World Mental Health Day 2020

World Mental Health Day and Mental Illness Awareness Week Recognized by Aurora Recovery Centre.

Mental Health Services in the Age of COVID-19

The increased rate of people needing access to mental health services in the age of COVID-19 is alarming. It only adds to the historical trends of mental illness in our country.

Health providers are doing their best with increased caseloads, and individuals are being as proactive as possible with self-help options. However, increased awareness and advocacy for treatment are more important than ever.

Aurora is on the front line when it comes to assisting and supporting those impacted with mental health concerns. Sometimes there is a preexisting diagnosis and the member is managing their symptoms, sometimes the situation needs to be diagnosed and occurs concurrently with substance use disorder, and other times the condition is substance-induced where continued abstinence brings resolution. Mental health and addiction are complex and complicated.

Luckily, we have an experienced, qualified, and compassionate team on hand to collaborate with our members on creating highly personalized treatment plans that address each member’s individual needs.

World Mental Health Day Recognized on October 10, 2020

Mental Health Awareness Week is held October 6-12, 2020. An annual event, it gives organizations like The Canadian Alliance on Mental Illness and Mental Health, a non-profit organization a recognized platform to provide much-needed mental health education to the public with their initiative, The Faces of Mental Illness campaign.

World Mental Health Day, presented by the World Health Organization and partner organizations, is recognized on October 10, 2020. On their website, we learn that 1 billion people worldwide are living with a mental health disorder, including substance use disorders. Through increased awareness, hope is available to them.

From our Mental Health Liaison Nurse, Kellee Reid:

My name is Kellee Reid, and I obtained my baccalaureate degree in nursing from the University of Manitoba in 2001. I have been at ARC since May 2020, and I am the Mental Health Liaison Nurse. I work closely with the Nurse Practitioner and the Psychiatrist.

COVID-19 has been very challenging for us all but particularly challenging for individuals with mental health conditions. People with pre-existing mental health conditions or substance use disorders have been particularly vulnerable during the pandemic. The isolation that is needed to maintain social distancing creates a seclusive environment. For those with anxiety disorders and depression or other mental illnesses, this creates more anxiety, fear, possibly hopelessness and less social connection to other individuals.

Many individuals with substance use disorders are triggered by stress and are finding themselves particularly vulnerable during the COVID-19 crisis. A common theme throughout this time has been seeing many individuals relapse in March 2020, when this all began.

World Mental Health Day Recognizes Effects of COVID-19

This population is also at an increased risk for contracting the disease, due to the social disadvantage their illness may create. People living in environments such as hostels or homeless shelters makes social distancing impossible. The general population is at risk for anxiety and depression due to job loss, loss of income, social isolation and increased stress.

The COVID-19 crisis will most likely be with us for an indefinite period of time. It is my hope that individuals with mental health issues have access to the mental health services that they need, as access to care may be often limited or disrupted.

It is my hope that individuals have access to video and telephone contact with their care providers, and that any barriers to the care that they need can be reduced.  Widespread availability of emergency mental health services and or psychosocial support is now needed more than ever, and it is my hope that sufficient programming is in place to assist those that need it.

Please join together with us this month to bring mindfulness, compassion, and informed action to the critical issue of mental illness in our country.

Related Article:

Mental Illness Should Not be Treated Like the Flu