As we approach the end of January and the resurgence of the Bell Let’s Talk campaign for 2019, the issue of mental health and how we can support our family members, our friends and ourselves is front of mind.
“In Saskatchewan, that kind of support is really only a phone call away,” said Tracy Muggli, Saskatoon-based Director of Mental Health and Addictions Service for the Saskatchewan Health Authority.
HealthLine 811 is a confidential, 24-hour health information and support telephone line. It is staffed by experienced and specially trained Registered Nurses, Registered Psychiatric Nurses, and Registered Social Workers. Services are offered in English, with translation available in over 100 languages.
To reach HealthLine 811, all you need to do is dial the numbers 8-1-1. The call is completely free. Deaf and hard-of-hearing residents can access HealthLine 811 by using the SaskTel Relay Operator service at 1-800-855-1155.
“If you have concerns related to mental health for yourself or a close family member, by calling HealthLine 811, you will be directed to a mental health professional, where you can discuss your concerns with them in a safe, caring, and confidential manner,” said Muggli.
“They can help provide clarity and advice on the next appropriate steps you should take.”
Everyone across the province has access to HealthLine 811 24 hours a day, seven days a week; no matter if you live in rural or urban communities, or in the north or south of the province.
In addition to HealthLine 811, a new service called 2-1-1 Saskatchewan has recently begun. It provides more than 5,000 listings of social, community, non-clinical health, and government services across the province as part of a joint effort between the United Way agencies in Regina and Saskatoon. You can call or text 2-1-1, or access them online at www.sk.211.ca.
As always, Community Mental Health programs are available by calling your local mental health intake line.
“One of the most prominent messages within the Bell Let’s Talk campaign is the idea that we need to end the stigma,” said Muggli, adding that how we treat those around us, especially those who suffer from mental illness, is an important part in this.
“While it can be hard to talk about mental health, even just a little support, understanding and just providing a listening ear can go a long way,” she said.