Ask the Safety Expert: Where can my co-workers find support to cope with stress and anxiety caused by COVID-19?

Ask the Safety Expert: Where can my co-workers find support to cope with stress and anxiety caused by COVID-19?

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Ask the Safety Expert: Veronica Suszynski
Q. Some of my co-workers are experiencing stress and anxiety related to COVID-19. Are there resources I can refer them to that will provide them with some support?   

A. That is a very timely question. As a committee member, you will likely be on the receiving end of a lot of questions related to staying healthy in the workplace. Pandemics can cause a high level of stress and anxiety. Many people will be concerned about whether they or their family members will get sick, the security of their job, being isolated from friends and family, as well as many other variables. There are several resources available to workers in Manitoba. 

Employee Assistance Programs – Some employers have an Employee Assistance Program (EAP) that provides free, confidential, short-term counselling for employees. EAPs are designed to help people understand or overcome their difficulties, even if the issue is not work-related. While most EAPs offer a wide range of services, they often refer to other professionals or agencies that can offer additional or extended care in particular areas. Check with your EAP provider to see how many counselling sessions are available to you.

Crisis lines – The Klinic Crisis Program operates a variety of confidential crisis lines, many of which provide services 24 hours a day, every day of the year. Crisis lines offer counselling provided by mental health experts, and are open to anyone who needs help, about any issue. Klinic's 24/7 crisis line is 204-786-8686, or toll-free at 1-888-322-3019. Click here to see Klinic's full list of crisis support services.

Drop-in counselling – Klinic also offers free, drop-in counselling, on a first-come, first-seen basis. Be sure to call ahead (204-784-4067) to make sure they are still taking drop-in appointments, or visit their website​ for their latest COVID-19 updates.

Strongest Families Institute - ICAN –​ Strongest Families Institute provides accessible, evidence-based, bilingual skills-based e-mental health services for children, youth, adults and families.  The ICAN (Conquer Anxiety and Nervousness) Program provides adults (18+ years) with life-skills to overcome anxiety, help with depression and cope with major life stressors. Click here to learn more.​​

Veronica Suszynski is the Portfolio Leader for the Support Services Portfolio at SAFE Work Manitoba.

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