Mental Health is...
“a state of well-being in which every individual realizes his or her own potential,
can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully,
and is able to make a contribution to her or his community.”
~World Health Organization
Statistics tell us that 1 in 5 Canadians or 20% of Canadians will experience mental illness in their lifetime. It affects all of us at some time, whether personally, through a family member, a friend or colleague. That means the person sitting next to us in our worship service may be living this experience or knows someone who is living through this experience. Yet, because of the stigma and the culture of celebration that pervades Church worship services, many who struggle with mental health challenges choose not to talk about it.
We envision Avenue Community Church to be a place of belonging, growth and contribution. Our hope is that the members of our church will continue to engage in honest conversations, create a safe space for those who struggle with mental illness and support them in their journey. To assist in this, we have compiled a list of resources that are broken down in five categories. Please do be in touch with Pastor Samuel Williams if you need additional support or resources.
1. understanding mental health
- Mental Health 101: Mental Health explained in a clear and succinct way.
- Mental Health Tutorials: A series of free online tutorials to learn more about mental health.
- Mental Health Guide: A guide for parents and caregivers.
- Mental Health Strategies: For teachers.
- Faith and Mental Health: Check out our sermon series called "conversations on mental health". In this series we honestly talk about our Christian faith in relation to depression, anxiety, grief and self-care.
- Mental Health Course for Small Groups: This is a small group resource created by the sanctuary mental health ministries to educate churches on mental health and also to help promote mental wellness and mental health recovery.
2. counselling resources
Getting therapy is one of the best decisions you can make for your mental health and relational growth. The following are some suggested counselling agencies.
- Five Smooth Stones: Janet Kim is a friend of Avenue and is a gifted Psychotherapist and Family Therapist. Through her private practice called 'Five Smooth Stones' she provides Christian based counselling related to issues like depression, anxiety, relationships, spirituality and more.
- Christian Counselling Services: Christian based counselling for those who are distressed or struggling emotionally, mentally and spiritually.
- Shalem Mental Health Network: Provides faith-based mental health support, counselling and resources to individuals, families and faith communities.
- Tyndale Counselling Services: Tyndale Counselling Services are available to all currently registered students of the University College and Seminary. Services will be available to public in the near future.
- Hong Fook Mental Health Association: Hong Fook exists to address the mental health concerns of the Cambodian, Chinese (Cantonese and Mandarin), Korean and Vietnamese communities. They provide a continuum of integrated primary care and mental health services covering the spectrum from "promoting wellness" to "managing illness" in Asian communities.
- FamilyLife Canada Want to grow in your marriage relationship? Family life Canada is a division of Power to Change Ministries. It exists to bring help and hope to every marriage and family through training and getaway marriage retreats in Canada.
- BounceBack® is a free skill-building program managed by the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA). It is designed to help adults and youth 15+ manage low mood, mild to moderate depression and anxiety, stress or worry. Delivered over the phone with a coach and through online videos, you will get access to tools that will support you on your path to mental wellness.
3. Emergency Contacts and additional websites
in case of emergency
- Call 911, or call a nurse at Telehealth Ontario 1-866-797-0000; or visit your local emergency department.
- Assaulted Women’s Help Line Toll Free: 1-866-863-0511
- Toronto 24 Hour Stress and Crisis Line 416-408-HELP (4357)
- Gerstein Centre is a 24-hour community-based mental health and substance use issues crisis centre ( 416-929-5200).
- Toronto Withdrawal Management System (Addictions), 1-866-366-9513 Hours: 24/7, 365 days a year.
- Kids Help Phone is Canada’s only 24/7, national support service. We offer professional counselling, information and referrals and volunteer-led, text-based support to young people (unto 21 years of age) in both English and French. (1-888-668-6868).
- Good2Talk is a free, confidential counselling and referral service for post-secondary students in Ontario, available 24/7/365. (1-866-925-5454).
- George Hull Centre for Children and Families provides resources, programming, and support to help children achieve mental wellness.
- Jack is Canada's only charity training and empowering young leaders to revolutionize mental health.
- BeThere will help you learn how to recognize when someone might be struggling with their mental health and gives you tips to help you support and be there for them.
- School Mental Health Ontario includes, engaging young people, parents/families, and adult allies to develop and share resources for building student mental health literacy at school, home and in the community
4. apps for improving mental health
Apps can be downloaded on the App Store (Mac and iOS devices) and on Google Play (Android and PC devices).
- Lectio365: This App helps you each day to pause, to be still, to reflect on Scripture and pray.
- MindShift: MindShift is an app designed to help teens and young adults cope with anxiety. It can help you change how you think about anxiety. Rather than trying to avoid anxiety, you can make an important shift and face it.
- Headspace: Mindfulness and meditation made simple.
- CalmKeeper: Designed by clinical psychologists, CalmKeeper helps you build skills to manage moments of stress and uncertainty. This app helps you manage panic attacks as they happen.
- What's Up? This app uses Cognitive Behavioural Therapy methods for coping with depression, anxiety, anger and stress.
- thinkFull: thinkFull helps you manage your stress to enrich your life.
- Booster Buddy: Booster Buddy is a free mobile app that can be downloaded from the App Store and Google Play to help young people improve their mental health.
5. book suggestions
depression and anxiety
- My Name is Hope: Anxiety, Depression and Life After Melancholy, John Mark Comer
- When Life Goes Dark: Finding Hope in the Midst of Depression, Richard Winter
- Be Held: Daily Inspiration When Facing Depression, Sue Nickel
- I’m Not Supposed to Feel Like This: A Christian Approach to Coping with Anxiety and Depression, Chris Williams, Paul Richards and Ingrid Whitton
- Christians Get Depressed Too, David Murray
- When Panic Attacks: The New Drug-Free Anxiety Treatment that can change your life, David D. Burn
- Emotionally free: a prescription for healing body, soul, and spirit, Dr. Grant Mullen
loss and grief
- A Grief Observed, C.S. Lewis
- The Inner Voice of Love, Henri J.M. Nouwen
- Experiencing Grief, Norman Wright
- Shattered: Surviving the Loss of a Child, Gary Roe
- When God Doesn't Fix It: Lessons You Never Wanted to Learn, Truths You Can't Live Without, Laura Story
- Dark Clouds, Deep Mercy: Discovering the Grace of Lament, Mark Vroegop
- Prophetic Lament: A Call for Justice in Troubled Times, Soong-Chan Rah
- The Ruthless Elimination of Hurry, John Mark Comer
- Leading on Empty: Refilling your tank and renewing your passion, Wayne Cordeiro
- Reset: Burnout, Breakdown and Suffering that leads to Hope, Healing, Redemption and Rescue, Brett Ullman
- Rest in the Storm: Self-Care Strategies for Clergy and Other Caregivers, Kirk Byron Jones
- The Relaxation Response, Herbert Benson and Miriam Z. Klipper
caring for others
caring for others
- How Do I Help a Hurting Friend? Rod J.K. Wilson
- Making Room: Recovering Hospitality as a Christian Tradition, Christina Pohl
- Radical Hospitality, Fr. Daniel OSB and Loni Collins Pratt
- Souls in the Hands of a Tender God, Craig Rennebohm
- The Church Leader’s Counselling Resource Book, Cynthia Franklin and Rowena Fong
- Connecting, Larry Crabb
- Spirituality and Mental Health Care: Rediscovering a Forgotten Dimension, John Swinton
- Resurrecting the Person, John Swinton
- Troubled Minds: Mental Illness and the Church’s Mission, Amy Simpson
- Trauma & Resilience – Effectively Supporting Those Who Serve God, Frauke C. Schaefer & Charles A. Schaefer
- My Lovely Wife in the Psych Ward, Mark Lukach
- An Unquiet Mind, Kay Redfield Jamison
- The Boy in the Moon, Ian Brown
- Mothers, Daughter and Body Image, Hillary McBride
- Darkness is my Only Companion, Kathryn Greene-McCreight
- Psychosis and Spirituality, Isabel Clarke
- Living Outside Mental Illness, Larry Davidson
- Who switched off my Brain? controlling toxic thoughts and emotions, Dr. Caroline Leaf
- Your Story: The Wounding Embrace, Brett Ullman and Adam Clarke