J and J Gibberish: Forget Resolutions that Stress You Out. Focus on Mental Health This Year

Forget resolutions, forget self-improvement projects this year.  Focus on you.  Focus on happiness, on your family’s happiness… on peace.  Yeah, sure ok, I can hear you laughing at the thought of trying to do that in our crazy era of going fast. But seriously, there is a lot to be said on trying to focus on slowing down and on what really matters.  However, you may need some help.  If the holidays have left you feeling a little blah, or maybe things are a bit more serious and you don’t know where to go for help.  Well, look no further than eMentalHealth.ca. 

With incredible resources that include information sheets on every kind of mental health challenge, symptoms, news, events, (even an info sheet on surviving the holidays!) it is thorough.  Whether it is for you or your child or another family member, no matter the age, all the bases are covered. And everything is updated regularly.  

What makes it even more spectacular is the local angle.  While anyone across Canada can access info for their area, eMentalHealth.ca is particularly anchored in local services and programs.  It is the brainchild of co-founder, Dr. Michael Cheng, based at the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario. (He is also is an Associate Professor at the University of Ottawa). He is a brilliant psychiatrist who is doing incredible research in the field of child psychiatry.  

Dr. Michael Cheng

While he explores medical approaches to dealing with children’s brain differences (of which my boy Jacob has many), he also reminds families of some of the basics that can really help kids chill out but parents too. 

He encourages:

  • Radical empathy, acceptance and validation to connect to children/youth and families

· Helping children/youth and families to (re)connect to the people, things and activities that are truly meaningful in their lives

  • Helping children/youth and families to disconnect from those people, things and activities that are not helpful in their lives

Dr. Cheng is a genius in helping children/youth and families overcome particular challenges,  e.g. sensory processing issues, learning disabilities, autism spectrum disorder, visual stress, etc. He has innovative ideas and solutions.

One of the frustrating things when you are trying to figure out stuff for your kid or yourself or a family member is that there is not one place to go to get accurate information.  It can be overwhelming looking for places you can trust where information is real and not offering solutions like consuming Vitamin C to kill cancer or putting rocks on your body to magically destroy stress. eMentalHealth.ca is the answer to the cacophony of internet noise.    

In fact, Dr. Cheng said it was the lack of information that spearheaded eMentalHealth.ca.

 “Why did we start eMentalHealth.ca? Because it was back in 2004, and people would always ask us the same questions. ‘Can you recommend a good therapist / support group for depression / anxiety / etc?’ ‘Can you recommend some good books / websites for information about depression / anxiety / etc.?’ We thought, surely there must be a high quality Canadian website that had all these features, but alas, there was not… And thus, we created eMentalHealth.ca, with the help of local community support and the rest is history.”

He says that eMentalHealth.ca has two primary goals.  One is to improve the mental health and wellness of Canadians, by making it easier for them to 1) learn about mental health and wellness, and 2) find out where to get services and supports in their local community.

It definitely does that and so much more.  Whether you are beginning your journey on improving your own mental health or that of someone you care for, or maybe you are farther along that road, it doesn’t matter.  You will find help and what you need there. eMentalHealth.ca and always remember, you do not need to be in this alone.

For more information visit eMentalHealth.ca