There has always been a stigma surrounding mental health. Those suffering from mental health issues are afraid to speak up and many people don't really want to listen; because it's "uncomfortable". In reality, mental health is a bigger conversation and we need to be willing to take part in.

Although there has always been a stigma about Mental Health issues, there have been great strides in Western Communities in opening up the conversation.  Bell, the Canadian media giant, even has an annual mental health campaign called Bell Let's Talk, which gives Canadians the chance to open up about mental health; working to erase the stigma surrounding mental health and is committed to raising money for the cause.

Meanwhile, in the South Asian community, mental health is one of those unspoken topics. Depression, bipolar disorder and anxiety are viewed as signs of weakness in character with a major stigma of shame. The issue was studied in 2010 by Time to Change, a national campaign aimed at ending stigma and discrimination surrounding mental health which found South Asians with mental health issues had a distinct experience compared to members of other communities. This silence and lack of understanding are particularly dangerous to both the individual and potentially to those around them.

South Asian immigrants and first-generation Canadians face unique struggles and factors that can take a toll on their mental health; racism, loneliness and lack of being part of a community. The conversation about mental health needs to progress to being intersectional and inclusive of these unique experiences.

Depression in south asian communities from www.theriseofsikhwomen.com

Fortunately Millennial and Generation Z  South Asians see the importance of these things and are taking it upon themselves to educate their community and open up a conversation about mental health. South Asian Canadian Youtube sensation Lily Singh went so far as to open up to the world about her own experience with Depression and how important it is to work to remove the stigma surrounding mental health. Deepika Pudukone similarily has spoken out regarding the stigma and lack of empathy surrounding mental health issues in India.

In the wake of tragedies like the July 2018 Danforth Shooting, we need to work together to build a more understanding community. Let's not be afraid to talk about it and be more open to listening. If you feel you are struggling with your mental health or know someone who is, below are some resources you can take advantage of.

 

Resources

https://www.porticonetwork.ca/web/health-equity/initiatives/collsouthasianmh

National Crisis Hotlines

Kids Help Phone

1-800-668-6868

Crisis Services Canada

1-833-456-4566, or text 45645

Centre for Suicide Prevention

1-833-456-4566

Canada Drug Rehab Addiction Services Directory

1-866-462-6362

National Eating Disorder Information Centre

1-866-633-4220

National resources for information about mental illness

Bell Let's Talk

Canadian Association for Suicide Prevention(not a crisis line)

204-784-4073

Canadian Mental Health Association

416-646-5557

Canadian Psychological Association

http://www.cpa.ca/public/whatisapsychologist/PTassociations

1-888-472-0657

Mood Disorders Society of Canada

613-921-5565

Schizophrenia Society of Canada

1-800-263-5545

Mental Health Commission

613-683-3755

British Columbia Crisis Hotlines

Crisis Centre

1-800-784-2433

No area code needed: 310-6789

British Columbia Resources

Canadian Mental Health Association - British Columbia Division

1-800-555-8222

Counselling B.C.

1-800-661-2121

Youth in B.C. online chat

Greater Vancouver Area: 604-872-3311

Howe Sunshine & Sunshine Coast: 1-866-661-3311

Aboriginal Wellness Program

604-875-6601

B.C. Psychological Association referral service

1-800-730-0522

B.C. Problem Gambling Help Line

1-888-795-6111

Alberta Crisis Hotlines

Distress Centre

403-266-4357

Alberta Resources

Canadian Mental Health Association - Alberta Division

780-482-6576

Suicide Information and Education Services

403-342-4966

Psychologists Association of Alberta Referral Service

1-888-424-0297

Saskatchewan Crisis Hotlines

Saskatoon Crisis Intervention Service

306-933-6200

Mobile Crisis Services

306-757-0127

Saskatchewan Resources

Canadian Mental Health Association - Saskatchewan Division

1-800-461-5483

Psychology Association of Saskatchewan

Manitoba Crisis Hotlines

Manitoba Suicide Prevention Line “Reason to Live”

1-877-435-7170

Manitoba Crisis Line

1-888-322-3019

Manitoba Sexual Assault Crisis Line

1-888-292-7565

Manitoba Resources

Canadian Mental Health Association - Manitoba Division

204-982-6100

Klinic Community Health

204-784-4090

Mental Health Education Resource Centre of Manitoba

1-855-942-6568

Manitoba Psychological Society-Find a Psychologist 204-488-7398

Yukon Crisis Hotlines

Yukon Crisis Line

403 668-9111

Yukon Resources

Yukon Health and Social Services

1-800-667-8346

Mood Disorders Society of Canada - Yukon Division

1-867-667-8346

Depression Understood

403-668-9111

Northwest Territories Crisis Hotlines

Northwest Territories Help Line

1-867-767-9061

Northwest Territories Resources

CASP - Northwest Territories Crisis Centre

1-800-661-0844

Nunavut Crisis Hotlines

Nunavut Kamatsiaqtut Help Line

1-800-265-3333

Ontario Crisis Hotlines

Ontario Mental Health Helpline

1-866-531-2600

Good2Talk

Gerstein Crisis Centre

416-929-5200

Crisis Line

In Ottawa: 613-722-6914

In the larger Ottawa area: 1-866-996-0991

ONTX Ontario Online & Text Crisis Service

District and Crisis Ontario helplines

416-486-2242

Ontario Resources Ontario Psychological Association416- 961-5552

Canadian Mental Health Association - Ontario Division

416-977-5580

Family Association for Mental Health Everything (FAME)

416-207-5032

Ontario Association for Suicide Prevention

647-525-6277 Ontario Victim Support Line  1-888-579-2888

Ontario 211 database of Ontario's community and social services

1-877-330-3213

Connex Ontario Health Services

1-866-531-2600

Drug and Alcohol Helpline

1-800-565-8603

Toronto Distress Centre

416-408-4357

Toronto Rape Crisis Centre

416-597-8808

Quebec Crisis Hotlines

Centre de Prevention du Suicide de Quebec

1-866-277-3553

Quebec Resources

Action on Mental Illness

1-877-303-0264

Centre de Prevention du Suicide du Haut-Richelieu

450-348-6300

Movement Sante Mentale Quebec

514-849-3291

Newfoundland and Labrador Crisis Hotlines

Coalition Against Violence

1-888-737-4668

Mobile Crisis Response Team http://www.easternhealth.ca/WebInWeb.aspx?d=2&id=2375&p=2106

1-888-737-4668

Newfoundland and Labrador Resources

Canadian Mental Health Association - Newfoundland and Labrador Division

1-877-753-8550

Mental Health and Addictions Services triage line http://www.centralhealth.nl.ca/toll-free-triage-line/1-844-353-3330 Association of Psychology in Newfoundland and Labrador referrals

New Brunswick Crisis Hotlines

Chimo Helpline

1-800-667-5005

New Brunswick Resources

Canadian Mental Health Association - New Brunswick Division

506-455-5231

College of Psychologists of N.B. - Find a psychologist

Prince Edward Island Crisis Hotlines

The Island Helpline

1-800-218-2885

Prince Edward Island Resources

Canadian Mental Health Association - Prince Edward Island Division

902-566-3034

Psychological Association of Prince Edward Island

Nova Scotia Crisis Hotlines

Capital Health - Mental Health Mobile Crisis

1-888-429-8167

Nova Scotia Resources

Canadian Mental Health Association - Nova Scotia Division

1-888-429-8167

Association of Psychologists of Nova Scotia - Find a psychologist

902-422-9183

By Daman Grewal.