All CMHA Offices Closed to Public
You can still reach us by phone or email.
For up to date information on the COVID-19 outbreak, please visit the Government of Canada website.
For a great infographic on COVID-19 signs and symptoms see:
Briefing Note on Addressing Mental Health and Psychosocial Aspects of COVID-19 Outbreak Version 1.0 – PDF
A message from the Executive Director of CMHA Saskatchewan Division
COVID-19 has definitely had an impact on everyone. It is causing a lot of fear and anxiety in the general population. The speed at which organizations have to make difficult decisions is unprecedented. There are very real health and economic risks with COVID-19 and it is normal to feel anxious.
CMHA branches and Sask Division Office are taking the necessary actions to protect the health of our staff and clients. While many direct services have been temporarily closed, we are endeavouring to remain available by email or telephone at our locations around the province. We are concerned about individuals who may rely on us for services and support and are exploring ways to address their needs. This pandemic has forced all of us to rethink how we deliver services and supports and we appreciate your patience as we focus on this. COVID-19 has really forced all of us to look at a new way of living, if only on a temporary basis.
In the meantime, CMHA National has provided a few suggestions to help all of us cope:
- Try not to ignore or suppress anxious thoughts. Be aware of your anxiety and accept your feelings in this situation. Try to keep things in perspective; notice and challenge thoughts that may be extreme or unhelpful.
- Self-care is critically important. Lean on social supports, try to get enough sleep, eat healthy, exercise and engage in things you enjoy. Do the things you would typically do to support your health and be sure to use caution and follow health and safety guidelines while you do them.
- Seek information from reliable news sources only. Limit your exposure to news and social media. Appropriate consumption may be calming and can lessen the sense of danger.
- Take recommended precautions as outlined by Health Canada. Remain focused on factors within your control – washing hands, covering your mouth during coughs and sneezes, avoiding non-essential travel, etc.
- Try to stay connected to friends, family and other supports. You don’t have to be in physical proximity to nurture a sense of closeness and connection. Phone calls may have gone out of fashion but maybe it’s time to bring it back.
If you are feeling significant distress, reach out for formal mental health supports from a health care professional or your local CMHA.
We are encouraged by the way our communities, organizations, businesses and individuals have taken on the challenge of slowing down the progress of this pandemic. We are going to get through this and in the end we may find we have a stronger sense of community because of going through this experience together.
Take care everyone.
Phyllis O’Connor, Executive Director
CMHA Saskatchewan Division Inc.
COVID-19 USEFUL PUBLIC RESOURCES
- Today the Prime Minister announced that the Government of Canada will be providing $82 billion in support for Canadian workers and businesses.
- $27 billion will be in direct support to Canadian workers and businesses
- $55 billion in support will be provided through tax deferrals
- The Federal Government will provide eligible small businesses, as well as not-for-profit organizations and charities a 10 percent wage subsidy for the next 90 days, up to a maximum of $1,375 per employee and $25,000 per employer.
- The government will be creating an Emergency Care Benefit of up to $900 bi-weekly for up to 15 weeks to provide income support to workers who must stay home and do not have access to paid sick leave.This includes:
- Workers, including the self-employed, who are sick, quarantined, or who have been directed to self-isolate but do not qualify for Employment Insurance (EI) sickness benefits.
- Workers, including the self-employed, who are taking care of a family member who is sick with COVID-19, such as an elderly parent or other dependents who are sick, but do not qualify for EI sickness benefits.
- EI-eligible and non-EI-eligible working parents who must stay home without pay because of children who are sick or who need additional care because of school closures.
- The government will be introducing an Emergency Support Benefit to help workers who are not eligible for EI and who are facing unemployment.
- For a minimum of six months, the mandatory one-week waiting period for EI sickness benefits for workers in imposed quarantine or who have been directed to self-isolate will be waived.
- Medical certificates for access to EI sickness benefits will also be waived.
- There will be a temporary boost to the Canada Child Benefit to support parents facing school and kindergarten closures.
- Canada Revenue Agency (CRA)will be extending the tax filing deadline for individuals to June 1, and allow all taxpayers to defer, until after August 31, 2020, the payment of any income tax amounts that become owing on or after March 18th, 2020and before September 2020.
- There will be increased flexibility to lenders to defer mortgage payments on homeowner government-insured mortgage loans to borrowers who may be experiencing financial difficulties related to the outbreak. Insurers will permit lenders to allow payment deferral beginning immediately.
- $157.5 million to address the needs of Canadians experiencing homelessness through the Reaching Home program.
- $50 million to women’s shelters and sexual assault centres to help with their capacity to manage or prevent an outbreak in their facilities. This includes funding for facilities in Indigenous communities.
- The government will implement a six-month, interest-free, moratorium on Canada Student Loan payments for all individuals who are in the process of repaying these loans.
- Increases to the Goods and Services Tax (GST) credit, which is a tax-free payment provided to lower-income people.
- Every adult who qualifies for the GST credit will receive up to $300 with $150 for every child.
- $305 million for a new distinctions-based Indigenous Community Support Fund, to address immediate needs in First Nations, Inuit, and Métis Nation communities.
Last updated: March 17, 2020
Health Canada COVID-19 outbreak
update Latest updates, statistics, preparation tips, travel advice, symptoms and treatment information, and more
Health Canada FAQs
Frequently-asked questions with answers related to COVID-19, including what the virus is, howit spreads, risks, symptoms and treatment, prevention tips, how to handle various travel scenarios, and actions being taken at borders and airports
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention tips to manage anxiety and stress
Outlines symptoms of stress during an infectious disease outbreak, recommendations for individuals with pre-existing mental health conditions, advice for parents, respondersand people released from quarantine, as well as additional resources
Mental Health Commission of Canada managing coronavirus anxiety video
Thirty-nine-second clip provides helpful tips to manage anxiety, including staying connected, getting news from reliable sourcesand showing compassion for others
CMHA OFFERS TIPS TO SUPPORT MENTAL HEALTH AMID CONCERNS OF COVID-19 PANDEMIC
CMHA Wood Buffalo Region’s Executive Director, Amanda Holloway, offers these five basic tips to help individuals experiencing heightened mental health concerns to remain calm and balanced as this public health situation unfolds.
- Considering the level of attention and seriousness being paid to the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s normal to feel anxious. Try not to avoid, ignore or suppress anxious thoughts. Instead, be aware of your anxiety and accept that you’re feeling anxious in this situation. Try to keep things in perspective; notice and challenge your thoughts that may be extreme or unhelpful.
- Self-care is critically important at this time, as worries can be made worse if we aren’t taking care of ourselves. Lean on social supports, try to get enough sleep, eat healthy, exercise and engage in enjoyable activities. Do the things you would typically do to support your health, and be sure to use caution and follow health and safety guidelines while doing them.
- Seek information from reliable news sources only. Limit checking in on the latest news to short, defined periods, and refrain from setting related push notifications on your device. Appropriate information consumption may be calming and can lessen the sense of danger.
- Take the recommended precautions as outlined by Health Canada and other credible health agencies. Remain focused on the factors within your control, such as washing hands, covering your mouth during coughs and sneezes, avoiding non-essential travel, etc.
- If you’re noticing that your symptoms of anxiety (in association with COVID-19 or otherwise) are causing you significant distress or are interfering with your ability to function normally, reach out for formal mental health supports from a recognized agency, such as CMHA.
For up to date information on the COVID-19 outbreak, please visit the Government of Canada website.
We also realize this is an uncertain time and that individuals may be experiencing a high degree of uncertainty, worry and stress. If you are feeling anxious, know that it is normal to feel that way. But there are definitely things you can do to limit the distress you may be feeling:
- Notice that you’re feeling worried and accept that it’s ok to feel anxious in this situation.
- Challenge your thoughts and ask yourself if your response is reasonable. We need to remember that while coronavirus can be very serious, most people will recover.
- It is important to take care of yourself. Practice self-care. So, get enough sleep, eat healthy, exercise and do things you enjoy.
- Even if we can’t be close physically with one another, we need to stay close emotionally. Stay in touch with your social network and reach out for social support.
- Make sure you are only getting your information from reliable sources and limit the number of times you check the latest news. You may even want to take deliberate breaks from the news. This can lessen the sense of fear and danger.
- Follow the precautions set out by your local public health unit, or provincial and federal health public health agencies.
- Stay focused on what is within your control (such as washing hands, covering your mouth during coughs and sneezes, avoiding non-essential travel, etc.).
- If you are experiencing significant distress, reach out for formal mental health supports from a health care professional or a recognized agency, such as CMHA.
- To find your local Canadian Mental Health Association office, please visit www.cmha.ca and click on “Find your CMHA”
More Content on mental health and coronavirus Links + Resources
How to stay emotionally healthy during the coronavirus outbreak:
Here is a good article that summarizes some of the recent studies on the subject from Psychology Today:
CBC Saskatchewan on coronavirus fears:
Science Alert on how to keep the coronavirus anxiety at bay:
Burnaby Now – panic is spreading faster than the virus:
Coronavirus and mental health – statement from the president and CEO of Mental Health America:
How to reduce coronavirus anxiety in the workplace:
What to do, how to help the broader community:
CMHA: Six tips to respond to employee anxiety about COVID-19:
How to prevent and cope with anxiety surrounding coronavirus (quotes from Margaret Eaton, CMHA National):
BBC: Kind Canadians start “caremongering” trend: