Mental Health and Well-Being During COVID-19
May 4 – 10 is Mental Health Week!
As the province continues to react and respond to these uncertain times, we recognize that many of us may feel stressed and overwhelmed. With so much going on, it’s important to pay attention to your mental health and take the necessary steps to ensure your well-being.
Patients across BC have had to face a challenges such as health and economic uncertainty, while they continue to adjust to a number of public health guidelines including physical distancing, working from home and restricting the size of gatherings. And while these guidelines, along with the efforts made by our provincial government have had a positive effect on reducing the spread of COVID-19, they have likely still had an impact on our mental health and well-being.
Health professionals across BC have also had to deal with an increased demand for their services; staffing shortages; and other strains on their practices.
BC’s pharmacy professionals have had to manage a number of challenges during this time including addressing potential exposures within their pharmacies; providing emergency medication supplies; dealing with staff shortages; and incorporating a number of temporary changes into their daily practices.
Managing Stress and Anxiety During COVID-19
We recognize that for patients, dealing with the restrictions, limitations and non-stop changes to our health care system can be frustrating and contribute to feelings of uncertainty, stress, and anxiety.
We also recognize that for healthcare professionals working on the frontlines of a global pandemic, trying to balance the challenges you are facing at work with the those you are facing at home and in your personal life, can cause a strain on your mental health that you’ve never experienced before.
The Mental Health Commission of Canada and the Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction have developed the following list of strategies to help patients and health-care providers manage stress, anxiety and substance use during COVID-19:
- Accept and validate your feelings - Understand that stress and anxiety are normal during challenging times
- Recognize what’s within your control - Focus on those factors to try to mitigate stress
- Remember that this is temporary
- Take care of your health - Eat and sleep well, exercise and meditate
- Make time for yourself - Engage in activities that you enjoy and that are free from COVID-19 related topics
- Stay connected - Reach out to family, friends and colleagues while still practising social distancing
- Reach out for help - Talk to your supervisor or seek professional support
Handout – Managing Stress, Anxiety and Substance Use during COVID-19
Mental Health Resources and Support
The College would like to remind patients and pharmacy professionals in BC of the importance of being aware of the various resources and supports available to help you take care of your mental health, as well as that of your family and colleagues.
BC Centre for Disease Control
Canadian Mental Health Association
Health Link BC
Mental Health Commission of Canada
The College would also like to remind patients and pharmacy professionals, that while it is vital to stay informed and up-to-date with our province’s response to COVID-19, it is equally important that you monitor the information you are reading and ensure that you are getting it from credible, reliable sources. False, misleading information can put a strain on your mental health and has the potential to put you and those around you at risk.
Reliable sources of information include:
- BC Centre for Disease Control
- The World Health Organization
- Health Canada
- Government of British Columbia
- British Columbia Ministry of Health
- Your Local Health Authority
- College of Pharmacists of British Columbia
BC's COVID-19 Response
The situation regarding COVID-19 continues to evolve here in BC, Canada and other jurisdictions in the world. The College of Pharmacists of BC is working closely with the Ministry of Health and other partners to support the response to this new illness as part of BC’s health system.
The College will provide any updated information or guidance for pharmacy professionals as it becomes available.
Please follow updates provided on bcpharmacists.org/COVID19
Pharmacy professionals exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms should follow the COVID-19 testing process developed for all British Columbia health care workers.