It has been over one year since the pandemic began and many of our lives have been turned upside down.
With World Health Day being celebrated on April 7, 2021, one expert says we need to raise more awareness surrounding mental health and addiction.
Helen Fishburn, CEO at Canadian Mental Health Association for Waterloo Region and Wellington County said there is a new level of need for mental health and addiction services
“There is a whole new group of people who have never struggled with anxiety and depression or stress or worry to the extent that they have this year and I have seen those people struggle so much more with coping with the realities of a pandemic.”
“Some people have coped well. They have been resilient and have used networks and support systems and gone for some mental help and other people have struggled in their coping and have used substances and potentially have had some self-harm.”
“We are seeing a 30 to 35 per cent increase in Here 24/7 volumes. So, Here 24/7 is our coordinated access, it’s out the front door for all mental health and addiction services across Waterloo Region, Guelph, and Wellington County,” said Fishburn.
However, she mentioned things are better now than they have been before surrounding mental health but said more can be done as thousands are still on waiting lists to access services.
She is hoping a new advocacy campaign called “Everything Is Not Ok” will push the provincial government into action to support mental health and addiction services.