Coronavirus: Where to get mental health support

Here's where to get mental health support in Canada during the outbreak.

Updated

Young woman looking upset with her arms crossed

The coronavirus outbreak has changed most of our lives. Social distancing and being in quarantine has left a lot of Canadians feeling anxious and isolated. Now more than ever, we need to make sure we are looking after ourselves and that includes our mental health. It’s important to ask for help if you need it. Here are a number of ways you can seek support during the coronavirus lockdown.

Important

If you or someone you know is experiencing a mental health crisis, call the Crisis Services Canada national line: 1-833-456-4566 or text 45645 (in Quebec, call: 1-866-277-3553). If the risk is immediate, call 911.

Here’s what services you can get and how

Most mental health professionals are offering virtual care services or appointments over the phone. Before assuming you’re stuck without help, call or check the website of your provider to see what they offer. Virtual visits are available from most psychiatrists. Psychiatrists are medical doctors who can prescribe medication. These visits use audio or video to discuss symptoms, advice and diagnosis without having to go into your GP or to hospital. It’s intended to help avoid overwhelming clinics and hospitals with patients who can be treated remotely and help minimize the spread of coronavirus.

Medicare

Under most provincial health plans, anyone with a mental health issue is covered for a number of sessions with a qualified psychiatrist. To be eligible, you’ll need to get a referral from your family doctor.

Private health insurance

Other services which are not covered by your provincial health plan may be covered by your private health insurance. These include:

  • Psychologists (cannot prescribe medication)
  • Counsellors
  • Therapists

Sunlife recently announced that they will be covering virtual visits with psychologists. Make sure you check with your insurance provider to see exactly what they cover. Sometimes mental health services are included with extras policies. Sometimes your health fund can pay towards the cost of psychology, counselling and online CBT (cognitive behavioural therapy) under their mental health category.

Where can I find mental health support?

As most of us have to dramatically alter the way we live, it’s important we know when to seek mental health support. These are some of the places you can find help:

Where else can I get help from?

Other resources

Download an app

There are many great apps available to help you with managing stress and anxiety. Out of their many benefits, they can teach you breathing exercises, visualization techniques, and good sleep habits. Here is a list of some of the highest rated mental health apps in Canada:

Check out Finder’s Coronavirus hub to find guides on just about everything that can help ease your stress. Learn how to manage your personal finances, look after your business, seek financial help and learn where to find the items you need online.

More guides on Finder

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