The holidays aren’t fun for everyone. For many, Christmas season brings heightened instances of depression, stress, or anxiety. It can also be a particularly difficult time for those who are grieving. Here are some (Ottawa-based) events, resources, and articles to help support people struggling with mental health or grief this holiday season. Please let me know if you have anything to add to this list, and share it around–no one should feel alone.
December 18: The Royal mental health care & research centre is offering a “Coping Through the Holidays” support group for families touched by mental health during the holidays. 6:00 to 7:30 pm at The Royal, 1145 Carling Avenue, Room 1420.
December 20: “Coming in Out of the Blue” service at MacKay United, a quiet Christmas service for those who find the holidays difficult.
– Free meditation groups are offered all over the city (and country, and world)
– Churches are usually full at this time of year, and worth visiting for a bit of peace and community
– Similarly, the Chaplain’s Office at the Ottawa Mission is popular for those going through especially hard times
– If you or someone you know is in crisis, please call the Mental health crisis line at 613-722-6914 (toll free from anywhere: 1-866-996-0991)
Surviving the Holidays – Full website designed for those grieving during the holidays, via GriefShare
How to Help Ourselves Through the Holidays – For those grieving a loss during the holidays, under “Articles,” via Bereaved Families
Fact Sheet on Holiday Stress – For those feeling overwhlemed, via Canadian Psychological Association
Stress, depression, and the holidays: Tips for coping – via Mayo Clinic
Holiday Grieving: How to Best Support the Mourning this Time of the Year – For family/friends of those grieving over the holidays. Rule #1: Listen. via Dr. Cara Baker