Canadian Mental Health Association – York Region & South Simcoe Statement on COVID-19

Canadian Mental Health Association – York Region & South Simcoe Statement on COVID-19

Updated 16 March 2020

The Canadian Mental Health Association, York Region & South Simcoe, is taking the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) situation in Canada extremely seriously, and the health and safety of our clients, staff and the community is our first priority.

As of 16 March 2020, we have made the decision to close our offices to the public and move to an essential-services only model. Please review the information below to find out what this means for you.

Office Closures

All five CMHA-YRSS offices will be closed to the public until further notice. This means that any client visits and scheduled programming will be suspended, except for those deemed ‘essential services’ (see below).

Programs will be reaching out to individual clients as required, to discuss alternative arrangements and how to care for yourself or those around you.

Our local mental health services will be delivered to clients:

  1. Telephone Wellness Checks
  2. Med Drops
  3. Injections

Our Provincial BounceBack program as part of Mindability will continue to operate. We may experience some reduction in capacity initially as we take steps to enable all coaches to work remotely, but expect to return to normal service levels shortly.

For all other services, please wait to be contacted by your case manager/support worker. We appreciate your patience at this time as we work hard to connect with all our clients and minimize disruption.

Are events still running?

At this stage our flagship event, Mental Health in Motion, scheduled for 14 June, is going ahead as planned.

Managing anxiety

We appreciate that this is a stressful and uncertain time for many. If you are feeling anxious we suggest taking the following steps:

Pay attention to your worry and fear and accept that it’s ok to feel anxious in this situation.

  • But, don’t let fear take over. Try to stay aware of your thoughts—if you’re becoming preoccupied with worry, try to calmly challenge your thoughts and ask yourself if your response is reasonable.
  • Lack of information and uncertainty can bring fear—educating yourself through reliable sources about what’s going on can give you a sense of control. Good sources of reliable information are:

Your local public health unit

Your provincial/territorial public health authority

The Government of Canada’s COVID-19 web page

World Health Organization

  • It’s important to remember that the Public Health Agency of Canada has assessed the public health risk associated with COVID-19 for the general population as low.

What about those experiencing distress or crisis?

If you or someone you care for is in crisis, please call 310-COPE.

The Warm Line and Peer Crisis Support Services line is also available 24/7 by calling 1-888-777-0979. They provide non-crisis and crisis telephone support from a recovery and peer informed perspective. The support line is answered by individuals with lived experience with mental health concerns, addiction, and/or trauma.

How can I find out more?

We are continuously monitoring the situation. For clients, please stay in touch with your case manager.

We will be adding updates to our website as required, so please check back frequently.

For general COVID-19 information and guidance, please check the resources listed above.

We are confident that Canada has the skills and resources to minimize the impacts of this virus as much as possible. We appreciate that this situation is unprecedented and is causing disruption to many important services. Your wellbeing and caring for our community is our first priority. We appreciate your understanding as we work to be a responsible care provider.

Your CMHA-YR Team