The government of Ontario announced a province-wide lockdown on December 21 that will go into effect on at midnight on Boxing Day (Saturday, Dec. 26). These lockdown measures will be in effect for 14 days in northern Ontario and 28 days in southern Ontario and will be subject to evaluation to determine if measures need to be extended.
As an essential service, we at CMHA Ottawa will continue to safely offer community mental health and addictions supports to our clients.
While today’s news that our community is heading into a lockdown is difficult to hear, we believe the province has made the right decision to protect the health of Ontarians and ensure our hospitals are not crippled by this pandemic.
- While tightening public health restrictions is necessary, we know that in doing so the mental health of people in our community will be impacted, particularly at this time of year.
- Further measures to slow the spread of COVID-19 may increase isolation and loneliness for many, which could worsen stress, worry, or symptoms of depression and anxiety.
- We also know that substance use has increased during the pandemic and could continue to increase during this latest lockdown.
- If you or someone you know in Ottawa is struggling with their mental health at this time, we encourage you to visit our crisis lines and resources listings.
- At CMHA Ottawa, we’ve been innovative from the very beginning of this pandemic and have shifted many programs to virtual where possible. Where in-person service is necessary, we’ve implemented the proper safety protocols.
Attention: Clients of CMHA Ottawa
Our agency is an essential service and we will continue to be there for you during the lockdown as you’ve come to expect since the pandemic began.
We will continue safe outreach, in-person contact, and virtual one-on-one services and group offerings. Please note, our offices at 311 McArthur Avenue will remain closed to unscheduled visitors. Our central reception will continue to answer calls from Monday to Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and we will continue to post updates on services to our website, if applicable.
Please note, CMHA Ottawa will be closed for the holidays on the following dates:
- Thursday, Dec. 24
- Friday, Dec. 25
- Monday, Dec. 28
- Thursday, Dec. 31, 2020
- Friday, Jan. 1, 2021
Stay safe, and visit Ottawa Public Health for the latest recommendations.
Happy holidays from CMHA Ottawa!
Reducing anxiety related to COVID-19
CMHA recognizes that at this time of uncertainty, symptoms of anxiety and depression may be exacerbated. These five basic tips may help individuals experiencing heightened mental health concerns to remain calm and balanced as this public health situation unfolds.
- Considering the level of attention and seriousness being paid to the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s normal to feel anxious. Try not to avoid, ignore or suppress anxious thoughts. Instead, be aware of your anxiety and accept that you’re feeling anxious in this situation. Try to keep things in perspective; notice and challenge your thoughts that may be extreme or unhelpful.
- Self-care is critically important at this time, as worries can be made worse if we aren’t taking care of ourselves. Lean on social supports, try to get enough sleep, eat healthy, exercise and engage in enjoyable activities. Do the things you would typically do to support your health, and be sure to use caution and follow health and safety guidelines while doing them.
- Seek information from reliable news sources only. Limit checking in on the latest news to short, defined periods, and refrain from setting related push notifications on your device. Appropriate information consumption may be calming and can lessen the sense of danger.
- Take the recommended precautions as outlined by Health Canada and other credible health agencies. Remain focused on the factors within your control, such as washing hands, covering your mouth during coughs and sneezes, avoiding non-essential travel, etc.
- If you’re noticing that your symptoms of anxiety (in association with COVID-19 or otherwise) are causing you significant distress or are interfering with your ability to function normally, reach out for formal mental health supports from a recognized agency, such as CMHA.