Understanding Depression & Self-Management Tools
Learn about depression, the signs and symptoms, and treatment options through the links below.
- Overview of Depression by the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH):
- An information booklet about depression by the Mood Disorders Society of Canada (MDSC):
- Answers to some frequently asked questions (FAQs) about depression by the Mood Disorders Association of Ontario (MDAO, Hope + Me): https://www.mooddisorders.ca/faq/depression
- General information about depression from the Mayo Clinic: https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/depression/symptoms-causes/syc-20356007
- An information booklet about depression by Beyond Blue: http://resources.beyondblue.org.au/prism/file?token=BL/0885
Online tools can help you assess, monitor and self-manage your depression symptoms. These tools can be used with your healthcare provider to track your mood and progress over time. Some reputable tools are described below.
- BounceBack is a free, guided self-help program that’s effective in helping people aged 15 and up who are experiencing mild-to-moderate anxiety or depression. Participants receive telephone coaching, skill-building workbooks and online videos to help them overcome these symptoms and gain new skills to regain positive mental health.
Visit the site at https://bouncebackontario.ca/
- Big White Wall harnesses the protective and therapeutic effects of connectedness and healthy social networks in its unique community where people share with, and support each other. Visit the site at https://www.bigwhitewall.com.
- MoodFx is an interactive tool that helps individuals track mood symptoms. Results can be shared with your healthcare provider and simple charts can help you to understanding your symptoms over time. MoodFx also provides helpful tips about managing depression. Visit the site at https://www.moodfx.ca.
- Moodgym is an online self-help program that helps you to learn and practice skills based on cognitive behavioural therapy for the prevention and management of depression and anxiety. It is confidential, scientifically evaluated and offered in English, German, Norwegian, Dutch, Chinese and Finnish. Visit the site at https://moodgym.com.au/.
- What’s my M3 offers anonymous and free screening for depression and other mental health disorders. The monitoring system helps you to track symptoms and share results with a healthcare provider. Visit the site at https://whatsmym3.com/.
Peer Support Groups
At peer support groups, you can connect with others who have lived experience of depression, and share and exchange practical knowledge and stories of hope. Your local mood disorder association can help to find a support group near you. Look up local mood disorders associations through the Mood Disorders Society of Canada’s listings here: https://mdsc.ca/finding-help/. In Ontario, you can also contact the Self-Help Resource Centre Info Line at 416-595-2882 or search for a group at www.selfhelp.on.ca.
Peer support can also be found online. A few options are linked below.
- 7 Cups offers free and anonymous online text chat. There are options for joining support groups or connecting with trained active listeners and online therapists. Visit https://www.7cups.com/.
- BlueBoard is an online community for people living with depression or anxiety and their supporters. Register to post messages at http://www.efap.ca/eservices/BlueBoard.htm.
- Supportgroups.com offers many different online support groups, including one for depression: https://depression.supportgroups.com/.
Lived Experience Stories
If you are looking for an alternative to interactive support groups, it may be helpful to read or hear stories from others. Some resources are linked below.
- Read stories from people impacted by mental illness on the Bell Let’s Talk website: https://letstalk.bell.ca/en/our-initiatives/#stories
- Find booklets and videos developed by the Mood Disorder Society of Canada about recognizing the signs of recovery from depression and how to maintain wellness here: https://mdsc.ca/what-better-feels-like/. The resources were developed with people with lived experience of depression.
- Read recovery stories posted on the Mood Disorder Society of Canada website here: https://mdsc.ca/recovery-stories/.
- The Arthur Sommer Rotenberg Suicide and Depression Studies Program is developing a published collection of personal stories related to suicide. Learn about the initiative and get updates here: http://asrlife.ca/storybook/.
Supporting Someone with Depression
Helping a family member, friend or loved one who is struggling with depression can be challenging. Find tips on how to provide support in the links below.
- Tips on helping someone with a mood disorder from the Mood Disorders Association of Ontario: https://www.mooddisorders.ca/guide/guide-to-helping-someone-with-a-mood-disorder
- Understanding the role of the caregiver from Family Aware: http://www.familyaware.org/education/role-of-a-family-caregiver/
- Supporting a family member or friend with depression from the Mayo Clinic: https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/depression/in-depth/depression/art-20045943