The online resource hub has been developed by the Canadian Mental Health Association and SafeCare BC to provide support to frontline care workers during COVID-19
VANCOUVER, BC – : The Canadian Mental Health Association BC Division (CMHA BC), SafeCare BC and the Province of BC have today launched an online education resource designed to protect and support the psychological health and wellbeing of health care workers, who are responding to COVID-19.
Care for Caregivers has been developed to serve as an expertly-curated online hub of trusted mental health resources, information and webinars designed specifically to support the psychological wellbeing of workers and managers in long-term care and home support.
“Frontline health care workers are working tirelessly to keep us safe and healthy during this unprecedented time, and they deserve support for their mental health now more than ever” said Judy Darcy, Minister of Mental Health and Addictions. “That’s why our government is so proud to support Care for Caregivers, that provides much needed support for true heroes who do so much for this province every single day.”
“The COVID-19 pandemic is having a profound impact on our collective mental health, with increased reports of stress, anxiety, depression, loneliness and loss. This is particularly true of our heroic frontline workers, who are risking their health and wellbeing to continue providing essential care for others,” says Jonny Morris, Chief Executive Officer, CMHA BC. “This project will provide vitally-needed resources for workers and employers so they can easily find the mental health support they need in order to address their unique circumstances during and following the COVID-19 crisis”.
“Health care workers—particularly those in the continuing care sector—are on the frontlines of the fight against COVID-19. It’s vitally important that we support not only their physical safety, but also their psychological safety,” says Jen Lyle, Chief Executive Officer, SafeCare BC. “This initiative will ensure that health care workers and care organizations across BC have access to relevant, quality resources to support the mental health and wellbeing of health care workers. We need to take care of our caregivers, so they can take care of us.”
Continuing care workers in British Columbia have been significantly affected by the devastation caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Facing increased pressures, impacting them on both professional and personal levels, many workers, employed in small to medium sizes organizations, don’t have access to Employee & Family Assistance Program (EFAP) resources to meet their current mental health needs.
A number of mental health resources have become available recently to support people during the COVID-19 pandemic, including supports for the public, youth and frontline healthcare workers. The addition of this resource will help to address the unique needs of workers caring for vulnerable patients and who are subsequently at a greater risk of exposure to COVID-19 than the general population. In addition to working long hours in high stress situations and coping with compassion fatigue, many care workers have also been forced to isolate from their families cutting them off further from their usual social support networks.
Care for Caregivers will provide reputable and evidence–based mental health resources designed to support workplace mental health and resilience for healthcare workers responding to stressful environments. These include recommended steps to improve psychological and social supports for workers, strategies to take care of mental health and wellbeing, and navigation to counselling, peer support, and other mental health service providers.
Care for Caregivers is a new project created through a partnership between SafeCare BC and CMHA BC Division and developed by FreshWorks Studios. It has received funding from the Government of BC, as part of its $5 million funding package to expand existing mental health programs and services and launch new services to support the mental health of British Columbians during the COVID-19 response and beyond
For more information about Care for Caregivers: www.careforcaregivers.ca
For more information about CMHA BC’s COVID-19 mental health support: cmha.bc.ca/covid-19
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About SafeCare BC
SafeCare BC is a non-profit association working to ensure injury free, safe working conditions for the more than 28,000 continuing care workers in BC. www.safecarebc.ca
About the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA)
CMHA is Canada’s most established mental health charity and the nation-wide leader and champion for mental health. CMHA helps people access the resources they need to maintain and improve mental health, build resilience, and support recovery from mental illness. Each year in BC alone, CMHA serves more than 100,000 people all across the province. For mental health and addiction information and resources visit www.cmha.bc.ca
External Relations Specialist, CMHA BC Division