Good mental health reflects the balance and harmony of your emotional, psychological, social, and spiritual well-being. People with good mental health feel productive and able to cope with stressful situations, and they are able to restore their balance after facing problems or difficulties.
Taking Care of Your Mental Health
There are simple things you can do in your daily life to improve or maintain your mental health and emotional well-being. Here are some suggestions.
- Take good care of your body. Taking care of yourself physically can improve your mental health. Eat healthy and nutritious meals, drink plenty of water, exercise, get enough sleep, and spend time outdoors.
- Be kind to yourself. Treat yourself with respect and make time for yourself and the activities you enjoy. Do something you are good at. Make time for your hobbies and favourite projects, or learn something new and broaden your horizons.
- Care for others. Making a positive difference in another person’s life will lift you up. Volunteer your time and energy to help someone else. It can be your family, friends, or people in your community.
- Break up the routine. Although routines are useful and can enhance feelings of security and safety, it is good for your brain to break them up every once in a while. This can be as simple as changing your usual commute route or cooking a meal you have never prepared before.
- Quiet your mind. There are relaxation techniques that can improve your state of mind and outlook on life. Find a practice that is suitable for you to take a pause in your busy day on a regular basis. It can be meditation, mindfulness, prayer, or something as simple as enjoying a cup of your favourite tea by yourself.
- Get help when you need it. Seeking help is a sign of strength, not weakness. We all sometimes get overwhelmed by how we feel when things do not go as planned. If you feel you cannot cope, reach out. Your family or friends may be able to offer practical help or a listening ear. If your troubles are causing you significant distress or you feel you do not have a person in your life who would listen to you, do not hesitate to get expert help.
Immigration and Mental Health
Most immigrants coming to Canada have the ability to find their own cultural, personal and social strengths and to connect with resources existing in their communities to overcome adversity in challenging times.
However, moving to a foreign country, just as many other major life changes, presents challenges that might affect a person’s mental well-being. Changes like these might make us feel frustrated and hopeless:
- being far away from family and friends who stayed behind
- having to communicate in a language you don’t fully understand, or can’t understand at all
- seeing, hearing and experiencing different cultures and different ways of doing things
Mental Health Crisis
A mental health crisis is a situation when someone is experiencing difficulties to think and/or control their behaviour and/or is unable to cope with their emotions.
If you or someone close to you is experiencing a mental health crisis, do not hesitate to seek help.
Mental Health Services and Resources in NL
In NL, there is a wide range of mental health services available to anyone who needs help. They are provided in hospitals, clinics, health and community centres, community organizations, and schools, in person, by phone, or via the internet.
If you need mental health help, the best place to start is a walk-in clinic or a helpline. A mental health therapist, a counsellor, or a trained staff person will talk to you, and, if necessary, refer you to a program or service designed for a specific problem.
If you need an interpreter to access mental health services, depending on which service you are using, one may be provided to you by the health care system or you can request interpreting services through the ANC.
Mental Health Walk-in Clinics
DoorWays is a single session, walk-in counselling service:
- Available to youth and adults without an appointment or referral
- A health care professional will meet with you and discuss your concerns on a first-come, first-serve basis.
- DoorWays provides information and support focused on your need. Some examples of what you may want to discuss are: family, health, grief, work, relationships, stress, anxiety, depression, drinking or drug use.
Counsellors are available to support individuals who have mental health or substance use concerns as well as family/friends who are affected.
Eating Disorder Counselling – HOPE Program (Healthy Opportunities for People with Eating Disorders)
The Hope Program is for you and your family if you are 15+ and have been diagnosed with anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa or other specified feeding and eating disorder. We are available to anyone in the province by phone and we are also at the Renata Elizabeth Withers Centre for Hope on Major’s Path in St. John’s so that you can begin your journey to wellness in a trusting, supportive environment.
Kids Help Phone
Kids Help Phone is a national 24/7 support service for young people experiencing any kind of life challenges. It offers professional counselling, information and referrals, and text-based support in English and French. Their counsellors have diverse educational backgrounds and professional experience and are knowledgeable in a range of topics including youth mental health and well-being.
Young people can seek help by phone, text, mobile app or through the Kids Help Phone website.
Are you or someone you know experiencing extreme distress?
Are you or someone you know unable to cope?
Are you or someone you know at risk of harming yourself or someone else?
Are you a young person facing abuse or any other kind of difficult situation?
Contact Kids Help Phone
Mental Health Services and Resources in NL
- Mental Health Crisis Line 737-4668 or 1-888-737-4668
- Sexual Assault Crisis Line 1-800-726-2743 or 726-1411
- The Crisis Text Line Text ‘Talk’ to 686868
- The HOPE Program
- Western Health Addictions Prevention
- Labrador-Grenfell Health Addictions Prevention
- Central Health: Call: 709-489-8841
- Eastern Health – For Addiction information: In St. John’s – Email: Arlene.Penney@easternhealth.ca or Call (709) 752-4030. Other areas in Eastern Health – Email: Tammy.Butler@easternhealth.ca or Call 709-786-5230
- Opioid Use Disorder Treatment
- Mental Health Housing Services Options
Note: The following resources were developed by Immigrant Serving Agency of Nova Scotia (ISANS) in English only. Along with the general mental health information, these pages contain links to resources available in Nova Scotia. To seek help in NL, please refer to the links above.
- Stages of Adapting to Life in Canada
- Settlement Stress or Cultural Shock: Tips to Keep Healthy
- Settlement Stress and Mental Health Problems
- Support for Mental Health Concerns and Addictions
- Mental Health Stigma
- Understanding Addiction
- Treatments in Canada: Ways to Recover our Mental Health Balance
- Supporting a Friend or Family Member with Mental Health or Addiction Problems
- Supporting Your Children’s Well-Being
We have made every effort to ensure that the information in this Guide is accurate and up-to-date. If you find any errors or omissions, please contact us.