The importance of staying connected during the lockdownMay 06, 2020
Mental Health Week - May 4 –10
We are all likely to feel stressed out or anxious at some point in time. Life is full challenges that will test our nerves or bring us down. The current crisis is one of those challenges. The forced and extended isolation has caused a level of tension that is new to process, and that is putting many Canadians, including federal public services employees, at risk of experiencing mental distress.
During this year’s Mental Health Week, the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) promotes social connections, because having a social network is also having a support network. What is hard now is nurturing and maintaining those connections.
Canadians are encouraged to stay connected using virtual means to break the gloom of isolation. Meanwhile, many federal public service employees are now conducting business online entirely. This too, can cause enormous stress. Yet, we can still benefit from engaging with our colleagues differently during these difficult times. Bringing some humanity into our virtual workplace is within our reach. The comfort that a colleague or employee can get from a simple call can go a long way and can be a lifeline for those most at risk.
Human contact is important in everyday life and we may often take it for granted. But now more than ever it is important to keep in touch. Even if it’s just to talk about the weather.
Check on your colleagues. Stage online social events with your team. Take virtual coffee breaks. Keep it light. Be playful. Bring some humour. Be open.
At CAPE we support every effort to overcome the stigma of mental health, and in these exceptional times, we encourage everyone to reach out to one another and make sure everything is okay. Remember, no gesture is too small.
Reach out. Stay in touch. Share a smile.
If you feel like you need help and need to talk to a professional or get guidance, please visit our Mental Wellness and Personal Safety resource page or the Government of Canada’s new online portal Wellness Together Canada.