The COVID-19 pandemic is putting a spotlight on mental health issues that it’s causing, mostly stemming from social isolation.

The Minto Counselling Centre is following the lead of the Canadian Mental Health Association this Mental Health Week. Clinical supervisor Véronique Mercier says the theme and hashtag are both “get real”.

“Getting real about how you feel,” she explains, “so being able to speak about how you feel, the emotions that you’re feeling and trying to normalize that it’s okay that the emotion you’re feeling is normal and it’s okay to feel that way.”

Mercier says social media are a good way to deal with the fear created by social isolation.

“Whether it be Facebook or Facetime, to really still reach out to friends and family members and really connect on that front, because whatever we’re most likely feeling, they are also feeling.”

Mercier also encourages self-care by playing online games, walking, practicing breathing skills, or anything that makes you feel good.

Minto Counselling Centre serves anyone 16 and over, from offices in Cochrane, Iroquois Falls and Matheson.