SAO TEA: Teaching, Education, Action


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Resources mentioned in the talk:

Mental Health Resources

OrganizationContact Information
211 Ontario (information on programs available in your community)Call 2-1-1
(For youth up to age 21)1-877-377-7775
Crisis Services CanadaCSC webpage
Kids Help
Hope For Wellness Helpline (Indigenous language services)
BounceBack Ontario (free online counselling)
Connex Ontario (mental health, addiction, gambling services)
Mood Disorders Association of
Mood Disorders Society of
Canadian Mental Health
Employees Assistance Program (Government of Canada employees only)EAP webpage
The Royal (Ottawa, Eastern Ontario and Brockville)
Mental Health T.O. (Greater Toronto Area)
City of Toronto mental health resources webpageMental Health Resources page
Northern Ontario Local (list of resources in various regions)Northern Ontario Local webpage
Distress Centre of Ottawa and
Red Cross Training

How do I help someone who is struggling with their mental health?

Three tips to get started.

1/ Your job is not to solve their problem. Often, the person just needs to get some words out without fear of being judged or told what they already know.

2/ Don’t feel the need to find the right words. You don’t need to say, “I know how you feel,” or “You just need a good night’s sleep,” or “Tomorrow is a new day.” Sometimes, silence is golden. Also, don’t be afraid to say that you don’t understand but want to help.

3/ Don’t feel the need to preach or offer advice. If you haven’t struggled with mental health or aren’t sure what someone is going through, advice is probably not the way to go (unless your advice is to encourage your friend or loved one to seek professional help, if they are ready). Don’t say, “You just need to think positive,” or “be thankful for what you have.” Again, silence is golden.

How do I help myself when I can’t even move?

Some tips to begin your daily fight.

1/ Exercise, don’t give in – The five minute rule! Choose one single moment of your day to do something to fight the illness. Even if it’s five minutes. If you can’t handle five minutes, try four. Start small.

2/ Watch what you eat, drink – You’d be surprised how certain foods and drink can really help you or hurt you. Does alcohol make you feel sad? Does caffeine make you tense? Think about what you are consuming. Do your homework.

3/ Talk about it – Whether it’s through counselling or just being honest with a friend, remember one thing. It’s your mental illness that doesn’t want you to talk; doesn’t want you to believe that people will understand; doesn’t want you to believe that you can win the daily battles. Prove your illness wrong.

4/ Control your environment –Some people use phototherapy lamps, vitamin D supplements or a vitamin B booster. They aren’t cures, but can help.

5/ Have faith – Give people around you a chance to help. Trust them.

6/ Do a 180 – If no one understands you, no one knows what you’re going through and you feel alone, pat yourself on the back. Why? Well, if everything you said is true, don’t you think it’s remarkable that you’re fighting this battle each day on your own? You’re stronger than you realize.

Have a question?

Please feel free to reach out to Michael at:

Michael Hammond

The Happiness Project


The SAO is proud to donate $300 of proceeds from this event to the Do It For Daron Foundation.