The news that made headlines across the world a few short months ago has now fully immersed itself in our daily lives. The outbreak of COVID-19 has affected all of us. For many of us, it is the first topic of conversation in the morning, the first subject amongst friends and the last thought in our minds at night before we go to sleep. And throughout the day, we think to ourselves multiple times, when will things go back to normal?
During this pandemic, many people are experiencing a lot of fear and anxiety. Some days can be very overwhelming and make concentrating on anything difficult. Issues that we worry about not only evolve around our own health, but the health of our family and our friends. Although we are facing many emotional challenges, learning to cope with this fear, stress and anxiety can make you and the people you care about stronger.
At Erb, the health and well-being of our employees is always a priority and we pride ourselves in the programs and health initiatives we have to offer. The Erb Highway to Health program, which was first implemented in 2009, encourages employees to be informed of their own physical and mental health, offering weekly health topics and other health resources. In 2019, Erb also joined Not Myself Today, a platform presented by the Canadian Mental Health Association aimed at building knowledge and understanding and start conversations about mental health in the workplace. For our drivers out on the road, many are alone for days at a time, especially during this pandemic. We want to ensure we offer the resources needed to keep a healthy mind, not only during these uncertain times, but for the future.
Here are just a few resources to help you look after your own mental health:
Wellness Together Canada
Recently, the Government of Canada launched this new resource portal that is dedicated to supporting mental wellness. The portal is filled with credible information and free services to assist you. It will connect you to support workers, social workers, psychologists and other professionals for confidential chat sessions or phone calls and will make it easier to find credible information. Wellness Together recognizes the significant strain that COVID-19 has placed on individuals and families across the country and provides tools and resources to help get back on track. For more information visit: https://ca.portal.gs/. Wellness Together Canada information can also be found on the COVID-19 app which can be downloaded on the App Store or Google Play Store: https://www.thrive.health/canada-covid19-app
CAMH (Centre for Addiction and Mental Health) offers a series of free online tutorials aimed at building awareness and knowledge of mental health challenges. Currently the site is offering a series of information aimed at coping with stress and anxiety during the pandemic. You can find credible information, other sources and take a survey on your perceived stress level and how you are handling stress in your life. Read more info: http://www.camh.ca/en/health-info/mental-health-and-covid-19#coping
Centre for Disease Control and Prevention:
The Centre for Disease Control and Prevention offers information about stress and coping during a pandemic. Some information covers coping with your own stress and offers a section for parents sharing ways to help their children and teens cope and with their stress and anxiety as we all work our way through this pandemic. When parents and caregivers deal with the COVID-19 calmly and confidently, they can provide the best support for their children. For more information: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/daily-life-coping/managing-stress-anxiety.html
For most of us, this is our first time experiencing a pandemic. There are many unknowns and many “wait and sees.” Everyone reacts differently to stressful situations. While many people are struggling physically with this virus, others are struggling mentally and silently trying to make it through each day. Your mental health is real and important. Despite our best attempts to tell ourselves we’re okay, sometimes we’re not and that’s okay. Make sure to reach out to loved ones and find the resources you need to support you to cope with our new reality. You are not alone. #AloneTogether