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Lean on this list of self care supports during difficult times.

The ongoing pandemic is a tough situation for everyone, writers included. Whether you are missing family and friends, trying to teach grade six math in the middle of a work day, or struggling to focus on your craft, there are many online resources out there to help you organize your thoughts and calm your anxieties.

The uncertainty of the current situation can exacerbate pre-existing mental health issues, with lockdown isolation often leading to loneliness and depression. If any of these scenarios seem familiar, know that you are not alone.

We encourage writers to seek out self care, connect with community, and access treatment from mental health professionals. The Writers' Trust has compiled the resources below, tailored to Canadian writers, to help you and your family get through these challenging times.

Would you like to add a resource to this list? Send an email to ahopkins@writerstrust.com

Are you in crisis? Please don't hesitate to contact the Canada Suicide Prevention Service:

Call 1-833-456-4566
Text START to 741741
Call 911 if you are in immediate danger or need urgent medical support.

NATIONAL

The Woodcock Fund

Financial instability and the stress that comes with is harmful to mental health. If ignored because the cost of treatment is beyond your resources, small problems may cascade into a crisis. The Writers’ Trust’s Woodcock Fund is a quick-access grant of a few thousand dollars meant to address such situations.  

View our program guidelines to see if you qualify. Exceptions are often available for writers facing genuine emergencies even if they don’t meet all the eligibility criteria.

View the Application Guidelines

Arts Unite

With an understanding that a variety of challenges artists may face extend beyond sector-specific concerns, this searchable database provides resources for food and housing security, health and wellness support, and financial aid curated for the artist in immediate need. The list includes resources, links, and contacts for emergency relief or support.

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Actors Fund of Canada (AFC)

Anyone in the arts and entertainment community can call for compassionate, confidential, non-judgmental support during tough situations. The AFC Helps people carve out a viable path to improved well-being and connects them with existing support systems and resources. Visit the resource hub for links to services and resources across Canada.

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Books on Mental Health

Reading the right book at the right time helps with deeper understanding of yourself, your relationships, and the world. Consider adding bibliotherapy to your wellness toolkit, starting with this great list of Canadian reads from CBC Books.

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Bridge the gapp

This online service directory, knowledge centre, and list of online programs for adults and youth is designed to support mental wellness through self help guides and local services.

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Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA)

CMHA provides advocacy, programs, and resources in more than 330 communities across every province and one territory. BounceBack is a free program that helps build skills to improve mental health.

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Crisis Services Canada 

Contact the suicide prevention service by calling 1-833-456-4566 or texting 45645. The site also offers a searchable database of local resources and supports.

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Kids Help Phone 

Access 24/7 text, phone, or live chat counselling and support aimed at people under 25. Find resources in your community and read content about mental health and wellness for young people.

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Mental Health Commission of Canada (MHCC) 

MHCC leads the development and dissemination of innovative programs and tools to support the mental health and wellness of Canadians. Their website offers a resource hub, suicide risk assessment toolkit, and regular webinars.

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Psychology Today Canada 

This searchable online database of available therapists includes an option to search based on sliding scale rates.

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Wellness Together Canada 

In response to the unprecedented rise in mental distress due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this website funded by the Government of Canada provides resources, self-assessment tools, self-directed e-courses, and free counselling 24 hours a day.

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ALBERTA

Alberta Health Services 

Programs include stress management workshops, virtual care through Togetherall, and Text4Hope — a free service providing three months of daily Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) based text messages written by mental health therapists.

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Calgary Arts Development 

The Artist Development Microgrant is intended to provide one-time funding to individual artists and artist collectives in Calgary who have been impacted by COVID-19.

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BRITISH COLUMBIA

Breathing Space Collective Creative Literary Studio 

Founder and award-winning author Chelene Knight offers techniques and tips for writers, and others working in the publishing industry, on creating balance and reducing stress through time management and boundary setting. Resources and one-on-one calls are available to help pinpoint and prevent burnout to encourage long-term careers in the arts.

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Here to Help 

This site offers a key resource library with mental health and substance use information for people in BC and publishes Visions Journal, a quarterly magazine written by and for people with lived experiences.

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MANITOBA

AbilitiCBT by Morneau Shepell 

A free service for residents of Ontario and Manitoba, this internet-based Cognitive Behavioural Therapy resource includes a special program to help address anxiety symptoms related to the unique challenges of the pandemic: uncertainty, isolation, and stress management.

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Shared Health

A resource finder for mental health, wellness, and addictions supports.

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NEW BRUNSWICK

Chimo Helpline

This provincial crisis phone line is free and accessible 24 hours a day. A live chat option is available 5pm–12am daily.

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Bridge the gapp

This online service directory, knowledge centre, and list of online programs for adults and youth is designed to support mental wellness through self help guides and local services.

Learn more

NEWFOUNDLAND AND LABRADOR

Bridge the gapp

This online service directory, knowledge centre, and list of online programs for adults and youth is designed to support mental wellness through self help guides and local services.

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Business and Arts  

This list of resources is for artists working in all disciplines who are struggling due to COVID-19 and includes financial and educational resources, online platforms, and community connection.

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NORTHWEST TERRITORIES

NWT Help Line

This free and confidential service is operated by the government's Department of Health and Social Services. The help line offers an option for follow-up calls and connects residents of the Northwest Territories with trained responders who can help with stress management, suicidal thoughts, abuse, depression, anxiety, and other concerns.

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NUNAVUT

Embrace Life Council 

This nonprofit suicide prevention organization based in Iqaluit offers resources and education materials for front line workers, teachers, and mental health professionals.

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Kamatsiaqtut Nunavut Helpline 

This service is toll-free, staffed by trained volunteers, and available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The help line provides anonymous and confidential telephone counselling for northerners in crisis.

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NOVA SCOTIA

Arts Nova Scotia 

A helpful collection of resources for artists impacted by COVID-19, including support to improve mental health and well-being.

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Bridge the gapp

This online service directory, knowledge centre, and list of online programs for adults and youth is designed to support mental wellness through self help guides and local services.

Learn more

Healthy Minds Cooperative 

This charitable organization offers province-wide, peer-based mental health support to the public, including wellness workshops and an online writers’ group that meets twice per month. All services come at no cost to the public, and are referral and wait list free.

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North End Community Health Centre 

The North End Community Health Centre supports the health and well-being of the Halifax community through quality primary health care, education, and advocacy, including community programs and a mobile health clinic.

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ONTARIO

AbilitiCBT by Morneau Shepell 

A free service for residents of Ontario and Manitoba, this internet-based Cognitive Behavioural Therapy resource includes a special program to help address anxiety symptoms related to the unique challenges of the pandemic: uncertainty, isolation, and stress management.

Learn more

Across Boundaries

Working within anti-racism and anti-oppression frameworks, this website offers a dynamic range of support and services aimed at addressing the negative impact of racism and discrimination on mental health and well-being.

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Al & Malka Green Artists’ Health Centre 

Part of the University Health Network in Toronto, this health clinic addresses the specific needs of artists with a holistic and collaborative approach. Referrals are not required and financial assistance is available through a subsidy program.

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InkWell Workshops 

Free drop-in writing workshops for people living with mental health or addiction issues. During the pandemic, programming has moved online. The sessions are led by professional writers with lived experience of mental illness.

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Northern Initiative for Social Action (NISA) 

This organization in Sudbury is run by and for consumers of mental health services; programs include a weekly Writers’ Circle, Recovery/Wellness groups, and Open Minds Quarterly, a literary magazine that welcomes writing and art from people with lived experience.

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Workman Arts  

A multidisciplinary arts organization that promotes greater understanding of mental health and addiction issues and supports artists with lived experience through peer-to-peer arts education, public presentations, and partnerships with the broader arts community.

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PRINCE EDWARD ISLAND

Bridge the gapp 

This online service directory, knowledge centre, and list of online programs for adults and youth is designed to support mental wellness through self help guides and local services.

Learn more

Prince Edward Island Writers' Guild 

With programming and opportunities for their membership and beyond, the PEI Writers' Guild offers bursaries for courses that focus on mental health and healing.

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QUEBEC

AMI-Quebec Action on Mental Illness  

A nonprofit organization that helps families manage the effects of mental illness through support, education, guidance, and advocacy. All programs are free.

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Les Impatients 

This nonprofit organization supports artists suffering from mental health issues through art workshops and programs that encourage a feeling of belonging to a community.

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SASKATCHEWAN

H.O.P.E. Learning Centre 

A Recovery College where people with lived experience of mental health issues, peers, family members, and mental health professionals work collaboratively to deliver courses on a range of topics that support well-being and recovery.

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YUKON

Mental Wellness and Substance Use Services (MWSU) 

This government service offers rapid access counselling for adults, specific resources for youth and families, online groups, and drop-in recovery group meetings.

Learn more

The Reach Out Support Line 

Run by the Canadian Mental Health Association-Yukon, this volunteer-based, free support line operates from 2pm-10pm.

Learn more

Would you like to add a resource to this list? Send an email to ahopkins@writerstrust.com

Are you in crisis? Please don't hesitate to contact the Canada Suicide Prevention Service:

Call 833-456-4566
Text START to 741741
Call 911 if you are in immediate danger or need urgent medical support.