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It is time to make mental health and addictions care a priority
It is time to make mental health and addictions care a priority
Posted on 03/17/2021
It is time to make mental health andGive. So no one gives up. addictions care a priority

In the wake of the pandemic, supporting mental health and addictions care is critical. More than three-quarters (78%) of Canadians say their mental health has been impacted by COVID-19 (Ipsos, 2020). Physical distancing is essential in controlling the spread of the virus, but people are deprived of social contact and connection. Faced with increased economic hardship, loss, anxiety, and a sense of helplessness, the pandemic is eroding our mental health.

With so many people struggling to maintain their mental wellbeing, the mantra “you are not alone” has never held more weight. Yet this sentiment needs to extend further. The mental health care system and all of the individuals and organizations working to support people faced with mental illness and addictions are being stretched thin.

“COVID-19 has altered our world markedly. The mental health burden of the pandemic spans all ages, communities and demographics. As we adapt to this new reality, providing rigorous mental health support is paramount. Multi-disciplinary teams from Waypoint are working tirelessly to find innovative solutions to address this growing demand and respond to these evolving needs.” - Dr. Nadiya Sunderji, Psychiatrist-in-Chief, Waypoint

Waypoint Centre for Mental Health Care has launched a $500, 000 fundraising campaign called “Give. So no one gives up.” in support of the hospital’s COVID-19 Mental Health Relief Fund. The campaign is a response to the added burden of the pandemic and is supporting improvements to mental health and addictions care for patients in hospital and in the community.

Mindfulness programs for youth, frontline workers, and the community are being offered for free to build resiliency and reduce burnout. Free Mental Health First Aid Training will be provided to people across the region, teaching the skills needed to help in a mental health crisis. The hospital is being renovated to support patients, enhancing comfort and safety on their recovery journey during COVID. New equipment and technology is also being funded by the campaign, providing the tools necessary to offer accessible, leading-edge mental health and addictions care. 

In addition to these initiatives, the Waypoint Research Institute is undertaking a series of research projects, in collaboration with partner organizations, to evaluate the impact of the pandemic and the mental health care approaches used to support youth, frontline workers and the community. Furthermore, with the expansion of Waypoint’s role in supporting children and youth, and individuals in the community struggling with anxiety, depression and PTSD, mental health and addictions care options are improving across the region. This year has not been easy but there is hope.  

To support the COVID-19 Mental Health Relief Fund visit or contact Holly Archer at [email protected].

If you or someone you know is struggling with a mental health or addictions issue please visit, or call or text 2-1-1. If it is an emergency, please call 9-1-1.