Mental health is a key aspect of overall health.
Just as physical exercise like playing hockey helps our bodies stay strong, mental fitness helps us to achieve and sustain good mental health so that we can enjoy our experiences and the people in our lives, and so that we are better able to cope with difficult times when they happen.
Great ways to take care of your mental health are to be physically active, eat right, get enough sleep, spend time with family and friends, spend time doing things that make you feel good, learn health ways to solve problems and take control of your stress.
Everyone feels sad, angry or upset once in a while but after some time we are able to get on with and enjoy our lives once more. However, sometimes these feelings of sadness, fear or upset can make it hard to cope, and can affect our home life, schooling and activities we enjoy such as hockey. When this happens, it is important to know that you do not need to handle this alone – talk to your family or close friends about how you are feeling.
There are also professional services available in Ottawa that can help you :
For some services, like mental health walk in clinics, you do not need an appointment or a referral, and if you need more services after your walk-in appointment the staff here can help you figure out what would work best for you.
To find out more about mental health walk-in clinics and other services that are available, you can use service directories such as www.eMentalHealth.ca, call 211, or go to Ottawa Public Health’s listing of local mental health and addiction services.
Another great resource is the Do It For Daron website, which has resources for youth and parents, including :
- the Be Game Ready app developed specifically for young athletes to deal with stress, anxiety and other mental health issues before and after games; and
- the HealthyMinds app, which is a problem-solving tool to help deal with emotions and cope with the stresses you encounter.
If you are in a crisis, you can call the child, youth and family Crisis Line at 613-260-2360.
The NGHA is committed to supporting its players in a stigma-free environment, and will work with players and families to develop continue-to-play or return-to play strategies where appropriate. For more information, please contact the Director of Policy, Risk and Safety at NGHApolicy@gmail.com .