On October 10th, HealthCareCAN and its members will join millions of people in marking World Mental Health Day, for which this year’s theme is Mental Health in an Unequal world.
COVID-19 has taken a devastating toll on the mental health of Canadians, and in particular on our healthcare workers. The rise in attacks, bullying and harassment, paired with increased risk, stressful working conditions, and staff shortages are fueling a burnout crisis among this dedicated workforce.
After nearly two years on the frontlines of this pandemic, the people caring for us are exhausted and demoralized. With thousands of healthcare positions vacant across the country, brought about by a surge in leave requests, early retirements and people leaving the system, the impacts of these shortages are being felt nationwide. Access, quality, and efficiency of patient care have already suffered with the delays of treatments and surgeries, which is no doubt having an impact on health outcomes.
But healthcare workers are not the only ones dealing with increased mental health concerns. Canadians, including children and youth, have been living with the upheaval and uncertainty brought about by the pandemic for 19 months. Many people are experiencing impacts to their mental health which is increasing demand for mental health services. Accessing these services was difficult pre-pandemic and is even more so now, a major reason being Canada does not have enough mental health providers.
While longer term solutions are needed to ensure that Canada has the health workforce it needs to meet the needs of everyone in Canada, there are actions the federal government can take now to bolster our health workforce and tackle the challenges they are facing today. This includes working with provincial and territorial governments and regulators to remove international recruitment, immigration, credentialing and licensing barriers, and continuing to develop mental health supports specific to healthcare workers.
Our dedicated and skilled health workforce has proven they can respond in the face of relentless adversity. Now it’s time for government to do their part by urgently implementing solutions to address health workforce shortages and better support our healthcare workers. We need more than words, we need action to help those wo are providing care for others and ensure the care continues!
President & CEO
HealthCareCAN is issuing a call to action to address the rising stress and burnout rates among healthcare workers battling the COVID-19 pandemic. To facilitate the growing need for resources for health care providers, HealthCareCAN is asking the government to: Ensure proper mental health supports and programs are in place to assist healthcare workers now and
HealthCareCAN and the Mental Health Commission of Canada (MHCC) have been working together for over three years to advance mental health in the workplace for the healthcare sector. Together, they led the By Health, For Health Collaborative (the Collaborative), a group of leaders representing over 20 healthcare organizations across Canada who are committed to advancing