Physical health can have a big impact on mental health! Here are some resources to help you cope with the emotional challenges of living with a chronic health problem:
Self-Management BC offers free programs for adults of all ages who are experiencing any ongoing physical or mental health issues. Find information and strategies to help manage symptoms and take action toward the best life possible. Family members, friends, and loved ones are welcome to attend. Programs are available in languages other than English, including Chinese and Punjabi. On their website, you learn more about self-management research and find a workshop or telephone-based support program. Visit www.selfmanagementbc.ca or call toll-free 1-866-902-3767.
A group of BC psychologists and doctors have created a self-guided workbook called Positive Coping with Health Conditions for anyone who is dealing with a health problem and anyone who supports a loved one that experiences a health problem. The workbook discusses the links between physical health and mental health, and teaches you different skills to help you manage problems and difficult feelings well, get active, and work on healthy relationships.
Bounce Back: Reclaim Your Health is a guided self-help program for British Columbians who experience mild to moderate depression, low mood or anxiety. You can get a DVD of tips to help you recognize and manage symptoms of depression, or you can learn more in-depth skills in a series of workbook you complete at home. One of the workbooks, Reclaim Your Health, is focused on living with chronic health conditions. You work with a trained coach from the Canadian Mental Health Association who will offer support and advice by telephone or video conference. Bounce Back is free with a doctor’s referral. For more information, visit www.bouncebackbc.ca. If you want to access the Bounce Back materials without a coach or referral, you can do that online in BC at www.bouncebackonline.ca.
Reclaim Your Life: From illness, disability, pain, or fatigue is a booklet from the Canadian Mental Health Association that offers practical tips and strategies to help you cope with a problem and get back to your usual routine. The booklet is available for purchase at www.livinglifetothefull.ca. It is part of a program called Living Life to the Full, an eight-week program that helps people make helpful changes in their lives. It’s offered throughout the province, and you can find course listings on the website as well.
Many organizations support people who experience a particular illness or health problem. These organizations can often help people find appropriate support services or may even offer support groups of their own. You can also ask your health care team for recommendations. If you can’t find support in person, you can see if there are any support groups online.
If you’re having a hard time coping and feel that you need one-on-one support, a therapist or counsellor can be a great option. You can find more information on finding these professionals at www.heretohelp.bc.ca/ask-us/how-can-i-find-a-doctor-psychiatrist-psychologist-or-counsellor.
Where can I learn more?
- HeretoHelp’s Wellness Modules offer tips to help anyone improve well-being
- The Mind-Body Connection issue of Visions Journal has articles and personal stories from people who found wellness after physical health problems
About the author
The Canadian Mental Health Association promotes the mental health of all and supports the resilience and recovery of people experiencing a mental illness through public education, community-based research, advocacy, and direct services. Visit www.cmha.bc.ca.
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