COVID-19 leaves B.C. residents struggling to cope

Demand for mental health information and resources soars

Mental Health resources are in huge demand as British Columbians struggle to cope with the impact of COVID-19.

In response, the Canadian Mental Health Association BC Division, with support from the Province, has enhanced its suite of online tools by launching a new resource designed to help youth and adults throughout British Columbia assess and manage their mental health.

British Columbians are encouraged to check in on how they are feeling using a new self-assessment tool that has been specifically developed to direct users to the information that is the most useful for them.

The tool launches at a time when trusted local mental health information and resources are in huge demand as British Columbians struggle to cope with the dramatic impact COVID-19 is having on their mental health and mood. According to a new Insights West poll released April 24, 62 per cent of British Columbians admit to feeling more worried than usual, 57 per cent say they are experiencing more anxiety than prior to the pandemic and 43 per cent have said they are feeling more lonely.

“The COVID-19 pandemic is taking a toll on the mental health of British Columbians of all ages. Whether it’s increased feelings of isolation and loneliness from not being able to visit with family, friends or loved ones, financial stress or fear of becoming sick with COVID-19 – these are having a tremendous impact on our mental health,” said Judy Darcy, Minister of Mental Health and Addictions. “That’s why our government is so proud to support this new mental health assessment tool, which will help direct youth and adults to the supports that are right for them – faster.”

“We are delighted to launch this new tool, which will help users quickly identify and explore free trusted resources in BC based on their answers to thirteen questions,” says Jonny Morris, CMHA BC Division Chief Executive Officer. “The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in a lot of changes in how we live our lives, and brought with it uncertainty, disrupted routines, financial stressors and social isolation. Each of these can have a big impact on our sense of wellbeing so it’s important for us to take time out to assess how we’re feeling so we can identify any symptoms of anxiety or depression early and get the appropriate help we need before we end up feeling much worse or end up in crisis.”

The questions in the self-assessment check-in are designed to prompt people to reflect on a few areas of their mental, physical and social well-being and assess how they are feeling at that point in time. Depending on their answers they will be directed to resources that will meet their specific needs. All of the proposed resources are evidence-based and are available without cost province-wide. For some people that may be tips and recommendations to maintain their mental health, others may need more supports and will be directed to the ones that are most appropriate

The check-in is anonymous, all the questions are optional and there is no right or wrong answer. However, it is not a clinical test and people who are experiencing symptoms of anxiety or depression for more than two weeks or who are in crisis should talk with a mental health professional.

Currently available in English, the assessment tool will soon also be available in multiple languages including French, Farsi, Punjabi and Simplified and Traditional Chinese.

The self-assessment tool has been developed through funding from the Ministry of Mental Health and Addictions, 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

The mental health check-in can be accessed at https://cmha.bc.ca/covid-19/.

READ MORE: Vernon CMHA programs get boost from province

READ MORE: Here2Talk: B.C. launches free counselling service for post-secondary students


@VernonNews
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Coronavirusmental healthMental Health and Addictions Minister Judy Darcy

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