In an abundance of caution amid public concern related to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Ottawa branch of the Canadian Mental Health Association is closing its office effective immediately.
The health and safety of our clients and staff remains our priority as we continue to monitor the COVID-19 situation and find the best and safest way to provide services and programs.
Like all Ontarians, we are following advice from local, provincial and national health authorities to help stop the spread of this disease. CMHA Ottawa is making the following service changes, effective immediately until further notice, to protect our clients and staff:
- All groups and on-site visits to 311 McArthur Avenue are cancelled
- We are replacing all in-person group/individual support and counselling – both on- and off-site – with phone calls and/or online communications
- All training is cancelled
- We have also implemented a work-from-home policy for all employees who can perform their functions remotely and suspended all work-related travel deemed non-essential
- Our central reception will continue to answer calls remotely 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.
- CMHA Ottawa workers will continue to support their clients as best they can and will be reaching out to clients over the next several days
- CMHA Ottawa workers will not be transporting clients in their cars
We are doing everything possible at this time to keep safe options available to support individuals in need of care. We will continue to monitor all the developments of COVID-19 and will continue to inform our clients and the community of further changes to our programs and services. If you have any questions or concerns, please call 613-737-7791.
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.