So here we are. It’s been a year of Blursdays. Just take a moment to let that sink in—you have managed to keep putting one foot in front of the other for a year despite some of the biggest challenges we have ever faced as individuals and as a community. That is something to be proud of!
Whatever you are feeling right now, it’s ok. Tired. Hopeful? Frustrated? Relieved? Angry? Grateful? Some weird pit-of-the-stomach thing you can’t name? It’s ok. We’re all a big mess of feelings right now, so please be kind to yourself and remember that every day in the last year has been an achievement. If your mental health has suffered—you are not alone. Some resources are listed below. Don’t hesitate to ask for help.
This above isn’t intended to be a downer! Please see it as recognition of our struggles, of our accomplishments, and as a call to be kind to yourself.
You and people like you have been there supporting each other and supporting the most vulnerable in our society in ways we could not have imagined a few years ago. The Ottawa Food Bank saw tremendous support this year as they ramped up efforts to make sure everyone had food to eat. Organizations like Bruce House saw donations come in despite the economic uncertainty and financial hardships many faced—our annual Holiday Appeal saw its highest donations in many years, over $19,000! That is thanks to you—our extended Bruce House family—so give yourself a round of applause.
Meanwhile the Bruce House staff have been busy applying for every grant imaginable. We are turning every penny (remember those?), including your donations, into housing, hope, and support. Thanks to a partnership with The Ottawa Humane Society we now offer dog and cat food as well as cat litter to our clients with pets. We provide monthly boxes of fresh vegetables and have begun offering frozen meats. Personal Care Kits went out over the winter, and gift cards help people who need a little extra. Every client has been offered masks, hand sanitizer, and gloves.
The Bruce House office sometimes look like a cross between a small grocery store and an Amazon warehouse, but we can live with that because it means tummies are being filled, people have the tools to protect their health, and we are doing everything possible to meet basic needs.
So whatever else you may be feeling right now, please also feel proud, and happy, and appreciated—you are part of doing some really great things.
You’re good people.
AbilitiCBT is an internet-based cognitive behavioral therapy (iCBT) program that you can access from any device, any time.
Ottawa Public Health – Mental Health during COVID-19
Ottawa Public Health – Mental Health Resources List
Canadian Mental Health Association – Resources List
Counselling Connect – free telephone or video support
If you or someone you know is struggling to meet basic needs please call 211 for help finding supports.