Q: With the holiday season in mind, can you remind me of some mental health support out there for the community?
A: Support comes in many shapes and forms, depending on the situation. Some in person, some virtually or over the phone. Some have wait times, others do not. Some are local and some are Canada-wide resources. At the Resource Centre, we connect clients to mental health supports that fall into all of these categories, on an ongoing basis.
Sunshine Coast Hospice is here to support you through the holidays. Connect with their Grief Support Phoneline from Dec. 19 to Jan. 1, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. to reach a compassionate ear, locally. Connect with them at 604-741-3153.
In terms of grief and loss, the BC Bereavement hotline is also an important number to have on hand or to share with loved ones. They are at 604-738-9950 or 1-877-779-2223.
There is a 24 hour/day, seven day/week federal crisis line run by Wellness Together Canada. Call or text this line to talk to a mental health professional one-on-one. Call 1-866-585-0445 or text WELLNESS to 686868 for youth, or 741741 for adults. If you don’t have a phone, you can also connect over the computer using things like Skype, Facetime, or Google Voice. To learn about all the supports under the “Wellness together” umbrella, visit: www.wellnesstogether.ca/.
Locally, if you identify as a woman, the 24-hour access line run through Yew Transition House here on the Coast is always available. It’s there to support you in a variety of situations. Maybe you are worried your home environment is affecting your children, or maybe you have experienced sexual assault or rape. Or, maybe you feel like a prisoner in your own home. No matter the reason, you can expect that the person on the other end of the access line will listen to what’s going on for you, with care and compassion. On the chance the call goes to voicemail, leave a phone number on the answering service and someone will call you back. All calls are confidential. The 24 hour/day access line is at: 604-885-2944.
The Sunshine Coast Mental Health and Substance Use Office continues to accept self-referrals for counseling support. They can be reached at 604-885-6101 (and are located in the portables on the hospital grounds.) You can ask about wait times to see a counselor when you connect with them.
There are so many other services and programs not mentioned here that exist to support you. If you don’t know where to start, get in touch with the Resource Centre. While we continue to recommend booking appointments, we will do our best to help drop-ins if we are not with another client. We are here to listen to your story and let you know what might be out there to help with your particular situation. We are also here to take the pressure off of you by helping you look for solutions to all kinds of challenging situations life may have thrown your way.
Angie Theilmann is an information and referral specialist at the Sunshine Coast Resource Centre, your community information hub. The Resource Centre is open Monday to Thursday 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Appointments are recommended to be sure we are available to help you. Note: on some days, we can book clients after 2 p.m. Contact us: email@example.com or 604-885-4088.