If you are in an emergency, call 911 for immediate assistance. Available 24/7 Canada-wide.
If you are looking for referrals for toward appropriate services for mental health or substance abuse difficulties in your region, you can search for services here:
Crisis Services Canada
If you are experiencing suicidal thoughts or if you are in distress, call 1-833-456-4566. You can also text TALK to 686868. Available 24/7 Canada-wide.
Some general signs/symptoms include shifts in mood and behavior, changes in appetite and sleep, social isolation, different thinking, worry, etc. Not all changes in mood or behavior constitute a mental health problem; life events can impact people’s functioning. That’s why it is important to consult with a mental health professional (see square above). For more specific information on mental health problems, please see the section Common Mental Health Problems.
- Plan what you are going to say
- Think about an appropriate time to talk
- Think about an environment that makes you and the person you are talking to feel safe
- If you are unsure about something, ask questions
- Do not judge or assume anything
- Be empathetic and caring
- Let the person know you are there for them
- Offer to learn about mental health problems with the person and to find appropriate resources
- Use “I” statements when you talk “I am concerned about you. It seems like you are facing challenges. Is there anything I can help you with?”
- Compare mental health problems to physical problems“Medication can help treat symptoms when someone has a flu. If the flu isn’t taken care of, it can develop into something more severe like pneumonia. We see a doctor when something isn’t right with our health; mental health is the same. Many treatments exist like cognitive behavioral therapy, medication, family therapy, etc. That’s why it’s important to see a mental health professional. They can help find the proper solutions.”
- Be patient - recovery can be a long process