A study by digital health platform Felix sheds light on the mental health issues Canadians face over the holidays.
The report, released last month, found that one in four residents say their mental health deteriorates during this time as many experience a mix of emotions.
Felix’s medical director, Dr Kelly Anderson, says the holidays are “a time when everything is turned upside down”.
“We are traveling, we are not eating what we usually eat, it is darker than usual.”
Anderson adds that some may feel lonely and isolated.
Stress, loneliness magnified during the holidays: mental health experts
The study also found that depression and anxiety were the most common mental health issues, affecting 39% of Canadians. Additionally, nearly 60 percent of respondents said they would take or participate in therapy more often if it was more affordable.
Olabiyi Dipeolu recognized the need and inequality in access to services, so he created Maqoba.com. This is a website selling merchandise to raise money for mental health initiatives and charities. The platform also provides free mental health resources to its users.
“Because of Canada’s history, some groups are marginalized and don’t have access, either through the workplace or through different organizations,” says Dipeolu.
Anderson says when it comes to dealing with your mental health issues this season, it’s best to stick to the basics. Some of his top tips include:
- Take care of your physical health by sleeping well, exercising regularly and eating healthy.
- Pay attention to your social media consumption.
- Consider contacting a friend or family member.
She says to try to meet people “face to face”.
“This type of connection, even if it is short, can be really useful.”
If you or someone you know is in crisis and needs help, resources are available. In an emergency, please call 911 for immediate assistance.
Crisis Services Canada’s toll-free helpline offers 24/7 support at 1-833-456-4566.
Kids Help Phone operates a toll-free helpline at 1-800-668-6868 with 24/7 support for young people, as well as the Crisis Text Line, which can be reached by texting HOME to 686868.
The free Hope for Wellness Helpline offers 24/7 support for Indigenous people at 1-855-242-3310. Online chat services are also available.
Trans Lifeline operates a toll-free helpline for trans and questioning people at 1-877-330-6366.
For a directory of support services in your area, visit the Canadian Association for Suicide Prevention at suicideprevention.ca.
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