It’s Ok Not To Be Ok.

Henry’s Foundation Resources

We have compiled stories, articles and resources from our partners so you can keep up to date on the latest information about mental health initiatives, services and research in Canada.
From coast to coast, our partners are spearheading forward-thinking and impactful initiatives to remove the stigma that surrounds mental illness. Check back often for updates.
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Not suicide. Not today.
The power of Not Today. This is a pledge—a promise—to do everything we can to prevent suicide. It’s a pledge we need the whole world to take. When we all say Not Today together, it becomes easier to say it when we’re alone.

Featuring stories of strength and resilience in the face of adversity—a reminder that no one has to die by suicide. Not today. By developing new treatments, shaping policies and challenging stigma, we’re changing the way the world perceives and treats people facing suicide.

Prevention starts with education. Learn about suicide and other mental health challenges by consulting these evidence-informed resources.
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Asante said Not Today.
Asante Haughton on looking at mental illness through the prism of race.

Asante Haughton agreed to volunteer for CAMH’s Not suicide. Not today campaign for one reason and one reason only.

“I am doing this so I can be a voice for people who look like me.”

Born in Jamaica and raised in Toronto by a single mother, whatever the normal arc of his childhood would have been was derailed by the emergence of his mother’s psychosis when he was a teenager.

“That’s a transformative time for most people, when you are supposed to be experimenting and figuring out who you are,” says Asante. “I never really got to do that because I was either worried about my mom or taking care of my mom.”

A gifted student, Asante initially found school to be a safe place from his troubles at home. But as his mother became increasingly ill, his personality changed.

“I went from being a very sociable kid to being very dark and morbid for a few years.”

As his own mental illness in the form of depression and anxiety began to take hold, he found himself drifting away from the bright and ambitious teenager he had been toward the fringes of the street life.
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COVID-19 Youth Mental Health Resource Hub.
A hub of resources to help you take care of yourself and look out for the people you love during this challenging time.

COVID-19 has, and will, impact the mental health of people everywhere. Kids Help Phone has seen an unprecedented surge of young people feeling more stressed than usual reaching out during this global pandemic. Finding accurate information and appropriate resources can be hard., School Mental Health Ontario and Kids Help Phone have partnered to bring you all the information needed in one easy-to-access hub so that youth mental health remains top of mind, and our communities are able to easily access the education, tools, support and reliable information they need. Please share widely with the young people in your life.
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Kids Help Phone’s ultimate back-to-school guide.
Heading back to school after summer vacation? Here’s how to get ready for class.

Whether you love, hate or are indifferent about going back to school, it’s something every student has to prepare for. Here are a few ways to make the transition from summer vacation to a new school year easier:

Keep in touch: over the summer, try to stay in touch with your friends to maintain your relationships. This way, things may seem a little more familiar when you go back to school.

Prepare early: write a list and prepare your back-to-school essentials at the start of the summer instead of the end to avoid the rush. Refresh your memory: try to practice the things you learned last year while you’re on summer vacation. Reading, writing and applying your math skills can be fun and rewarding.

Sleep smart: in the weeks leading up to your first day, try going to bed earlier each night — and getting up earlier each morning — to help your body adjust to a new schedule.

Visit your school: many schools are open the week before school starts. You can always contact your school, book an appointment, tour the halls and meet your teachers if you need to.

Know the route: no matter what method of transportation you use to get to school, it’s a good idea to test out the route so you know exactly how to get to class and how long it will take. Prep your meals: if you bring a lunch to school, consider taking some time to pack it the night before instead of in the morning.

Organize your closet: figure out what you’re going to wear on the first day in advance so you’re not stressed about finding something to put on when you wake up in the morning.

Pack your bags: if you’re taking a backpack to school, fill it with whatever school supplies you have (pens, pencils, notebook, agenda, etc.) well before your first day so you’re ready to get up and go.

Stay busy: make the most of summer to keep your mind off the back-to-school blues. For example, you could try taking up a new sport or hobby.

Get support: it’s common to feel nervous about the first day of school. If you need to talk, you can always call a Kids Help Phone counsellor at 1-800-668-6868.

Going back to school after summer vacation can be hard, but there are things you can do to make the transition easier.
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Be There for those you love.
Learn to recognize when someone might be struggling and how to follow the 5 Golden Rules.

Being there for someone is an art, not a science. There’s no formula or instruction manual because every situation is different.

Be There Basics will help you learn how to recognize when someone might be struggling with their mental health and gives you 5 Golden Rules to help you support and be there for them.

Recognizing warning signs

We all experience less than optimal mental health now and then; whether that’s because of fear, sadness, stress, confusion, grief, or some other kind of mental distress.

What’s important is to recognize when the mental distress you or someone around you is experiencing becomes a mental health problem.
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Youth stories: Indigenous kids on the power of photography.
The northern lights. A snow-covered road. Two kids embracing in nature. These are just some of the descriptions of the beautiful photographs taken by members of Pinehouse Photography Club, a cherished partner of Kids Help Phone. But these images tell a much larger story than what first meets the eye. They’re the life-saving artwork of Indigenous young people in Pinehouse, Saskatchewan.

Kids Help Phone collaborated with Pinehouse Photography Club in 2019 during the launch of Finding Hope: Kids Help Phone’s Action Plan for Supporting First Nations, Inuit and Métis Young People, by purchasing a selection of photos from the Club. Through partnerships like this, we work with Indigenous youth at the community level, support Indigenous economies and celebrate the incredible talents of young people from coast to coast to coast.

Here, we’re sharing the stories of six Cree and Métis photographers from Pinehouse Photography Club who say taking photographs has changed their lives for the better — and how it can help you, too.

Photographer name: Skylar Lariviere

What inspired you to take this photo?

“I want people to see that there is more to life out there than partying all the time. I want people to know that if I can change with the help of photography… you can too.”

What do you hope people think/feel when viewing this photo?

“I hope, with these pictures, people will begin to realize that it’s not as boring as some might think. It’s very fun to do and I feel that once a person picks up a camera, they will be like me and not have any regrets and have something to look forward to every day.”

How do you feel when you take photos like this one?

“To me, it’s just another day of taking pictures, but the rewards of the compliments from others are heartwarming.”

How has photography — and being involved in the Club — supported your mental, emotional or spiritual well-being?

“I came from a background where alcohol and drugs were a big factor in my life. Thoughts of suicide crossed my mind. This Club is a big part of who I am today and has made my life easier and that much more enjoyable.”

How does contributing your photography to Kids Help Phone make you feel?

“It makes me feel like I’ve contributed to something, knowing that I might be inspiring others to follow in my footsteps.”

Photographer name: Jonah Natomagan

What inspired you to take this photo?

“I took this photo just because we wanted to try out different angles.”

What do you hope people think/feel when viewing this photo?

“People may think that you can capture happiness without one even knowing it.”

How do you feel when you take photos like this one?

“That oneself can capture a beautiful moment.”

How has photography — and being involved in the Club — supported your mental, emotional or spiritual well-being?

“Being able to interact better with children and also other people.”

How does contributing your photography to Kids Help Phone make you feel?

“It makes me feel that the photos I take are inspiring and they make people feel good about themselves.”

Photographer name: Charlene Halkett

What inspired you to take this photo?

“Seeing the northern lights is always amazing! Learning photography and how to capture the northern lights, I was able to take this picture. I was inspired by seeing pictures the Club has done in the past. I’d never seen the northern lights like this my entire life, until I went out to capture them.”

What do you hope people think/feel when viewing this photo?

“I hope people look at this picture and realize the beauty that is all around us. Especially from a northern, rural and isolated community, I think so many people up here feel alone and even bored. By going out at night to capture this, we see two people enjoying their time outside and embracing the beauty all around us, which a lot of us maybe take for granted. So many youth focus on what happened to them and the bad and that can lead to more negative thinking. When I look back at this picture, I’m reminded of the emotions and feelings I had at that time.”

How do you feel when you take photos like this one?

“I feel amazing! I feel happy! Doing photography and pictures like this one give me an escape from stuff in my head I might be worrying about. None of us are ever sad when we take pictures and it seems like the perfect way to communicate how I’m feeling without even saying a word. It gives them the opportunity to tell people what I see and how I feel with just a picture.”

How has photography — and being involved in the Club — supported your mental, emotional or spiritual well-being?

“I was never the person to talk about my feelings. I went through depression and sadness, anxiety and isolation. But taking pictures gives me a whole new perspective on life. I start to see the beauty around me instead of just looking at all what might be bad. It helps me and others talk about how we feel and we are encouraged to be open about the pictures we take. It gives me increased self-esteem and courage to talk to others about what I am going through.

Without photography, I would still be internalizing my negative feelings and emotions and who knows what that would be leading to. Being in the Club, we have others that are or were going through similar situations — many of them depression and thoughts of suicide — and with photography, we all feel better about ourselves and feel happy. I don’t think about my depression or anxiety anymore.”

How does contributing your photography to Kids Help Phone make you feel?

“I went out to take pictures because I saw what other people and youth were doing. I was motivated and inspired. After doing my own, getting a photography page and getting likes and comments from so many people, I realized how therapeutic photography is for me. Knowing that others will see my pictures and learn how it helps with my emotions and depression gives me hope and satisfaction that I might be helping others all over the country. We are all so excited and it’s a great feeling to help someone else.”

Photographer name: Tyson Ratt

What inspired you to take this photo?

“Honestly, I take any photos that look good. What inspires me, though, is nature.”

What do you hope people think/feel when viewing this photo?

“The beauty of nature — it’s just surprising how it’s here on this earth.”

How do you feel when you take photos like this one?

“How I feel is how much this picture inspires me to do more photography.”

How has photography — and being involved in the Club — supported your mental, emotional or spiritual well-being?

“I was feeling depressed a lot until I joined the photography Club and it came into my life. There’s people and activities that just help other people and my sad emotions went away.”

How does contributing your photography to Kids Help Phone make you feel?

“It makes me feel like I’m actually doing something good with my life. Sometimes, I don’t think some of my pictures are good — I just like taking them. But once you edit them, there will be beauty in them. It makes me feel really good at photography.”

Photographer name: Jon Durocher

What inspired you to take this photo?

“A lot of things.”

What do you hope people think/feel when viewing this photo?

“I want them to feel like there is still hope.”

How do you feel when you take photos like this one? “It makes me feel like a good role model.”

How has photography — and being involved in the Club — supported your mental, emotional or spiritual well-being?

“It’s the way photography is…”

How does contributing your photography to Kids Help Phone make you feel?

“Like a better person.”

Photographer name: Louis Iron

What inspired you to take this photo?

“Walking around and taking these kind of pictures is a lot of fun. Taking pictures I meet new friends and it is an escape.”

What do you hope people think/feel when viewing this photo?

“It was a beautiful day, but cold. I want people to see how beautiful it is here, anywhere I am sure. You just have to look outside and take a camera sometimes to see it.”

How do you feel when you take photos like this one? “I feel excited to take these kind of pictures — not knowing what I will see and what pictures I might get. It’s a lot of fun looking for these pictures and I see that just like many of us, we start looking for the perfect picture on a day-to-day basis, even when the camera isn’t in front of me.”

How has photography — and being involved in the Club — supported your mental, emotional or spiritual well-being?

“Photography is an escape. Days I feel upset or sad I know the camera will make me happy. I often forget about those negative feelings and emotions when I’m taking pictures. For most of us, we all feel happy and excited when we are together out looking for that perfect shot. Photography also helps a lot of us talk about our feelings and it’s an opportunity to listen to others as well. I wasn’t able to talk about my feelings before, but now, because of photography, I feel I can and I feel there are people there who care and listen.”

How does contributing your photography to Kids Help Phone make you feel?

“Surprising! I started photography because it looked fun. I found out that it was more than just taking pictures — it helped me with my depression and anger. It helped give me an escape from it and also gave me the courage to talk about it with others. Taking pictures was my first start at talking about my thoughts and feelings, without even saying a word.

So I started photography for myself, but now knowing other youth across the country will benefit from what we are doing, makes me feel really good about myself. The fact that youth all over who might be going through depression and anger can see my pictures, see how photography helps start the conversation and use it themselves, is really rewarding. Photography helps so many youth in town talk about themselves and open up — I know it will do the same for anyone.”

Discovering a hobby or other activity you’re passionate about can help you support your own mental, emotional, physical and spiritual well-being. If you’re struggling with an issue — big or small — you can reach out to Kids Help Phone 24/7 by text, phone and Live Chat. We’re always here for you, from coast to coast to coast.

Kids Help Phone would like to thank the organizers and photographers at Pinehouse Photography Club for their creativity, ambition and contributions to this story!
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Patient stories: Shelley Hofer, a CAMH patient from Barrie receiving rTMS treatment.
Shelley Hofer says the treatment she’s received for depression at CAMH has saved her life.

“It’s hard to explain that you’d feel so low and the only way out is to take your own life,” explains Shelley, who has been getting treatments at CAMH for a decade. “I would have died if I didn’t get this help.”

Shelley’s sought various treatments for twenty years, but traces her feelings of sadness, crying for unexplained reasons, and depression back to age five or six. She’d tried psychotherapy and medications without much relief.

Shelley first met with CAMH’s Dr. Daniel Blumberger, Co-Director of the Temerty Centre for Therapeutic Brain Intervention, a decade ago. When symptoms of depression would surface, she’d get treatment sessions of Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT). ECT was successful in alleviating depression for her, but came with side effects of memory loss, she explains.

But more recently, CAMH’s Temerty Centre has offered Shelley a non-invasive magnetic therapy without the side effects of ECT. She was in a Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (rTMS) research study where she responded well to treatment. She now receives compassionate treatment if her symptoms return with a form of rTMS called Theta Burst Stimulation (TBS). TBS delivers three minutes of electro-magnetic pulses to stimulate the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (area of the brain associated with depression).

Shelley says there’s some discomfort and pressure during the short treatment session, but it leaves just as quickly. She is in and out of CAMH in ten minutes and can drive herself home.

“It’s taken me 20 years to find a solution that works for me,” says Shelley.

Caitlin Newberry, an rTMS Technician at CAMH, has witnessed Shelley’s transformation.

“It has been wonderful to see the transformation occur in Shelley over the course of her four-week, daily treatment,” says Caitlin. “She is feeling more hopeful, is laughing and smiling and you can see the burden of her depression lifting a little more each day. It has been truly rewarding to be a part of her recovery process and to see her get back to being herself again.”

Shelley says, “Caitlin is like that light at the end of the tunnel. In three minutes of treatment she makes a huge difference because of how she is and what she does to help me.”

Shelley’s outlook has changed because of rTMS—she’s looking to the future now. She’s looking forward to seeing her son Zach run, walk and scooter from Barrie to Ottawa this summer to raise money for youth mental health services in their local hospital in Barrie.

“CAMH is a save-your-life hospital,” says Shelley. “I am very grateful for the gift they’ve given me.”
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CAMH COVID-19 story page with personal accounts of living with mental issues during the pandemic.
It may be a while yet before we know the full measure of the impact of COVID-19 on our mental health, but preliminary surveys indicate that many Canadians are reporting higher levels of psychological distress. To help guide us during these uncertain times, we reached out to members of the CAMH extended family – specifically people with lived experience of mental illness who have made a commitment to mental health advocacy. We asked them how they are coping themselves, and if they had any hard-earned wisdom from their previous struggles to pass on.

“People who have lived through trauma have a familiarity with how to negotiate a world that feels quite scary at times,” says Dr. Juveria Zaheer, Clinician Scientist at the CAMH Institute for Mental Health Policy Research and Education Administrator, Gerald Sheff and Shanitha Kachan Emergency Department. “They have some expertise in how to get through hard days.”

Some of our contributors will acknowledge that the current climate of fear, uncertainty and disruption, combined with the lingering impact of social isolation, has taken a toll on their own mental health. Others will say they have returned to the coping strategies that helped in the past. All of them say they wanted to share their experiences in the hope they can be of benefit to others.
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Funded Programs.
We invest donor dollars in mental health & addiction programs that promote healing, skill-development, mental health literacy, and peer support. Our funding helps Nova Scotians living with mental illness and addiction, and their loved ones, recover and reclaim their lives in treatment and during recovery in their own communities.

Thanks to the support of our generous donors, in 2019-20, the Mental Health Foundation of Nova Scotia provided more than a million dollars in funding to more than 48 programs that provide hope and eradicate the stigma surrounding mental illness and addiction.
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Getting Help.

How to: Coping with Stress & Anxiety
Helping a friend who isn't okay
How to cope with social distancing during COVID-19
Looking out for your mental health
How to: Digital Detox
Support the young people in your life during COVID-19
How to: Handle being in quarantine
Working from home & Mental Health
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En moyenne, plus de 10 Canadiens meurent du suicide chaque jour.

- Santé publique Canada

Si vous ou quelqu’un que vous connaissez a besoin d’aide, veuillez appeler la ligne de Crise de la Santé Mentale au 1-888-893-8333


On average, more than 10 Canadians die by suicide every day.

- Public Health Canada

If you or someone you know needs help, please call the Mental Health Crisis Line at 1-833-456-4566