Being Mindful of Mental Health: How to Effectively Use the Internet for Good!

As our neighbours to the south acknowledge Mental Health Awareness month, we thought that a roundup of some of the more valuable and evidence-based resources on the web is definitely in order. Too often are we suckered into clickbait ads for snake oil cures and opinion-based “information” about mental health that it can seem intimidating to know where to start for good hard facts about the mind and what ails it. 

The Counselling Department of The Neutral Zone has compiled a few of our favourite websites to suggest to those looking to do some of their own reading into the topic. As always, we are here to contact for one-on-one, couple, or family/group sessions- the first phone consult is always free.

Psych Central
This website has been around since 1995 and tackles just about every mental health issue you can think of, from mood and personality disorders to addiction, to everything in between. It’s a wealth of centralized information that offers you overviews on each subject to help you get a better grasp of what you’re looking to learn about, including recent assessment and treatment suggestions. This one-stop-shop for all things mental health-related has received accolades for decades for its well-researched compilation. Avoid the urge to self-diagnose and try out the site with curiosity about the unknown. According to the Canadian Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, 1 in 5 Canadians experiences a mental illness or addiction problem in any given year. By the age of 40, 1 in 2 Canadians has or have had a mental illness. This topic touches so many of us yet remains a complicated and often unseen mystery. Psych Central is here to draw some light to this shadowed area.

Mental Health and Wellness During the COVID-19 Pandemic
From the Mental Health Commission of Canada, this recent creation continues to update its findings on the effects of COVID-19 on mental health. This website tracks various groups affected by the pandemic, including but not exclusive of children and youth, seniors, and health care providers. It compiles evidence-based information that you can use or apply to those you care about. It’s been over a year now, and we still don’t know when the pandemic will end, and we certainly have only a tiny idea of how our mental health has and will continue to be affected by the changes we’ve all gone through. Consider a read through this site to hear about what others are experiencing and what has helped them to reassure yourself you are not alone in struggling in 2020 and 2021. A central source of options for mental health aid from municipalities to the federal government, this website can educate and guide your questions through this trying time.

The Canadian Suicide Prevention Service
When we are feeling lost, or when we have concerns about those we love and thoughts of suicide, it can be a terrifying leap even to ask: “Are you okay?” Sponsored by Crisis Services Canada through the Canadian government, this website is an excellent resource for those thinking about ending their life, who know someone who is possibly having those thoughts, or for people who have lost someone to suicide. From personal stories to research approaches, you will be able to access many resources to help anyone in any stage of managing this issue. It includes a breakdown of the call centres and websites across the Canadian provinces and works to ensure that people feeling at their lowest know that they are not alone and someone is out there to listen to them. And, while this website is for suicide prevention, it is not exclusive to support those in critical and emergent need. People feeling low or concerned about the mental health of loved ones can and will benefit from the knowledge contained in this website- not just those considering ending their lives.

Mental health issues are often invisible to the eye and therefore so quickly go unchecked and unsupported. Consider the struggle you or someone you care about is going through and take a read as it can support you through the websites listed above to know that there are answers out there and, even more importantly: people who care. Thank you, and good mental health, from The Neutral Zone.

Being Mindful of Mental Health: How to Effectively Use the Internet for Good!

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