You are not alone.
It’s a commonly heard refrain, but it’s the truth. When it comes to mental illness, YOU ARE NOT ALONE.
You are part of a large group of people who have faced the same issues you have and survived. I’ve been there, and I survived. You can as well.
Although it’s true, that refrain is sometimes hard to remember when you are at home, at night, feeling alone and desperate. Maybe you are suffering the symptoms of a specific mental illness such as depression, bipolar disorder or schizophrenia. You could be facing issues with addiction such as substances or gambling. You could be having suicidal thoughts or thoughts of harming others.
I have gone through this and I know just how challenging it can be. I’ve been at home, wanting to commit suicide. I’ve been addicted to drugs and gambling. I used to be a prostitute. I’ve survived it all, even though I once tried to kill myself.
Although I have been fortunate enough to be able to use different strategies to overcome my suicidal thoughts, which are mentioned in my book, FROM NOPE TO HOPE, I know firsthand that suffering can happen at any time, during the day or night. Health care providers are realizing that they have to be there for you at times like these to offer early intervention before your situation gets out of control. This is why there is a growing number of internet and telephone resources that you can access at any time for help.
Mental health online supports exist to help you. They are they to help, even when you feel like you are all one. Remember, YOU ARE NOT ALONE and you can use any of the support systems mentioned in this article to help you through your problems! These supports are sometimes referred to as Telehealth supports, too.
Online Support and Advice
There are private, professional options available, such as BetterHelp.com. To start with, BetterHelp has a ton of useful information on a wide variety of symptoms, situations, and mental illnesses, There is a ton of advice about mental health at BetterHelp.
And, for more extensive online care, they offer convenient counseling and therapy provided by trained professionals. They will set you up with a counselor that you can contact at any time through a messaging system. Or, you can book a live session through your phone, tablet or computer.
I have sought out counseling and it has helped me. It will help you, too.
Canadian Online and Telephone Contacts
In Ontario, the province that I live in, you can contact ConnexOntario at any time, 24 hours per day, at 1-866-531-2600. If you are struggling, all you have to do is pick up the phone and there will be someone on the other end that will listen to you, provide you with assistance, and offer information on the services and resources available to you in your own community. And it’s all completely free.
There is also a medical advice line called Telehealth Ontario, where you can speak to a nurse if you think you need to see a doctor or go to the emergency room.
Keep in mind that if you need IMMEDIATE medical attention, you should call 911 (or the equivalent for your area).
There are both provincial and national governmental or non-profit funded services like ConnexOntario across Canada. Here is a handy list including websites and phone numbers provided by CTV.
If you need to talk to someone, here are some Canadian crisis hotlines that will take your call right now:
1-833-456-4566, or text 45645
Native Youth Crisis Hotline
International Online and Telephone Contacts
Health departments and non-profit organizations operate similar services across the globe. Here are two comprehensive lists, broken down by country. One is provided by Together We Are Strong. You can also find an extensive list at cocoonais.com.
The World Health Organization has a great list of information pertaining to mental health on their website as well.
YOU ARE NOT ALONE
So, even though you might feel like you are alone, you truly are not. There are resources that you can access NOW, when you need it the very most. You don’t have to suffer alone, and getting help right away could help save your life.