As we mark Mental Health Week the province has expanded service to mental health supports for all Ontarians and frontline healthcare workers.

Premier Doug Ford said during his daily briefing that it is now more important than ever to check in on each other, “The last couple of months we have been in a fight of our life against this virus, some have lost their jobs, some have lost their customers and some have had deeper losses, a father, a friend, a grandparent. That kind of loss has a deeper impact on mental health.  It can be isolating not to see family and friends as we practice physical distancing.  It creates stress anxiety and depression. You’re not alone, we will support you, we will get through this together.”

As part of the $12-million emergency funding for mental health services, the Ontario government is expanding virtual mental health services. These Internet-based Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (iCBT) programs were developed in partnership with MindBeacon and Morneau Shepell and will be provided for free for Ontarians.

“Even though this virus has taken a heavy toll on our everyday lives, we are doing everything we can to keep people healthy, physically and mentally,” said Ford. “By expanding access to free virtual and online mental health supports, I want those who are struggling to know that we are here to support and help you cope with the stress, isolation, and anxiety during these extraordinary times.”

There will also be extra supports for frontline health care workers in the form of virtual face-to-face care, peer discussion groups, and support from mental health clinicians.

A Mental Health and Addictions COVID-19 Response Table that according to Associate Minister of Mental Health and Addictions, Micheal Tibillo remains laser-focused on making sure that everyone gets the help when and where they need it and that any issues with the province’s mental health and addiction services are dealt with quickly.

You can find the virtual supports here