Online Resources to Be Offered By Local Organizations
COVID-19 has drastically changed our lives prompting us to settle into a new normal. Many people find themselves struggling to keep their mental health in check due to the additional stressors social isolation resulting from this pandemic. The Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) is worried that an echo pandemic of mental illnesses will spark due to the current circumstances. In the past month CMHA has seen an increase in calls to their organization related to anxiety and depression.
It’s important to stay up-to-date and familiarize yourself with credible information as well as available support during this time. The Minister of Health, Patty Hajdu, launched a new portal dedicated to mental wellness at Canada.ca/coronavirus and the Canada COVID-19 app. Wellness Together Canada connects Canadians to peer support workers, social workers, psychologists and other professionals for confidential virtual sessions, making it easier to address mental health issues. The Province of British Columbia is also responding to support by expanding existing mental health programs and launching new services as we move forward.
Public Libraries Are Connecting Individuals During Uncertain Times
At the local level, organizations are offering online programs and services to help connect with others.
The Richmond Public Library, in partnership with S.U.C.C.E.S.S. will offer an online COVID-19 Self Care Workshop (presented in Mandarin) 新冠病毒疫情期的自我保健常识 (国语) on Wednesday, April 29, 2020, from 10am-11am. You will learn about self-care and preventative measures for you and your family (在无治疗药方和疫苗期间，该如何保护自己及家人) and what you need to do if you or your family member becomes sick (若疑似感染新冠病毒，该如何在自我隔离的同时，照顾好自己呢).
At ISSofBC, a Virtual Multicultural Peer Support Group for Immigrant and Refugee Women starts on May 2nd, 2020. This virtual support group is for women who want to build their support network, share experiences and challenges, as well as gather information about resources in their community. The program runs on Saturdays from 1pm-3pm for 10-weeks.
The West Vancouver Memorial Library, and the North Vancouver City Library are offering English Conversation Groups online. Participants can engage in English conversation to discuss interesting topics, make new friends, and improve vocabulary.
The best thing that to do for our mental health is to recognize when we need help and reach out. There are many programs and services available, especially during this time. If you’re struggling to connect with others, reach out to one of the above-mentioned services or programs, or head to your library’s website to find out what other programs and services are available to you. Please share this with others who may need some mental health support.