Online Guide for Newcomers to Prince Edward Island, Canada

Mental Health and Emotional Well-being

Good mental health reflects the balance and harmony of your emotional, psychological, social, and spiritual well-being. People with good mental health feel productive and able to cope with stressful situations, and they are able to restore their balance after facing problems or difficulties.

Taking care of your mental health

There are simple things you can do in your daily life to improve or maintain your mental health and emotional well-being. Here are some suggestions.

Take good care of your body. Taking care of yourself physically can improve your mental health. Eat healthy and nutritious meals, drink plenty of water, exercise, get enough sleep, and spend time outdoors.

Be kind to yourself. Treat yourself with respect and make time for yourself and the activities you enjoy. Do something you are good at. Make time for your hobbies and favourite projects, or learn something new and broaden your horizons.

Care for others. Making a positive difference in another person's life will lift you up. Volunteer your time and energy to help someone else. It can be your family, friends, or people in your community.

Break up the routine. Although routines are useful and can enhance feelings of security and safety, it is good for your brain to break them up every once in a while. This can be as simple as changing your usual commute route or cooking a meal you have never prepared before.

Quiet your mind. There are relaxation techniques that can improve your state of mind and outlook on life. Find a practice that is suitable for you to take a pause in your busy day on a regular basis. It can be meditation, mindfulness, prayer, or something as simple as enjoying a cup of your favourite tea by yourself.

Get help when you need it. Seeking help is a sign of strength, not weakness. We all sometimes get overwhelmed by how we feel when things do not go as planned. If you feel you cannot cope, reach out. Your family or friends may be able to offer practical help or a listening ear. If your troubles are causing you significant distress or you feel you do not have a person in your life who would listen to you, do not hesitate to get expert help.

Immigration and Mental Health

Most immigrants coming to Canada have the ability to find their own cultural, personal and social strengths and to connect with resources existing in their communities to overcome adversity in challenging times.

However, moving to a foreign country, like many other major life changes, presents challenges that might affect a person's mental well-being. Changes like these might make us feel frustrated and hopeless:

  • being far away from family and friends who stayed behind
  • having to communicate in a language you don't fully understand, or can't understand at all
  • seeing, hearing and experiencing different cultures and different ways of doing things

If you are a refugee, you may have experienced traumatic events before coming to Canada that could make it even harder to deal with these changes. Your sense of well-being, security, self-confidence and trust may be shaken.

Additionally, on arrival to Canada, immigrants may face challenges such as racism and discrimination, financial difficulties, or inadequate housing. Some families struggle with immigration policies that can make it difficult to reunite with family members abroad. These situations affect their mental health and well-being.

With the right support, immigrants can overcome these challenges, and be healthy, happy and productive individuals and families.

For many people, it means acknowledging and overcoming the fear of addressing mental health because of all the negative ideas connected with the concept of mental health issues.

Mental Health Crisis

A mental health crisis is a situation when someone is experiencing difficulties to think and/or control their behaviour and/or is unable to cope with their emotions.

If you or someone close to you is experiencing a mental health crisis, do not hesitate to seek help.

Mental Health Services and Resources in PEI

In PEI, there is a wide range of mental health services available to anyone who needs help. They are provided in hospitals, clinics, health and community centres, community organizations, and schools, in person, by phone, or via the Internet.

If you need mental health help, the best place to start is a walk-in clinic or a helpline. A mental health therapist, a counsellor, or a trained staff person will talk to you, and, if necessary, refer you to a program or service designed for a specific problem.

If you need an interpreter to access mental health services, depending on which service you are using, one may be provided to you by the health care system or you can request interpreting services through IRSA.

Mental Health Walk-in Clinics

Mental health walk-in clinics offer immediate mental health support to help with anxiety, as well as life events causing stress and other mental health issues. You do not need an appointment or referral at walk-in clinics. [See Related Resources]

Island Helpline

The Island Helpline can help people in crisis situations, including social isolation, stress and anxiety, abuse (physical, sexual and emotional), depression, alcohol and drug use, suicidal thoughts, etc. The Helpline operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. It is a free, confidential, non-judgmental, and supportive telephone service offered in English and French.

When you call the Island Helpline, a kind and caring staff person trained in crisis intervention will answer. They provide emotional support, problem-solving and crisis intervention services, and they can offer information about other community resources and supports near you. [See Related Resources]

Kids Help Phone

Kids Help Phone is a national 24/7 support service for young people experiencing any kind of life challenges. It offers professional counselling, information and referrals, and text-based support in English and French. Their counsellors have diverse educational backgrounds and professional experience and are knowledgeable in a range of topics including youth mental health and well-being.

Young people can seek help by phone, text, mobile app or through the Kids Help Phone website. [See Related Resources]

IRSA Counselling Support Services

IRSA provides counselling support to assist newcomer families and individuals in dealing with psychological and environmental factors that may be having a negative impact on their settlement and adaptation process, their mental health, and their academic or work success and general well-being.

Counselling support workers discuss newcomers' concerns in a safe, confidential and supportive environment. The program works through individual interventions or small support groups.

[See Related Resources]

Related Resources

Mental Health Services and Resources in PEI

Are you or someone you know in a crisis, feeling depressed or thinking about suicide?

Call Island Helpline at

Are you a young person facing abuse or any other kind of difficult situation?

Kids Help Phone

More Information

Note: The following resources were developed by Immigrant Serving Agency of Nova Scotia (ISANS) in English only. Along with the general mental health information, these pages contain links to resources available in Nova Scotia. To seek help in PEI, please refer to the links above.


Mental Health and Well-Being Service Information

In case of emergency, call 911

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Online Guide for Newcomers to Prince Edward Island, Canada © by Immigrant & Refugee Services Association of PEI (IRSA) is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported License.

We have made every effort to ensure that the information in this Guide is accurate and up-to-date. If you find of any errors or omissions, please contact us.