Mental Health Resources
Dealing with Anxiety?
The COVID-19 pandemic has induced anxiety in many, and in others has exacerbated existing mental health struggles. But living in a heightened state of stress and fear is not how we’re meant to live. It’s not sustainable and can cause real, long-term harm to our mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual health.
So, what is anxiety exactly? Dr. Todd Sellick explains, “Anxiety protects us. Or, at least we think it will. It's purposive. It's part of our subconscious way of trying to make our next steps manageable. But of course, anxiety is also debilitating, paralyzing, makes us unable to act, stops us in our tracks.”
It is possible to live well with anxiety, equipped with the tools and resources that allow for a full life as God intended. Focus on the Family Canada is one of many organizations bringing forth awareness and offering resources to those who are struggling with anxiety. We have collected a few of those great resources below.
Focus on the Family has a host of helpful articles on anxiety in adults, kids, and teenagers, as well as how anxiety affects parenting, marriage, and more.
Seeing our kids struggle with anxiety is both frightening and heartbreaking. There are steps we can take to reduce the anxiety-inducing effects of the pandemic on our children.
Anxiety Canada is a great resource for information on anxiety as well as offering a program to help manage anxiety.
My Anxiety Plans (MAPS) are anxiety management programs, offered by Anxiety Canada, based on cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT), an evidence-based psychological treatment.
Collide and InsideOut did a series on mental health for students in grades 6-8, including an informative interview on anxiety with one of our Christian counsellor referrals, Aly Giesbrecht.
Sadie Robertson Huff, in a Focus on the Family broadcast, talks about her struggle as a young adult working through anxiety, and gives some great advice for young people and their parents.
Focus on the Family offers another broadcast, Understanding and Managing Clinical Anxiety, wherein a licensed counsellor talks about the differences between everyday worry and clinical anxiety.
There is also a host of excellent book resources out there, including:
Am I Safe: Exploring Fear and Anxiety with Children by Canadian authors, Tim Huff and Iona Snair
Raising Worry Free Girls and partner workbook for kids entitled Braver, Stronger, Smarter: A Girls Guide to Overcoming Worry and Anxiety (age 6-12) and Brave: A Teen Girl's Guide to Beating Worry and Anxiety (age 13-18), by licensed professional counsellor and Director of Child and Adolescent Counselling at Daystar Counselling Ministries in Nashville, Sissy Goff.
Why Am I Feeling Like This? A Teen’s Guide to Freedom from Anxiety & Depression written by counsellor and pastor David Murray. He introduces readers to the personal stories of 18 teens who have dealt with different types of anxiety or depression. From these accounts, Murray equips teens with keys to unlock the chains of anxiety and depression and experience new liberty, peace, and joy in their lives.
Why is My Teenager Feeling Like This? A Guide for Helping Teens through Anxiety & Depression. This book is a companion volume to Murray’s Why Am I Feeling Like This? A Teen’s Guide to Freedom from Anxiety & Depression.
Get Out of Your Head by Jennie Allen, which “inspires and equips us to transform our emotions, our outlook, and even our circumstances by taking control of our thoughts.”
Experts explain that anxiety leaves us constantly living out of fear of the future or obsession over past experiences. Many point to “mindfulness” as a great way to stay grounded in the present. According to Dr. Henry Cloud, “Mindfulness is awareness. It’s acceptance versus rejection of what’s going on inside of you without judgment, just allowing whatever you’re feeling to exist without grabbing it, joining it, or feeling obligated to solve whatever problem that feeling is bringing you.”
John Eldredge, author of Wild at Heart has created a “simple way to connect with God in the middle of your busy day…this free app invites you into the simple practice of releasing everything to God, restoring your union with God and inviting him to fill you.”
Found on the Anxiety Canada website, Mindshift CBT, is a free self-help anxiety relief app that helps you reduce worry, stress, and panic by following evidence-based strategies. Using CBT (cognitive behavioural therapy) tools, you can challenge negativity, learn more about anxiety, develop more effective ways of thinking, be mindful, and relax.
The Headspace app offers mindfulness practise in how to stop worrying, how to form a habit, how to be more grateful, how to be more present, how to improve self-esteem, and more.
If you are ready to speak with a counsellor about what’s happening in your life right now, Oasis Church is here to help with referrals. We have working relationships with a number of trained, licensed, and vetted professionals and would be happy to get you connected with one of them.