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Mental Health-Employment Equity/ Women’s Advocate & Employee Family Assistance Program Report

Brothers and Sisters,

We hope all of you have managed to stay safe and healthy during the layoff and Stay at Home order. This time of uncertainty has been months and it still doesn’t seem to get any easier or have an end in sight. The social and physical isolation have been a welcome break for some but for others, quarantine has led to increased levels of hardship. Already a serious issue, the pandemic has not only intensified but exacerbated struggles where mental health is concerned.

A reminder to stay vigilant when it comes to your mental and emotional well-being. Please take time to care for yourself and those closest to you. Staying active, connecting virtually with family/friends and self-care are a few useful strategies to help alleviate pandemic related stress.

Although recreational use of alcohol and cannabis are considered in some circles as ‘self-care’, please be careful as self-medication can quickly become problematic. The following are a few helpful resources to assist with mental wellness and stress management. Don’t hesitate to reach out if necessary.

Canadian Association of Mental Health

https://www.camh.ca/en/health-info/mental-health-and-covid-19/quarantine-and-isolation

Childrens Mental Health Ontariohttp://cmho.org/covid19/

Unifor Mental Health Resources https://www.unifor.org/en/covid19mentalhealth

The pandemic has also given way to increased levels of intimate partner violence. Social and physical isolation have acted as barriers to escaping abusive situations. Less contact with family and friends, a decline in available resources, financial dependence and psychological distress have all played a role in compounding violent circumstances.

It’s worth noting that women are victimized at a higher rate than men and unfortunately children are often exposed. This is not to dismiss the fact that men do experience violence in the home. The following article discusses the increase in intimate partner violence during the pandemic and how to safely support those in need. There are additional resources below for those seeking assistance. You are not alone.

Domestic Violence during COVID-19 Pandemic https://www.huffingtonpost.ca/entry/canada-domestic-violence-double-covid-pandemic_ca_6033dadac5b67c32961f779f

Assaulted Women’s Helpline https://www.awhl.org/

Help for Men who are being abused http://www.helpguide.org/articles/abuse/help-for-men-who-are-being-abused.htm

Unifor Domestic Violence and the Workplace Resources https://www.unifor.org/en/domestic-violence-and-workplace-during-pandemic

Ask for help if you are struggling.

Stay safe.

Stacy Pooler

Trevor Mason

Employment Equity & Women’s Advocate

Alternate- Leah Douglas

Employee Family Assistance Program Rep

Alternate- Jeff Watson

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