The COVID-19 pandemic has given everyone plenty to worry about. Concerns for your health and your family’s wellbeing, your job security, your mortgage or debts, the economy, or even the future of the world may appear overwhelming. No one seems to have clear answers: What is going to happen? When will it end? What will the new normal be?
All this may be taking a heavy toll on your own mental health and that of your co-workers or employees. Half of Canadians polled in May reported their mental health had worsened since the onset of physical distancing, while the Canadian Mental Health Association recently blogged: “There is no debate that the pandemic has worn us down, and that an echo pandemic of mental health issues may be looming.”
To address this serious issue, SafetyDriven has supported the BC Municipal Safety Association (BCMSA) in developing the Psychological Support Toolkit for Workers and Employers: COVID-19, a free multimedia interactive platform with education, tools, and resources focused on mental health.
The toolkit centres on a five-part series of webinars scheduled for September and October. Diana Vissers, a workplace mental health expert and series host, presented the first episode, titled “Identifying Psychological Impacts and Needs Due to COVID-19” (now available for free download at the BCMSA site). This webinar:
• examines the workplace impacts of COVID-19
• talks about developing your own personal recipe for mental wellness
• introduces screening tools that can help you assess your mental health
• describes how to build a personal support network
• explains how to find a mental health professional right for you
• provides quick tips, hacks, and easy stress relief skills
Other planned webinars in this series include:
• September 17: “Skills for Communicating Effectively with People Experiencing Psychological Distress,” cohosted by Phil Eastwood, an expert in diffusing distressed people. This session will examine common work scenarios and offer tips, suggestions, and tools for responding effectively.
• October 1: “Exploring Substance Use and Impacts During Covid-19,” cohosted by Registered Clinical Counsellor Mike Mathers. Usually, substance use is considered in the work context only when there are safety concerns or when a worker exhibits extreme behaviours and problems doing their job. This third webinar in the series will discuss how understanding substance use on a continuum can help prevent those serious work impacts and improve people’s lives.
• October 15: “Support for Managers and Leaders: How to Respond to your Team’s Psychological Needs During COVID-19,” cohosted by Carmen Bellows, psychologist and Director of Mental Health Solutions at Sun Life Financial. The fourth webinar will focus on key elements in managing others who are experiencing mental health challenges, including how to recognize distress. Bellows will review specific examples and share effective tools.
• October 29: “Industry Leaders Panel,” hosted by Diana Vissers. In this final session, representatives from leading industry sectors will discuss COVID-19 and its effects on mental health in the workplace.
The support toolkit will also include information packs, checklists, and access to an online discussion forum.
For more on BCMSA’s Psychological Support Toolkit, visit their website.
COVID-19 information and resources for the trucking, transport, and moving & storage industries can be found on SafetyDriven’s COVID-19 page.