When You’re Struggling During the Holidays

Without doubt, the holidays can bring joy.

But they can also be a heavy time.  If you’ve lost someone important, the holidays can make absence more acute.  If you’re concerned about finances, both expenses and stress can mount.  Health concerns, caregiving, or loneliness can feel amplified.  Especially if you’re unable to participate fully in holiday fun because of your health or the health of someone you care for, or simply feel you don’t have friends or family to celebrate with.

We all experience challenges in our lives.  But when these challenges feel overwhelming, it’s time to reach out for help.

CARP believes along with the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA), that “everyone deserves to feel well.”

Mental health and mental illness are often used interchangeably, but they are not the same thing. “Mental health” is a concept similar to “physical health”: it refers to a state of well-being. Mental health includes our emotions, feelings of connection to others, our thoughts and feelings, and being able to manage life’s highs and lows.

Someone without a mental illness could have poor mental health, just as a person with a mental illness could have excellent mental health.

In any given year, 1 in 5 people in Canada will personally experience a mental health problem or illness.  Even so, stigma (or perceived stigma) remains an issue for many.

If you’re feeling uncomfortable about reaching out for help, remember that doing so means that you want to make changes or take steps towards a better tomorrow. The courage to speak up and make changes is something to celebrate. Getting help is part of recovery.

Recovery can mean many different things. Some people see recovery as going back to their daily life before signs of a health problem. Other people see recovery as learning to live well, contributing to a community, and building relationships despite the challenge of a health problem. Recovery is a process or journey rather than a single end goal.

Click here for more information from CMHA.

Click here to find a mental health professional in your community.

Hope for Wellness – Indigenous Supports

Call 1-855-242-3310 (toll-free) or connect to the online Hope for Wellness chat.

Available to all Indigenous peoples across Canada who need immediate crisis intervention. Experienced and culturally sensitive help line counsellors can help if you want to talk or are distressed.

Telephone and online counselling are available in English and French. On request, telephone counselling is also available in Cree, Ojibway and Inuktitut.