BEFORE CHRIST. increases mental health support for frontline workers and families – BC News

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Two hundred psychologists from British Columbia have volunteered to provide free virtual advice to front-line health workers as part of the province’s efforts to increase mental health services for all who need them.

Prime Minister John Horgan joined Minister of Mental Health and Addiction Judy Darcy on Thursday to announce virtual supports that he says are needed by those affected by the pandemic.

“We have to stay united, we have to recognize that even if we can feel stress, we can feel episodes of depression in the face of the challenges we face as individuals, as a family and as a community, together, we can overcome that, “says Horgan.

Provincial health worker Dr. Bonnie Henry acknowledged the stressful circumstances the province faces, but said residents’ efforts to practice physical removal and self-isolation produce positive results.

“The story is told in what we see in terms of the number of cases, the number of people hospitalized,” she said at a press conference on Thursday. “It tells me that people are doing what we asked them to do. “

Henry reported two deaths from COVID-19, bringing the death toll in British Columbia to 50.

She said B.C. has 34 new cases of COVID-19 and a total of 1,370 cases. There are 132 people hospitalized and 68 are being treated for the virus in intensive care. Henry said 858 people have recovered.

The Minister of Mental Health and Addiction said that people with anxiety, loneliness and financial stress to lose a job, care for out-of-school children or fear of illness should seek help while living with precautionary measures who have limited contact with others during COVID. 19.

“While we know these physical distancing measures are temporary and in the interest of all, it is important to recognize the immediate and long-term impacts on people’s mental health and well-being,” said Darcy. .

Government mental health supports come to British Columbia. has formally imposed strict working conditions in long-term care facilities to protect residents and older workers.

Social workers in British Columbia no longer work at more than one long-term care facility during the pandemic, said Henry.

“To date, it is official that we have used prescriptions under the Public Health Act that I have given and the Emergency Programs Act, to implement a process allowing workers in the health professionals of all kinds to work at one site, “she said.

She said B.C. now has 20 long-term care facilities with COVID-19 outbreaks after an outbreak was declared free from the virus.

Health Minister Adrian Dix said 30 of the 50 deaths from COVID-19 were residents of long-term care facilities.

He said the government estimates that the one-site caregiver policy would cost about $ 10 million a month.

Members of the public can also get help through British Columbia. the government’s BounceBack program, an online skills building service for people with mild to moderate anxiety or depression. It is one of many new and strengthened government initiatives to help during the pandemic, said Darcy.

“Now, and most importantly, anyone can access BounceBack without being referred by a doctor. It’s huge and it will help a lot of people in our province, ”she said.

She said that the B.C. Psychological Association started offering free services to health care workers several days ago.

“We know what kind of stress frontline health workers are experiencing – fear of the disease itself, stress of caring for patients, what it means for their mental health, what it means for their families, the isolation they endure, “she said in an interview.

The virtual resources of a mobile response team for those working on the front lines of the overdose crisis have also been increased, said Darcy, adding that the focus will be on paramedics and those from small community agencies where people do not have access to comprehensive benefits or advice.

“They are aimed at frontline workers facing stress and trauma,” she said of those who in the past would have often received reports, support and advice.

In May, a virtual peer support service will be provided to workers in long-term care homes and those providing home support, said Darcy. Work is also underway with the Canadian Mental Health Association and unions to get peers to learn “psychological first aid,” she said.

Finance Minister Carole James said Thursday that 132,000 jobs were lost in the province in March due to COVID-19, pushing the unemployment rate to more than 7%.

She said she expects April’s figures to be even worse.

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