Mental Health Awareness – Tips and Resources

7 Self care tips:

  1. Practice Mindfulness Meditation: try the Headspace Meditation app and this alternate nostril breathing technique:
    1. Close your right nostril with your thumb and gently and fully inhale through the left nostril.
    2. Then close the left nostril with your index finger, release your thumb and exhale through the right nostril.
    3. Then inhale through the right nostril.
    4. Close the right nostril, release your index finger and exhale through the left nostril.
    5. Repeat, alternating nostrils after each inhalation. 
  2. Write out a list of the things you are worried about and systematically come up with potential solutions for each problem. 
  3. Talk to a loved one and reach out for help.
  4. Go for a walk outside and take note of the most beautiful things you see.
  5. Declutter and organize your workspace. 
  6. Take study breaks and s t r e t c h. 
  7. Be aware of your boundaries and don’t be afraid to say “no”.
    • Pay attention to your intuition – if something doesn’t feel right, trust this feeling
    • Surround yourself with people who respect your boundaries. 

Tips for supporting a friend with a mental illness 

  • Check up on them with a message letting them know you are thinking about them.
  • Appreciate when they ask for help, ask what you can do, and help them identify local resources.
  • Actively listen to their concerns and validate what they are going through – accept their emotional experience without judgement. 
  • Respect the autonomy of others in choosing what services they access and acknowledge that everyone deals with their pain in different ways.
  • Respect other’s boundaries and privacy and let them know you are there to support – on their terms. Recognize that you can never fully understand what someone else is going through. 

Example support phrases:

  • “What you’re going through sounds really tough. I’m here for you and I care about your wellbeing. Would you like to talk about what’s going on?”
  • “You are not alone in this – I’m here to support you. Would you like to explore some mental health resources together?”
  • “If you ever need someone to talk to, I’m here to listen. Please reach out to me if you need anything.”
  • “I’m glad that you’re willing to talk about what you are going through. It sounds like you’ve been dealing with a lot recently. “

Mental health resources:

Family Services of Toronto Counselling Services in Scarborough

Offers individual, family and couple counselling. Service in Farsi, Tamil, Spanish, French and English.


Gerstein Centre

24-hour community based crisis service for serious mental health issues.


Distress Centre of Toronto

A confidential help-line available 24/7/365 to people in emotional distress.

416-408-HELP (4357)

OISE Psychology Clinic

The OISE Psychology Clinic located at University of Toronto provides comprehensive assessment and intervention services to children and adolescents, and assessment and counseling services to adults. These services are typically provided by students doing their clinical training under the supervision of faculty and staff psychologists.



Special thanks to Women’s Health Collective for sharing these tips and resources.

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