confidentiality, cost-effectiveness and convenience.
Deloitte Insights released a Canadian study called "The ROI in workplace mental health programs: Good for people, good for business." It is a HUGE asset for employers navigating workplace mental health.
MINDFULNESS & MEDITATION SUPPORT
Centre for Mindfulness Studies is committed to making mindfulness-based mental health services available to everyone. It is the leading professional development and service delivery organization for mindfulness-based interventions in Canada.
Christopher Germer, PhD is a clinical psychologist and lecturer on psychiatry at Harvard Medical School. This is a collection of free audio meditations with a focus on mindful self-compassion training.
Tara Brach teaches Western Buddhism with mindful attention to the connection between our inner life and our outer world. She shares her library of free guided audio meditations that range from simple meditation for beginners, to more focused intensions.
Dharma Seed is an online resource dedicated to making the Buddhist teachings of Insight Meditation and associated practices available to all. Browse free resources including guided meditations and talks.
Greater Good magazine turns scientific research into stories, tips, and tools. Free resources, articles, podcast and more on the science of wellness and living a meaningful life from the University of California, Berkeley.
Improved cognition, stronger attention spans and stress reduction are just a few of the proven benefits of practicing mindfulness. Calm is a free meditation app including sleep assistance, guided movement lessons, and masterclasses. Requires a fee for premium features.
Free mediation app with the option to upgrade to 'Headspace Plus' for a fee. Free year of 'Headspace Plus' for those currently unemployed. App includes a variety of guided meditations including ones for sleep and morning routines, as well as meditation for fitness and nutrition.
For an introduction to mindfulness meditation that you can practice on your own, download the free UCLA Mindful App, stream, or download guided meditations on this site. Recorded by UCLA MARC's Director of Mindfulness Education, Diana Winston. Free audio mediations available in English and Spanish.
ONLINE EXERCISE & MOVEMENT
Free exercise videos for all fitness levels. They also offer general health, nutrition, and fitness information as well as affordable workout programs and meal plans.
Library of free yoga videos to find a practice that suits your mood or start a journey toward healing. Hundreds of free yoga videos including monthly challenges.
Misfit Studio is continuing to offer modified versions of its popular classes on Instagram Live: Get Lifted at 8am EST and Get Released at 7pm EST
Free daily HITT class available on their Instagram live requiring minimal equipment. Available daily at 12pm EST.
Daily dance and fitness classes. Schedule changes so check out their Instagram account for details.
AGO from Home is a new way to enjoy the museum from your home, bringing you into the building virtually and uniquely. Gain access to interesting and diverse stories, videos, and closer looks at artwork as well as some DIY and How-To videos.
Virtual showcases and performances from a variety of artists including musicians, comedians and storytellers. Some are free, PWYC, but some have a fee.
A curated collection of art and calendar of live streams from around the world. This online festival continues to take submissions so their content is always evolving and changing.
Toronto-based online venue pops up as a response to COVID-19 featuring Canadian artists. The videos are free to watch, but they ask that you to PWYC to their GoFundMe page.
38 ways to use your library card to access free movies, e-books, audiobooks, newspapers, and more. If you don't have a library card, you can now access some of the online collections with a temporary digital card.
With the current climate, they have been rounding up films and podcasts that
make us feel connected and reassured. Free documentaries to watch at home including a variety of docs for children.
A Space Between brings the therapeutic benefits of practicing art to hospitals. While unable to run their live sessions, they created 'Colour to Connect' offering a growing collection of designs that can be downloaded for free and coloured at your leisure. You can also submit your artwork to participate in the project.
This free e-book called "Fuck Depression" is full of great tips and tools on how to battle depression but also your overall mental health. It includes a number of scientifically proven ways to help you to get through the shit times, with a sprinkling of ‘honest’ language.