Ontario is revealing more about its previously announced plans to spend $12.4 million on more mental-health and addictions supports for frontline health-care workers.
Following the provincial government’s announcement in its fall economic statement, it said Tuesday it will invest $5.9 million in services offered through hospitals, such as self-referral and intake services, online discussion groups and confidential clinician support. It’s also allocating $4.6 million for workplace mental-health training and $1.9 million for psychologist services specializing in trauma, anxiety and other conditions.
The measures are partly in response to recommendations from the long-term care coronavirus commission report about staff mental health, according to a press release.
The government is working with five hospitals, the Canadian Mental Health Association and the Ontario Psychological Association on the programs. In the press release, Christine Elliott, the province’s health minister, said frontline workers who are supporting Ontarians throughout the pandemic now need access to supports.
“These people have been exposed to unprecedented levels of stress and loss during the COVID-19 pandemic,” added Richard Morrison, chief executive officer of the Ontario Psychological Association, in the release. “They have risked their own health and family’s health to sustain essential services. For many, this has resulted in symptoms of burnout, anxiety, depression, guilt, irritability, avoidance, sleep disturbance, [post-traumatic stress disorder], as well as unhealthy coping mechanisms.”