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CHRISTIAN LIFE IN LONDON | SPRING 2024 EDITION
Mental Health Crisis: Be Part of the Solution
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Photo by Nik Shulihin - unsplash

Over the past four years, there has been a noticeable difference in the number of people struggling with mental health issues. Currently there are more than 6.7 million people living with a mental health condition in Canada. That works out to 1 in 5 people who will personally experience a mental health problem this year. Here in London, the situation is getting worse as the CMHA reports that crisis calls have increased to over 55,000 per year and waitlists for support are getting longer.

You have probably noticed the difference personally, as it appears in how a customer service representative responds, in other drivers cutting you off in traffic, or in the lack of a friendly smile or wave. Or you have felt a change in yourself that makes you wonder if you are ok because you are not finding joy anymore.

How can you be part of the Solution?
It Starts with Prayer: As I typed that sentence, I saw the eye rolls as this was brushed off as a Sunday school answer. But it’s not. Research has found that connecting with God stabilizes people and raises the reported instances of people experiencing contentment. This is because prayer changes your heart and increases empathy for others. Pray for your neighbour, your friend, your family, and the person you pass on the street. As your prayers go up to God, who will answer, they will also help you become healthier.

Make Connections: Chat with the people around you. If there is not anyone around you, then get up and go to a place where there are people. Loneliness is a key factor in the escalation of mental health issues. Talking to others, making a new friend, or sharing a conversation about weather with a stranger might be the moment that changes their life. There are multiple stories of how a casual visit or a call from someone pulled them out of a depression and prevented a suicide. You could be that person for someone in your life.

Be Kind: Focusing on self is one of the side effects and causes of mental health issues. Make it a mission to find moments to be kind to someone every day. These acts of kindness could be effortless like complimenting your loved one, buying a sandwich for a homeless person, helping a stranger with their groceries. Basically take the moment to see the people around you, recognize their need and provide a little something to make their day better. This will effectively lighten your mood and theirs.

Although these suggestions are simple, if everyone did each of these things every day, we would create a ripple effect that will stop the mental health crisis. Together we can change our city into a place where people feel that they belong, are appreciated, and cared for, which will break us free of the mental health crisis in London.

About the author...
Trish Morris is a registered psychotherapist at HELPPS in London, ON. She believes that healing is possible and works towards making that a reality for hurting couples and struggling individuals. Currently she is working alongside her team at HELPPS to build a retreat center to help heal our community. If you would like to know more or get involved, please visit www.helpps.ca.