10 Free Resources to Help Your Organization Manage Mental Health During COVID-19
Happy Wednesday, my friends! If you live in New Brunswick (like me) this week has been a special one for you, with the exciting news released on Friday allowing families to expand their social isolation “bubble” to include another household. While this decision was a difficult one for some, I hope happiness outweighed the stress and that getting to see and hug some of your loved ones gave a mental health boost to all who’ve been able to safely open up their bubbles.
I’ve had an influx of questions recently from folks who are looking for support resources related to mental health and the pandemic, specifically those which are relevant for the workplace. In regular times I’m very careful to ensure any resources I recommend are research-based and informed by scientifically valid evidence. Because the particular situation we’re in right now is brand new, no real research exists about how to move forward or approaches that will yield the best outcome; fortunately, there’s lots of expertise out there around general crisis navigation and many Canadian organizations are making some of their offerings widely available and free right now. I’ve done some digging and hope these organizations and programs will be useful to you as we navigate evolving workplace circumstances in the months ahead.
1. The Canadian Mental Health Association’s provincial and regional branches have TONS of great webinars on diverse topics happening right now. I had the pleasure of attending an excellent one on self care and burnout last week. Find your local branch and track them down on social media and/or sign up for their newsletter to stay on top of their virtual events.
2. The Mental Health Commission of Canada has developed a COVID-19 Resource Hub with a wealth of information. It’s updated regularly and has workplace-specific resources plus useful tools to recommend to employees for use in their personal lives (for example, articles to help parents talk to their kids about the pandemic).
3. While traditional workplace safety models focus on physical health, the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety has expanded its focus to include mental wellbeing at work. They’ve developed a downloadable poster with important information about COVID-19 specific stigma and harassment in the workplace.
4. Morneau Shepell, Sun Life Financial, the Canadian Chamber of Commerce, Bell Canada and more than 20 more organizations from corporate, community and public sectors have come together to create WellCan, a free website and app to support the wellbeing of Canadians during the pandemic. Get the WellCan app from the app store or visit the website.
5. The Chapman Group is based in Saint John, New Brunswick. Led by HR Rockstar Tanya Chapman, their team provides top-quality training and consulting for leaders. Their website will give you some general information about what they do, and opportunities to participate in webinars – with topics related to employee re-engagement post-pandemic and more – are posted on their Facebook page with instructions for how to sign up.
6. The Government of Canada offers some guidance for both leaders and employees about mental health and work during the pandemic. This page includes links to further resources about related topics, too.
7. Mental Health Works has been a long-time favourite resource of mine, and they’re now providing webinars, articles and other tools that are COVID-19 specific. Visit their website and click the “COVID-19 Resources” button at the top of the page.
8. Provincial Health Services Authority of BC’s staff wellness page is available publicly. It includes some amazing downloadable tools to help employers and employees care for their own mental health and one another’s, and to help with managing mental health issues at work during and following the pandemic.
9. Toronto’s Centre for Addiction and Mental Health includes general information and mental health and COVID-19 as well as excellent specialty threads about staying mentally well during quarantine and self isolation, the increase in stigma and prejudice related to the pandemic and more.
10. Our sister company Arpeggio Health Services has taken our workplace mental health training program virtual, and we’ve added some mental health/workplace/COVID-19 professional development opportunities to our calendar with the aim of helping leaders to prepare for the mental health needs of their team members during and following the pandemic. Read the full event description for a promo code on specific sessions that will give you a 100% discount at checkout.
Those in leadership roles must acknowledge that even if your workplace has been able to resume all or some of its activities, it’s not “business as usual”. Your employees are likely going to need a little more support in the coming weeks and months. Let’s be proactive.
Thanks for reading! Have an excellent, healthy week, everyone.
Elizabeth Eldridge is a Psychological Health & Safety Consultant based in southern New Brunswick, Canada. In addition to frequent keynote speaking and corporate training on mental health she is the owner/operator of Arpeggio Health Services, Atlantic Canada’s largest provider of public mental health trainings. Learn more at elizabetheldridge.com, summitcorporatewellness.com and arpeggiohealthservices.com.