Self-help resources are not a substitute for diagnosis or treatment. If you have concerns about low mood, it’s best to talk to your doctor first and rule out physical causes for your symptoms. However, once you’ve checked in with your doctor, self-help materials can be a great way to learn more about anxiety and practice different skills at your own pace or in between treatment sessions. Here are some resources to check out:
Anxiety Canada has self-help resources, toolkits, worksheets, and videos on anxiety and anxiety disorders for children and their parents, teens, adults, expecting and new moms at www.anxietycanada.com. Their MindShift app teaches skills to help users manage anxiety, relax, and live well. Although designed for teens and young adults, other adults can also benefit from it.
Kelty Mental Health Resource Centre has a list of recommended websites, toolkits, books, and other resources for children and for teens.
The BC Reproductive Mental Health Program of BC Mental Health and Substance Use Services has a self-management guide for women who experience anxiety during and after birth called Coping With Anxiety During Pregnancy and Following the Birth.
Moodjuice is a UK program that offers self-help and information on a number of mental health concerns, including their anxiety self-help guide. If you’d like help for a specific anxiety disorder, visit www.moodjuice.scot.nhs.uk to search for other guides.
There are many books and workbooks available to help people who experience anxiety problems. Talk to your mental health. Talk to your mental health care team for recommendations. There are bookstores that specialize in mental health and well-being materials, such as Odin Books in Vancouver. Within British Columbia, you may also borrow books for free from the Family Support and Resource Centre at BC Children’s and Women’s Hospitals. They have many self-help and reference materials on depression for women and their partners, for parents, and for children and youth.
If you’d like self-help materials with a bit of extra support from a person, Bounce Back: Reclaim Your Health is a guided self-help program for British Columbians who experience mild to moderate low mood or anxiety. You can get a DVD of tips to help you recognize and manage symptoms of anxiety, or you can learn more in-depth skills in a series of workbooks you complete at home. 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.
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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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