Resources – To Deal With Difficulties

I try to understand what I am experiencing when…

I note or pay attention to my thoughts, emotions and behaviours.

Noting or paying attention to your thoughts, emotions, and behaviours can help you better understand which situations you feel comfortable in and which ones you find more challenging. It can also help you identify what makes you feel better and reduce stress.

Useful Information and Tools

1 – Mood tracker  (Lilly Canada Inc, 2011)

 Monthly tracker for mood symptoms and lifestyle habits

2 – Mood journal for bipolar disorder (Douglas Mental Health University Institute, 2010)

 Action plan for depressive, manic or hypomanic symptoms: getting to know ourselves better to prevent relapse

– Identifying distortions in our thoughts (Concordia University)

 Cognitive restructuration: identifiying and understanding unrealistic thoughts to change them for realistic thoughts.

4 – Evaluating your abilities, strengths and weaknesses (University of Ottawa Heart Institute, 2010)

 A step-by-step guide to practicing positive self-talk and building self-confidence

5 – Identifying negative thoughts and replacing them with realistic thoughts (Arthritis Society)

→ Recognizing, analyzing and modifying negative self-talk

I learn about depression, anxiety or bipolar disorder (e.g. on the Internet or TV, by reading, or by attending conferences or workshops).

Learning about mental health disorders from credible sources can help familiarize you with the warning signs, making it easier to recognize symptoms and act faster when they appear. It can also give you a better understanding of what you are going through and provide tips and tools for taking care of yourself and making yourself feel better.

Useful Information and Tools

1 – Information about anxiety, depression and bipolar disorder (Revivre)

 Types of disorders, causes, consequences and treatments.

2 – Mental Health Series: Taking care of your Mental Health) (Capsana, 2010)

 Booklets about each disorder (symptoms, statistics, strategies and resources), available for download.

3 – Experts’ Answers About Depression(Douglas Mental Health University Institute, 2009)

 Diagnosis, development and process, treatment, society, etc.

4 – Experts’ Answers About Anxiety (Douglas Mental Health University Institute, 2009)

 Diagnosis, development and process, treatment, society, etc.

5 – Experts’s Answers About Bipolar Disorder (Douglas Mental Health University Institute, 2009)

 → Diagnosis, development and process, treatment, society, etc.

6 – Information about anxiety, depression and bipolar disorder (Gouvernement du Québec, 2018-2019)

 Types of disorders, causes, consequences and treatments.

Multimedia

1 – The Recovery movement: a 2009 lecture by Myra Piat – Part 1 and Part 2 (Douglas Mental Health University Institute, 2009)

2 – Recovery stories – Paul and major depression (Douglas Mental Health University Institute, 2011)

3 – Recovery stories – Elizabeth and bipolar disorder (Publications Universitaires, 2013)

I consult a mental health care professional (e.g. psychologist, social worker, psychotherapist, sexologist, occupational therapist).

You don’t have to have a mental health disorder or a clear picture of your needs to see a mental health professional. Mental health professionals can help you identify your needs, provide personalized support, and refer you to the most appropriate resource for your situation.

Useful Information and Tools

1 – Where can I find a psychologist? (Ordre des psychologues du Québec, 2019)

 Advice and information for finding a psychologist or psychotherapist according to the type of consultation and budget (in French, for Quebec only)

2 – Finding the Psychologist for You (Canadian Psychological Association)

 Tips to help you find a psychologist by province, in Canada

3 – Where can I find a social worker? (OTSTCFQ, 2022)

 Online reference service according to the problems experienced and the type of approach desired (in French, for Quebec only)

4 – Finding the Social Worker for You (Canadian Association of Social Workers)

 Tips to help you find a social worker by province, in Canada

5 – Where can I find a sexologist? (ASQ, 2022)

 Online tool to find a sex therapist according to the region you live in (in French, for Quebec only)

6 – Finding the Sex Therapist for You (Society for Sex Therapy and Research)

 Search engine to help you find a sex therapist in Canada and USA

7 – Where can I find an occupational therapist? (OEQ, 2019)

 Online tool to find an occupational therapist according to the region you live in (in French, for Quebec only)

8 – Finding the Occupational Therapist for You (Canadian Association of Occupational Therapists)

 Location device to help you find an occupational therapist in Canada

Multimedia

1 – What to expect from your first appointmentwith a psychiatrist (Your Health in Mind, 2016)

I seek help when…

I contact a mental health organization (e.g. a help line, support group or workshops).

Community organizations across Quebec offer mental health assistance, including a variety of services such as one-on-one support, telephone counselling, support groups, housing, and more. They often specialize in specific mental health issues and are generally free of charge and run by professional counsellors. Contacting one of these organizations can be a good way to find help.

Organizations and Help Resources

1 – Community Resources (Douglas Mental Health University Institute, 2015)

 Set of community organizations classified according to needs

2 – Réseau des ressources alternatives en santé mentale du Québec (english website) (RRASMQ2015)

 List of alternative resources in mental health who offer bilingual services.

3 – Revivre: Organization for people living with anxiety, depression and bipolar disorder (Revivre)

 Free Help Line, online forum, support groups and self-management workshops

4 – Tel-Aide: Free, anonymous, talkline (Tel-Aide Québec, 2012)

→ Free Help Line, confidential & anonymous. No appointment needed.

I consult a professional (e.g. doctor, pharmacist, nurse).

Consulting a healthcare professional can help improve or protect your physical and mental health. Healthcare professionals can discuss your situation with you, assess your health, and propose treatment that’s tailored to your needs.

Useful Information and Tools

1 – Questions to Ask Your Doctor (depressionhurts.ca, 2022)

→ Doctor Discussion Guide regarding depression (ex. symptoms, diagnostis, treatment, medication)

2 – Interacting with your doctor: some tips (Canadian MPN Network, 2016)

→ Tools to prepare the medical visit and to know how to assert myself

3 – Working with your doctor for mental illnesses (Canadian Mental Health Association, BC Division, 2011)

 Tips to help you find a doctor, prepare for your appointment and some advice to track your progess.

4 – Questions to Ask Your Pharmacist (Pharmaprix, 2019)

 Questions concerning medication intake and possible side effects

Organizations and Help Resources

1 – Where to find a doctor? (Bonjour-santé)

→ Online platform to get a doctor apointment (with your family doctor or in a walk-in clinic)

2 – Find your Integrated Health and Social Service Center (CISSS) (Gouvernement du Québec)

→  Find your Integrated Health and Social Service Center (CISSS) to get public mental and physical health services near you

I take prescription medication for my mental health problem.

If your doctor or psychiatrist prescribes medication, it’s because they consider it can help you combat unwanted thoughts, emotions, or behaviours. Such medications are prescribed because their effectiveness has been proven in scientific studies. In order to be effective, medication must be taken at the recommended dosage.

Useful Information and Tools

1 – Gaining Autonomy & Medication in Mental Health, A practical guide (RRASMQ & AGIDD-SMQ, 2019)

 This guide covers psychotropic medications exclusively. It does not describe medications used to treat physical ailments.

2 – Managing your medications (Heart and Stroke Foundation, 2020)

3 – Tips to remember to take medication and some more information about medication management (RRASMQ & AGIDD-SMQ, 2019)

I use complementary treatments (e.g. art therapy, light therapy or acupuncture).

Complementary therapies can promote well-being, reduce stress, and help release emotional tension. Some of them can also help manage seasonal depression, insomnia, and other problems. You may want to explore a range of therapies to find what works for you.

Useful Information and Tools

1 – The Regroupement des ressources alternatives en santé mentale du Québec (RRASMQ) (RRASMQ, 2009)

 Creativity workshops, personal growth workshops, group self-help, etc.

Organizations and Help Resources

1 – Le Centre d’Apprentissage Parallèle de Montréal

 Organization focusing on arts and creativity to address emotional and psychological problems.

2 – Les Impatients

 Organization that offers free art creation and self-expression workshops for people living with mental health problems. Please note that the website is only in french, but offers bilingual services.

3 – Finding the right community ressource near you (Institut universitaire en santé mentale Douglas, 2015)

 Community Resources Directory for Quebec province, in Canada.

I deal with what is not going so well when…

I change my view of things and how I talk to myself (self-talk).

Working on your outlook and how you talk to yourself can help you feel better. By being kinder to yourself, focusing on your strengths rather than your weaknesses, and seeking out the positive in what you’re going through, you leave less room for negative thoughts. The result is an improved sense of competence and well-being.

Multimedia

1 – Overcoming Depression : An Audio Guide (Psychsafety.org, 2017)

 “Reactivating Your Life” and “Realistic Thinking” sections.

I try to confront my fears.

Anxiety often causes people to avoid their fears. But avoidance isn’t a sustainable solution because it feeds anxiety. Trying to face and confront your fears can help you find strategies to manage anxiety and reduce stress.

Useful Information and Tools

1 – Facing Your Fears: Exposure (Anxiety Canada)

 What exposure means? Facing your fears step by step.

2 – Fear Ladder Form (Anxiety Canada)

 Tool to help you build your own fear exposure plan.

I solve my problems one step at a time.

To solve a problem, it can be helpful to approach it one step at a time, starting by asking questions to define what the problem is. What’s bothering me? How did this problem come about? What situation do I want to resolve? Is it my problem? This step can help you change your outlook and go a long way to resolving the issue. Answering these questions will make it easier to identify possible solutions and pick one to implement.

Useful Information and Tools

1 – How to solve daily life problems (Anxiety Canada)

 Steps to help you solve daily life problems.

2 – Personal Decision Guide (O’Connor et al., 2015)

 Grid to weigh pros and cons on possible options to solve daily life problems.

Multimedia

1 – Overcoming Depression: An Audio Guide (Psychsafety.org, 2017)

 Section : “Effective Problem Solving” Section

I stay vigilant to the risks of a relapse when…

I continue to use the strategies that have helped, even when my condition improves.

Protecting your mental health is an ongoing job. You may need to combine several strategies to regain your balance and keep using them to maintain your well-being. In order to avoid relapses, it’s important to keep doing things that make you feel better, even when things are calmer.

Useful Information and Tools

1 – Maintaining Good Mental Health: Some Tips (Gouvernement du Québec, 2018)

→ Description, factors that influence mental health and help and resources.

Multimedia

1 – Overcoming Depression: An Audio Guide (Psychsafety.org, 2017)

 Section : “Preventing Relapse” section.

I learn to recognize the signs of a relapse.

Learning to recognize the signs of a crisis or depression allows you to quickly implement strategies to prevent a relapse. It can be helpful to examine your thoughts, emotions, and behaviours from time to time, even when things are calmer.

Useful Information and Tools

1 – Preventing Relapse of Mental Illnesses (Canadian Mental Health Association, BC Division)

 Tips to identify early warning signs of relapse, take action and seek outside help when needed.

2 – Manage anxiety, maintain progress and avoid relapse (Manuvie)

 List of the most common warning signs of a depression relapse.

Multimedia

1 – Overcoming Depression: An Audio Guide (Psychsafety.org, 2017)

 Section : “Preventing Relapse” section.

I take some distance from the things that are bothering me (e.g. I take a situation less seriously, I take time to think about things).

Stepping back from a disturbing event can help change the way you see a problem. The further you step back, the easier it is to calm down and think clearly about how to react. It can help you reduce stress, think more positively, and feel better.

Useful Information and Tools

1 – Tips to overcome unrealistic thinking (Anxiety Canada)

 What is unrealistic thinking, exercices to modify self-talk and tips.

2 – Challenge negative thinking (Anxiety Canada)

→ Questions to ask yourself to challenge your negative thoughts or self-talk.

3 – Thinking Traps (Anxiety Canada)

 Examples of thinking traps and how to overcome these.