Keys to Mental Health 4: Access to Mental Health Resources
It is so important for people to know what mental health support resources exist in their community, so they know where to go in case they ever need help, and so they can refer friends and family who may need support. There are a variety of pathways to access referrals, assessments, help, and support for mental illness, such as through schools, community centres, medical centres, peer to peer support organizations, and government-funded bodies. Despite the availability of tools and services, many people don't know where to find mental health resources in their communities. Do you know what mental health resources are available to you in your school, community, and online? To find out, you'll work in a team to research and combine resources for a specific area of mental health concern available in your community and online.
1. Your teacher will assign you to one (or more) of the following teams:
- General Mental Health Resources (provide support for a range of mental health concerns)
- Mood Disorders (Bipolar Disorder and Depression)
- Anxiety Disorders (Panic Disorder, Agoraphobia, Social Phobia, Specific Phobia, Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, Generalized Anxiety Disorder) (may require additional team members)
- Eating Disorders
- Substance Abuse
- Information and Support for Families
2. Conduct research to develop a list of resources related for the area(s) of mental health assigned to your team. Look for community and healthcare resources, online resources, phone resources, and any other kind of resource that you can find. Try to find out who you could call, who you could turn to, and where you could go for information - either for yourself or someone you know. Collect your findings in the template provided for your team.
Important Note: Considering that the information that your team collects will be made available to the whole class for reference, it's important to choose your resources and references with care. To ensure you're sharing accurate, objective and trustworthy information, it may be a good idea to review these website guidelines (see page 7).
3. Title your document with your team name, and upload it to the Mental Health Support Resources in Class Files so that all lists are available to class members.
- Learn about where resources for mental illness are available in your area and understand how to access them
- Decrease fear of accessing resources
- Normalize the experience of living with mental illness
- Increase understanding of the diversity of resources available and the different approaches taken to address mental illness