you are not alone
somebody to lean on
You may have been raised, like I was, to believe that asking for help is a sign of weakness, but it is a sign of strength. Human beings evolved in tight-knit social groups where we were seen, heard, and known by a small group of people who were invested in our success. Today, we are more isolated and fragmented than ever before.
If you are experiencing feelings of anxiety, loneliness, depression or despair, recovering from painful losses, working through childhood trauma, struggling with addictions, or currently find yourself in an abusive situation, help is available. I used to be ashamed to reach out to professional resources like the ones below because I thought I should be able to figure out my own life, and that other people needed help more than I did. But I have learned to value the kindness of strangers who have wisely, compassionately, and without judgment, helped me get out of the mud.
These free resources are mostly based in Toronto, Canada, a cosmopolitan and culturally diverse city of 3 million people. Wherever you are in the world, organizations like these exist and can be found by searching Google or other search engines for help in your area. If you have an Employee Assistance Plan (EAP) at your work, use it. The services offered are usually short term, but they are confidential and can direct you to additional resources.
If you contact or try a resource from this or any other list, and it doesn't seem to be improving your life, please try another. We all come from different backgrounds, and respond to various types of help differently at different times in our lives.
CMHA (Canadian Mental Health Association) - trauma-informed approach to programming cmha.ca
Barbra Schlifer Clinic - free legal services and counseling for women schliferclinic.com
Kids Help Phone - call or text 24/7 for teens 1-800-668-6868
Distress Centres of Greater Toronto - immediate assistance and referrals 416-408-4357
Assaulted Women's Helpline 1-866-863-0511
This might sound weird but there is a lot of healing happening on YouTube. I am so grateful for the therapists, counselors, coaches and thinkers who share their wisdom and even provide free, concrete exercises and activities people can do to improve their lives.
There are so many amazing channels out there. Here is who I'm listening to.
Richard Grannon - CPTSD & codependency recovery
Lisa A. Romano - codependency & narcissistic abuse recovery
Anna Runkle aka The Crappy Childhood Fairy - CPTSD & childhood abuse recovery
Patrick Teahan - childhood trauma recovery
Therapy in a Nutshell - processing emotions
Russell Brand - political, humor, spirituality
Gabor Mate - addiction recovery
Sam Vaknin - narcissism & Cluster B personality disorders
Triggernometry - honest conversations with fascinating people
The Pandemic Podcast, Peak Prosperity, UnHerd - refreshing dose of reality in these confusing times
Tony Gaskins - relationships, entrepreneurship (Christian perspective)
Pastor R.C. Blakes - life advice (Christian perspective)