Trauma as the lasting emotional response that often results from living through a distressing event. Experiencing a traumatic event can harm a person’s sense of safety, sense of self, and ability to regulate emotions and navigate relationships. Long after the traumatic event occurs, people with trauma can often feel shame, helplessness, powerlessness, and intense fear.
As the anniversary of a disaster or traumatic event approaches, many (though, not all) survivors report a return of restlessness and fear. This is called the “anniversary reaction” and can involve several days or even weeks of anxiety, anger, nightmares, flashbacks, depression, or fear. Some may be troubled because they did not expect and do not understand their reaction. Although these thoughts, feelings, and reactions can be very upsetting, it helps to understand that it is normal to have strong reactions to a disaster or traumatic event and its devastation many months later.
Recovery from a disaster or traumatic event takes time, and it requires rebuilding on many levels – physically, emotionally, and spiritually. However, with patience, understanding, and support from family members, friends, and your community you can emerge even stronger than before.
Unfortunately, there are some among us who require more. If you feel you are one of those people or know of someone else who might be, emergency and crisis resources in Toronto include:
- Gerstein Centre Crisis Line: 416-929-5200
- Toronto Distress Centre: 416-408-4357 https://www.torontodistresscentre.com/
- Victim Services of Toronto: 416-808-7066 http://victimservicestoronto.com/programs/victim-crisis-response-program/
- Crisis Outreach for Seniors: 416-640-1459 https://www.211toronto.ca/detail/en/120237
- Kids Help Phone: 1 800 668-6868
- For a full listing, please check out CAMH’s extensive list of crisis services for Ontario: http://www.camh.ca/en/your-care/programs-and-services
Adult Walk-In Counselling Clinics
CAMH (Centre for Addiction and Mental Health) Emergency Department
250 College Street, Toronto, ON
- open 24 hours/7 days per week on a walk-in basis for adults
- Serves everyone age 18 and older
- Walk-in counselling which is free on Tuesdays and Wednesday nights from 4:30pm to 8:30pm ( registrations starts at 4:15pm and ends at 6:45pm)
Youth Walk-In Counselling Clinics
CAMH is also leading a multi-site study called YouthCan IMPACT, which provides mental health care for young people at walk-in-style clinics around the city. The clinics are located in Toronto at ‘What’s up?’ Walk-In! at four locations, including:
Skylark, 65 Wellesley Street East Suite 500 Toronto, ON
Phone Number: 416-395-0660
- Serving up to age 26 and under. Offers immediate telephone interpretation if you require a specific language. Please call to find out which days your preferred language is offered.
- Mondays: 2 – 6pm (last session 5pm) Tuesdays: 10am – 2pm (last session 1pm) Wednesdays: noon – 8pm (last session 7pm) Thursdays: 2 – 6pm (last session 5pm) Fridays: 9am – 2pm (last session 1pm)
1871 Danforth Ave, Toronto, ON (moving at the end of May to 815 Danforth, 3rd Floor where a new Youth Wellness Hub is opening)
- Monday to Thursday 2-8pm (last session 6:30pm)
- Friday 10am -5pm (last session 3:30pm) and Saturday 10am -5pm (last session 12:30pm)