Supporting Yourself

Supporting Yourself

Looking for mental health resources can seem complicated when you don’t know where to start. You can always ask health professionals (like a doctor or nurse) or mental health professionals (like a school counsellor) for mental health services.


If you are in an emergency, call 911 for immediate assistance. Available 24/7 Canada-wide.

eMental Health

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.

Resource Locator

If you are looking for resources available in your area (for residences of Ottawa and Gatineau only), you can search for services here:


Mental health problems can manifest themselves differently from person to person. The intensity of symptoms may also differ, which can make certain problems hard to recognize. However, recovery is possible with the right treatment and support. Early intervention can be key in preventing the development of further problems or the severity of existing problems. Some general signs/symptoms include shifts in mood and behavior, changes in appetite and sleep, social isolation, different thinking, worry, etc. For more specific information on mental health problems, please see the section Common Mental Health Problems.
Talking about it. Preferably, you are in an environment that allows you to speak openly and honestly with people you can trust. Talking with friends and family can help in different ways: receiving support or advice, help finding appropriate resources, adapting to the challenges you face, etc. You may feel hesitant to tell people you know for different reasons: fear of rejection, being judged, being treated differently, etc. These are valid reasons. Here are some factors to consider: When you feel ready to share: Who you think will be supportive? What environment makes you feel safe? Think about the reasons for which you are sharing - maybe you are looking for emotional support or maybe you are looking for practical support. There are different ways to disclose as well! You could write about it, draw about it, create a video about it and share it with those you trust. There is no right or wrong way to disclose. You may also decide to share with all your friends and family or a select few. If you do not wish to tell people you know, there are resources you can contact (see square above).
Let’s break down the initial talk in a few key points: Tell someone you need to have a talk: “I wanted to talk to you about something that has been bothering me lately. I hope you can listen to me and understand because it took a lot of courage for me to bring this up.” Talk about the problem: “I have been feeling anxious in public for a while. I don’t go out with friends and I avoid crowded spaces. I’ve even been skipping class recently. I don’t think it has to do with being shy. It’s been getting worse with time.” Tell them how they can help: “I’ve been thinking about it and I need support from you. I want to share how I feel because we’re so close. I’m thinking of talking to the school counsellor about it. Would it be possible for you to make sure I contact the counselor and follow the instructions given to me?” While planning the talk, make sure you share what you’re comfortable with. If the person you are talking to wants more information, remind them that you are not able to share more. If the person gives you suggestions you do not like, remind them what type of support you are looking for.
Don’t forget, you are not alone. Mental health is important to live a balanced and happy life. Taking care of mental health is a process, it can be quick for some and slow for others. There is no right or wrong way to seek treatment. Many people and resources are ready to help!