From category archives: ConnexOntario Resource Hub

Mental Health

3 Things People Wish They Were Actually Told About Anxiety

When people suffer from anxiety, they often feel misunderstood and unheard. They wish there were more people out there who were willing to listen and talk to them about it. We're going to get personal today. We're going to talk about anxiety, the common struggle that affects so many of us. The good news is that you're not alone, you can beat it and I'm going to tell you how to do it. But before we dive into all of that, let's talk about why this topic is so important. I know I sound like your mom but there are literally thousands of people watching right now, maybe tens of thousands, and they're all struggling with some form of anxiety. So much of the time, I feel like anxiety is a part of life that no one talks about and it's really not discussed in school or in the media. But it affects so many of us. There are studies that show over 80% of the population is affected by some form of anxiety and it can affect our ability to function or even our lives. Here are the Top 3 Thin ...

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How Crisis Response Can Help in Crisis Intervention

Crisis intervention is a process of providing immediate assistance to someone who is in a state of crisis. It involves providing support, guidance, and resources to the individual to help them manage their crisis. Crisis intervention is a set of strategies used to address the immediate needs of a person in crisis and to prevent further crisis from occurring. In this article, we will explore how crisis response can help in crisis intervention. The importance of crisis intervention Mental health crises are often scary and confusing, but they don’t have to lead to long-term damage. Crisis intervention is the first step in preventing this damage from happening. If a crisis intervention is unable to resolve the situation or the person in crisis has a recurring pattern, the situation may lead to a mental health crisis. If this happens, it often becomes a long-term problem for the person experiencing a crisis. Depression, anxiety, and other mental health issues can become long-term problems if ...

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Supportive Listening

Supportive listening is a technique that enables a person to demonstrate concern during a conversation. Whether it is a client, a friend or even a co-worker, supportive listening has the ability to deepen connections in addition to defusing and clarifying thoughts. It is a skill that can enhance the quality of a relationship. Being heard, understood, and respected builds a foundation for future conversations. LISTENING A conversation can start simply enough with one question: can I talk to you?”. But what is really being asked is “will you listen to me?”. There is a connection that can take place when a person feels safe to share feelings and experiences, and know they’re being heard. A catharsis occurs when two people are engaged in a productive conversation. When done with skill and care, a person in need of a listening ear can leave the conversation feeling like some of the emotional burden is lifted and perhaps the situation will be less overwhelming. Sometimes it takes ...

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How To Support A Loved One to Overcome Their Addiction

Addiction is one of the toughest problems a family can face. Learning that a loved one is battling an addiction to drugs or alcohol can be shocking and sad, and can sometimes cause panic. It’s natural for family members to feel hopeless at times, even frightened or overwhelmed. To “take care of yourself”, is the best advice you can give someone who has a loved one dealing with an addiction. We’ll cover this topic thoroughly, first, however, let’s review the signs of an addiction. RECOGNIZING A PROBLEM To say that these are uncertain times is an understatement. Not only are we facing constant economic concerns and high levels of unemployment, but we’re also in the middle of a global pandemic. Consuming drugs and alcohol to cope with such stress is common, that doesn’t, however, make it right. Some common signs that your loved one has a problem include: Neglecting responsibility at home, work or school.  Binging or consuming more than intended. Lyin ...

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Culture & Stigma: A Barrier to Mental Health Access

Culture & Stigma: A Barrier to Mental Health Access Written by Amelia Lomat Simply put, stigma is the lens that negatively impacts the way we view and think about groups of people or individuals in our life, often leading to social isolation. The word derives from the Greek term that signified a mark of shame usually branded or tattooed on criminals and delinquents to differentiate them from the general population. Stigmas nowadays go beyond physical identifiers. One way, in particular, is the stigmas for those who have a mental illness, which affect the way an individual feels about themselves, their future and their likelihood to reach out for help. Though mental illness stigma plays a large part in how we look at mental illnesses like schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, or obsessive-compulsive disorder, there has been a shift regarding mental health topics like wellness, anxiety, and depression and their acceptance in mainstream society. However, this isn't the case for all Canadians, especia ...

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Checking in with Yourself: Post-Pandemic

Checking in with Yourself: Post-Pandemic  Written by Tricia Korbut Manager of System Navigation and Information Services at ConnexOntario This pandemic has been going on for a long time. We’re living through what feels like an eternal Canadian winter, and spring remains just beyond our grasp. It hangs on us like a winter coat and weighs our steps with heavy boots. Cautiously, we’ve unzipped and enjoyed some warmth, only to grudgingly zip up again to brace against more winter weather. We are lurching through COVID strains and emotional pains.  The reality is, our post-pandemic adjustment is about living in a state of flux. Post pandemic has come to mean, “be prepared, for anything, all the time.” There is no magic solution to living in this post- pandemic-COVID world and its variant cousins. We cannot wish it away, nor can we tuck ourselves away, waiting for the day it finally passes. We are bombarded with conflicting media reports and medical information. Whe ...

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Why Self Care Is So Important

Self-care is pretty easy to figure out; it’s taking care of yourself. What’s difficult is justifying the time or expense. But we all need to take time for our own mental and physical well-being. That’s what self-care is about; cultivating a healthy relationship with yourself and maintaining the best version of yourself. Most importantly, self-care is not selfish. WHAT IS SELF-CARE? To be fair, self-care is personal and different for everyone. The important thing is that the action be good for your mind, body, or soul. This can include reading a book, taking a nap, cleaning out your basement, watching a funny video, getting a manicure, etc. WHY IS SELF-CARE IMPORTANT The best analogy is the speech you hear from a flight attendant before take-off. We have to put our own oxygen mask on before helping anyone else. By focusing on your own health and happiness, you’re not just taking care of your needs, but you’re helping others, by ensuring they get the best version of you ...

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Why We have Negative Thoughts and How to Stop Them

When was the last time you thought about your thoughts? It’s a bit of a quirky question, but still an important one. Negative thoughts can become consuming. They affect your mood, your work performance, your social life, your personal relationships and more... but not always in bad ways. This article will explore negative thoughts, including when they’re helpful, when they’re not, and how to stop them. WHY DO WE GET NEGATIVE THOUGHTS? Negative thinking is a trap that most of us fall into (at least once in a while). It’s not pleasant, but it is understandable why our minds go there. Dr. Lisa W. Coyne of McLean’s Hospital explains why negative thoughts seem to come so naturally to us: “Humans and our brains have evolved such that we are capable of language, something no other mammals have. Our ability to speak, think abstractly, and reason gives us the ability to plan, problem solve, collaborate in groups, and learn indirectly in the absence of our direct experience. Fo ...

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Signs Your Loved One Has a Gambling Addiction

A gambling addiction can be difficult to recognize, not just in yourself, but with loved ones especially. Signs don’t usually become obvious until financial ruin sets in. This is because gambling is crafty and subtle. It gives the illusion of easy money. The industry though is strong and lucrative, because (as you know) it’s designed to ensure the house wins.  Problem gambling will usually lead to a variety of severe personal and professional problems such as depression, bankruptcy, domestic abuse, fraud, theft, and homelessness. These issues can also be damaging to the addicts' loved ones. Gambling addictions have become such a common occurrence that the Canada Safety Council treats problem gambling as a community safety matter and crime prevention issue.  For these reasons and more, we need to learn the signs your loved one has a gambling addiction.  THE ONTARIO GAMBLING SCENE Ontario has more gamblers than any other province, However, provincial laws and regulations ...

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How To Talk Openly About Addiction

Addiction is a disease. Even when we understand that, it can be difficult to talk openly about. Yet communicating effectively during this time is crucial. That’s why this article explores how to talk openly about addiction. OUR LANGUAGE When we treat addiction as the disease it is, it changes our language. We’re framing it as a health issue, showing respect to the person suffering from addiction as well as their family. Compare the language you use when talking about addiction to how you would speak about asthma (for example). You wouldn’t define a person as “asthmatic” or use it when introducing them. In your mind, they are “a person with asthma”. The same should be true for a person with “a substance use disorder”. The word “addict” perpetuates the negative stigma associated with their illness. These terms bring shame and negative judgment, instead of the support they need. When we reshape our language, it allows a person sufferin ...

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