Mental Health Information and Resources

At some point in our lives, mental illness may impact us through our own personal experience or through a family member, friend or colleague. Health Canada has estimated that 20 percent of the population will experience a mental illness, which can affect people in all occupations, socio-economic status, cultures, race and at all education levels.

The workplace environment may contribute positively to mental well-being.  However, at times, the workplace may also contribute to mental illness either as a direct source of stress, depression and anxiety, or by exacerbating issues that exist in other parts of one’s life.

If not well managed, workplace-related mental health issues can lead to increased rates or levels of illness, and may result in absenteeism, tension and conflicts between colleagues, deteriorating employee performance and reduced morale.

UNDERSTANDING MENTAL HEALTH 

Awareness, understanding and knowledge of mental health issues may help you move towards achieving health and a sense of emotional well-being. Listed below is information provided by Manulife’s mental health specialists and Homewood Health regarding symptoms and treatments for different mental health conditions.

GETTING SUPPORT FOR MENTAL HEALTH  

For professional assistance to help you and your family members, you can use your benefits to access counselling in two ways by:

If you, or someone you know requires assistance and support with substance use issues:

  • Call B.C. Alcohol and Drug Info and Referral Service at 1-800-663-1441 or 604-660-9382 to determine the appropriate substance use services right for you or the individual of concern. Multilingual telephone assistance is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. 
  • Visit BC.211 for supports and resources in your area including counselling, detoxification, and treatment. 

If you, or someone you know is in high distress, crisis and/or imminent risk of harm and requires immediate response:

  • Call 9-1-1 from any phone, but if you can call from a campus phone, Campus Security will be automatically notified of the call location. A phone is located in every classroom. If calling 9-1-1 from a personal phone, ensure Campus Security is subsequently contacted via their emergency line: 778-782-4500. Urgent assistance is available 24/7.
  • Contact Crisis Centre of BC at 310-6789 (no need to dial area code) or call 1-800-784-2433 (1-800-SUICIDE) for assistance 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. 
  • Access the Crisis Line for immediate support.

If you notice your colleague is in distress and may need support:

  • Refer to this guide to familiarize yourself with common signs of distress and some ways you can offer assistance.
  • For strategies to help you have a supportive conversation with a colleague or someone you care about on difficult topics like mental health, stress, addiction, or anger, visit the Supportive Conversation Library.

CONNECTING WITH TOOLS AND RESOURCES

Online courses for depression, anxiety, stress or worry:  

 
  • i-Volve - a self-paced treatment program offered by SFU's EFAP to treat anxiety and/or mild cases of depression.
  • Bounceback - a skill building program designed to help with low mood, mild to moderate depression, anxiety, stress or worry. Delivered online or via telephone with a coach.
  • Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) programs - guided online programs offered through your extended health benefits.
  • Homeweb - E-courses offered through SFU's EFAP.  Various self-paced courses offered including: Resilience, Embracing Workplace Change, Taking Control of your Mood, and many more.
  • Well-being and Resilience - LinkedIn courses, videos and articles.
  • Living Life to the Full - an engaging mental health promotion course that helps people learn skills to deal with the stresses of everyday life.

Workbooks and Exercises:

 
  • Antidepressant Skills @ Work -  focuses on strategies to deal with workplace problems and reduce the effects of depression/depressed mood on work satisfaction and performance.
  • Plan for Resilience - exercises for leaders and employees to recognize stressors, and identifying personal strengths and coping strategies to deal with these stressors.

ToolS FOR managiNG Stress, LOW mood And Anxiety:

 
  • Stress Strategies - an online problem solving tool to help you build action plans with helpful ways to respond to life's stressors. 
  • Workplace Strategies for Mental Health - resources and tools to support well-being for employees.
  • Mindfulness Meditation - a free drop-in class open to SFU faculty and staff. Each session includes mindfulness practices, and information on habits of mind.
  • Insight Timer - mobile application with free guided meditations, music tracks, and ambient sounds to help calm the mind, relax, focus, and sleep better.
  • MindShift CBT - mobile application with free interactive cognitive-based tools, guided relaxation and mindfulness meditations to help manage anxiety.

OTHER HELPFUL RESOURCES    

Wellness Together Canada
Visit wellnesstogether.ca/en-CA for articles, courses, wellness assessments and counselling for mental health and substance use issues.

Mood Disorders Association of BC                              Visit www.mdabc.net or call 604-873-0103 (in the Lower Mainland) or 1-855-282-7979 (in the rest of BC) for resources and information on mood disorders and support groups in your area.

Canadian Mental Health Association, BC Division
Visit www.cmha.bc.ca or call 1-800-555-8222 (toll-free in BC) or 604-688-3234 (in Greater Vancouver) for information and community resources on mental health or any mental illness. 

Employee and Family Assistance Program (EFAP)
Visit SFU's EFAP site to access confidential, professional assistance through counselling, coaching and e-courses to help you or your family members resolve problems that affect your personal and work lives.

 
BC Partners for Mental Health and Addictions Information 
Visit www.heretohelp.bc.ca for info sheets, guides, toolkits and self-tests for mental health or substance use issues.
 
Ministry of Mental Health and Addictions
Visit wellbeing.gov.bc.ca for well-being, mental health and substance use supports and resources. 

HealthLink BC
Call 811 or visit www.healthlinkbc.ca to access free, non-emergency health information for anyone in your family, including mental health information. Through 811, you can also speak with a registered nurse about symptoms you’re worried about, or speak with a pharmacist about medication questions.

BC Bereavement Helpline                                                  Visit www.bcbh.ca or call toll free at 1-877-779-2223 for confidential service that connects you to grief  and loss support services within BC.