The COVID-19 pandemic and its associated public health measures continue to affect individuals and families across the country. Isolation, financial and employment uncertainty, and disruptions to daily life are challenging Canadians in a number of ways. Many people are concerned about their physical and mental well-being.
During these difficult times, it is critical that Canadians have access to both credible information about mental health and substance use, and evidence-based resources and tools to support their mental health and well-being.
Wellness Together Canada (WTC) launched in April 2020 to help address the unprecedented rise in feelings of stress, anxiety and depression in Canada due to COVID-19. This portal offers access to free and confidential online mental health and substance use supports, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, in both official languages. For those without internet access, services are still available over the phone.
Through WTC, individuals of all ages in Canada or Canadians abroad can access supports ranging from self-assessment and peer support, to free and confidential sessions with social workers, psychologists and other professionals. Specialized supports for priority populations such as youth and frontline workers are available, with instantaneous translation available over the phone in over 200 languages and dialects.
More than a year later, with variants and various states of public health measures still in place across the country, the Government of Canada recognizes that the COVID-19 pandemic continues to create stress and anxiety for many Canadians, particularly those who do not have ready access to their regular support networks. With this in mind, Budget 2021 proposes to provide $62 million in 2021-22, to Health Canada for the WTC portal so that it can continue to provide everyone in Canada with the tools and services to support their mental health and well-being.
Given the ongoing needs for mental health and substance use supports across Canada, as well as the upcoming Mental Health Week (week of May 3-9), we are hoping you would join us in promoting and encouraging individuals in Canada to visit and use the WTC portal through your digital channels/media coverage.
We also encourage you to amplify our social media posts on our channels:
Twitter: @GovCanHealth / @GouvCanSante; @CPHO_Canada / @ACSP_Canada
Facebook: Healthy Canadians / Canadiens en santé
LinkedIn: Health Canada / Santé Canada; Public Health Agency of Canada / Agence de la santé publique du Canada
Instagram: Healthy Canadians / Canadiens en santé