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Coping and wellness support for health care workers and first responders through COVID Frontline Wellness
Coping and wellness support for health care workers and first responders through COVID Frontline Wellness

COVID Frontline Wellness Quote from Allison JonesCOVID-19 has changed our lives. Health care workers, care providers and first responders continue to be called to new levels of service. The reality of being at the front lines of the pandemic puts these workers at risk of developing increased symptoms of anxiety and depression, and anyone with pre-existing mental health conditions is at even higher risk of worsening symptoms.

If you are a health care or community care worker or first responder impacted by stress related to COVID-19, supports are available to help you cope through the COVID Frontline Wellness program. 

“We need those who are caring for us to be both physically and mentally healthy,” says Allison Jones, a clinician with COVID Frontline Wellness. “As the pandemic drags on, we are all dealing with related stress and challenges. This virtual service allows health care workers to get the support they need safely.”

COVID Frontline Wellness connects individuals with supports and access to services to help them enhance resilience, and provide care and treatment for mental health and addiction challenges. 

The program is available by self-referral and after an initial intake, individuals are scheduled for a one-hour session with a therapist to talk about concerns and discuss a variety of services including a flexible plan for brief therapy intervention and symptom management and support, as well as evidence-based Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) and free counselling.

The service is open to anyone in any role - from direct patient care and patient/client support services to environmental and food services, administrative or management - affected by the pandemic whether from a hospital, health care, residential setting, or first responder service.

Since launching in 2020, the program has assisted many from across the province with services ranging from brief therapy, psychiatric consultations, treatment planning with primary care, collaboration with other mental health services and system navigation.

“Feedback has been very positive with clients reporting high levels of satisfaction with ease of access as well as effectiveness of the interventions,” adds Jones. “This is care for our frontline workers and first responders when they need it most and we hope they will reach out for help if they need it.”

To access the self-referral form, please visit the COVID Frontline Wellness page or call Waypoint’s Central Intake at 705-549-3181, ext. 2308 or 1-877-341-4729, ext. 2308. 

This service is being offered at five hospitals in Ontario, including Waypoint, through a partnership with the Mental Health and Addictions Centre of Excellence at Ontario Health. For more information on these different resources, please visit COVID-19: Get support if you are a health care worker.