The Society’s new Professionals with Disabilities committee is drawing attention to the particular importance of caring for our mental health during these unprecedented times.
January 28th was Bell Let’s Talk Day. This initiative started over a decade ago to drive conversations about mental health, with a view to destigmatizing mental health-related illness. This year, the need to continue the conversation is even more critical as the COVID-19 pandemic has been a massive upheaval for so many of us.
The pandemic has changed the way we work, the way our children learn, and the way we go about our daily lives. While wearing masks, sanitizing our hands, physically distancing, and staying at home are necessary to stop the spread of the COVID-19 virus, it is also fueling a hidden pandemic of mental health illness. A recent survey conducted by the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) found that the pandemic has impacted the mental health of Canadians in a significant way. Many Canadians are experiencing some combination of loneliness, stress, anxiety or depression as a result of a COVID-19 related illness, financial impact or social isolation. In some cases, this has led to increases in alcohol and drug use. The pandemic has particularly had a deep impact on vulnerable groups and those who have been identified with pre-existing mental health conditions.
In support of mental health wellness, the Society has made donations to various mental health support organizations across the province.
If you or a family member is being affected and mental health support is needed, please reach out for assistance. This includes friends, family, colleagues, your doctor, workplace Employee Family Assistance Programs or your Union Representatives.
Below are some resources free virtual mental health support services:
Government of Ontario
Mental health, wellness and addictions support.
Provides a free, internet-based cognitive behavioral therapy designed to help people develop skills and strategies to address symptoms of mild to moderate anxiety and/or depression.
Wellness Together Canada
Provides free mental health and substance use support, resources and counselling with a mental health professional which is accessible 24/7.
A free program from the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) that helps build skills to improve your mental health.