Witnessing or experiencing stressful events can affect mental health. The impact of stress can be immediate or delayed. People can feel a range of emotions and reactions which can affect thinking and physical health. A person might have trouble sleeping, eating or paying attention. If these feelings are affecting day-to-day life, please ask for help. Getting help is a sign of strength. Ottawa Public Health has developed several mental-health supports and resources to help adults and children cope through some of the stressful times we are experiencing right now. These supports aim to build resilience, improve physical and mental health, and help deal with life stressors and changes. Please visit OPH’s Responding to Stressful Events webpage to learn more on how to:
- Talk to children and youth about their feelings during stressful events;
- Recognize the signs of stress and ways to overcome stressful events; and
- Knowing when and how to get help.
Information for supporting children and youth can also be found on OPH’s Parenting in Ottawa Responding to Stressful Events webpage. OPH has also developed English and French fact sheets and will soon have translations available in Arabic and Hebrew. If anyone is in crisis, please contact the Mental Health Crisis Line (24 hours a day/7 days a week) at 613-722-6914 or if outside Ottawa toll-free at 1-866-996-0991.