Uncertainty during times of crisis can be overwhelming, and this year has been particularly stressful for many Albertans worried about their health, finances and mental health.
Help is available through Alberta Health Services (AHS), various support organizations and those close to you. If you are in crisis, please connect with your healthcare professional or call 911 if it’s an emergency. Please be aware of these other supports throughout AHS Central Zone:
AHS Addiction and Mental Health
AHS Addiction and Mental Health community clinics are available to serve children, families and individuals in many communities throughout the zone. To find a community clinic near you, visit www.ahs.ca/amh.
If you need to speak to someone outside of community clinic hours, please call the Mental Health Helpline at 1-877-303-2642 or the Addiction line at 1-866-332-2322. You can also call Health Link at 811 to find the service that’s right for you. Trained staff are available to offer support at those numbers 24/7.
An extensive list of support services and resources are available on the Help in Tough Times webpage at www.ahs.ca/helpintoughtimes. This includes Text4Hope, which offers free daily text messaging that helps people identify and adjust the negative thoughts, feelings and behaviours a pandemic might be expected to provoke. To subscribe, text COVID19HOPE to 393939.
Online stress management workshops are available. Transform Your Stress: The Resilience Advantage – Strategies for Managing Stress in Challenging Times is a free AHS-facilitated online workshop. To learn more, visit www.ahs.ca/helpintoughtimes or email email@example.com.
Togetherall, available at www.ahs.ca/virtualmentalhealth, is a free online network that offers anonymous, peer-to-peer mental health services 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Clinical moderators monitor the platform to help keep members safe, protect anonymity, and direct users to available and appropriate free resources.
While many people see a doctor only for physical health, having conversations about mental wellness is important to our overall well-being. If you are not connected to a doctor at this time, you can locate one at www.albertafindadoctor.ca.
Kids Help Phone and Crisis Text Line
The Kids Help Phone is available to both young people and adults. To access support, call 1-800-668-6868 or visit its website at www.kidshelpphone.ca for more information and resources. The Kids Help Phone also offers crisis text support. Young people can access support by texting CONNECT to 686868.
Adults can access support by texting 741741 to reach a crisis counsellor at Crisis Text Line. You can also visit www.crisistextline.org.
Friends and family
We encourage anyone in need of support to reach out to someone they trust. Talk to a family member, friend, someone you can be honest with to talk through your concerns. While public health restrictions can make us feel isolated, try having physically distanced visits outside, or reach out to someone by phone or video chat.
Reach out to people in your life who may be struggling. Offering support can include mentioning what you have noticed, listening to their concerns, and connecting them with some of the resources noted above. Starting a conversation does not require you to be a counsellor or an expert; just a caring person offering support and hope.