We here at the Mood Disorders Society of Canada (MDSC) like you, have been saddened to see the worldwide devastating impact that the Coronavirus (COVID-19) is having.
We are in the beginnings of a health epidemic, which is touching each of us in many ways. It is forcing all of us to view many of our every day activities differently and making us change the way we live.
As a national mental health organization, we understand this is a challenging time for many of us. We fully understand that along with COVID-19 physical symptoms, there is a significant mental health component that is affecting the majority of us. We want you to know that we are with you through this time and our thoughts and focus goes out to all Canadians, and indeed everyone throughout the world as we are all in this together.
Our top priority is ensuring the health and safety of all Canadians, staff, volunteers, and community partners. We would like to share our commitment to continuing to serve Canadians and the steps we are taking to support you during this changing and difficult time.
Firstly, we are stepping up our activities to help support you through these times. While our team is working remotely, you will continue to have full access to all of our resources, tools and supports through our websites and social media streams. You will find a full program listing in our profile book here. There are also links to these programs and resources at the bottom of this release.
We have made the decisive decision to postpone our national Canadian Educators Conference on Mental Health (CECMH) conference until next year. We are placing Canadians health at the forefront and bringing people together in large groups in the coming months is not conducive to fighting this virus. We will not place anyone at risk. These precautionary measures have been taken to limit the potential spread of the virus, to protect Canadians and our employees in this period. We have made the commitment to not have our staff attend large meetings or conferences for the foreseeable future.
We are increasing the COVID-19 and mental health knowledge we will provide Canadians through our social media streams. You will see a distinct increase in the provision of this information from MDSC and the sharing of health care professionals and stakeholder mental health organizations. We have and will continue to provide coping strategies and resources through our online resources to assist you during these challenging times. Please avail yourself of these resources and share them with your family and friends.
Due to the COVID-19, we must change how this year’s national Defeat Depression mental health campaign events are held in May. We will be working closely with local communities to continue delivering the campaign while following international requirements to combat this virus by practicing social distance. This includes ensuring residents continue to be able to take part in the campaign to support their local mental health resources in a manner that is safe, fun and provides the opportunity to help everyone’s mental wellness.
Participants in the Defeat Depression campaign will continue to register online and will be able to walk, run or ride at their own schedule, in their own way. Whether it is taking a walk, running on their treadmill, riding a bike path, or taking a stroll on a trail, Canadians will be able to take part in the campaign and support their local mental health services that are so desperately needed, while this year, maintaining social distance physically. Updates will be posted on social media and the campaign website; we will have a national online event with guest speakers, testimonials and music on May 30th, Defeat Depression Day. If you would like to participate in the campaign, you can register here, you can also take part in the #defeatdepressionchallenge for all Canadians.
Due to COVID-19, this year more than ever we need your help. Please take care of yourself and your family’s mental wellness while supporting mental health services and resources for Canadians.
We know that we will be going through a challenging number of months. We need to stand together and look after each other. Please take the time that you and your family needs. Prioritize what is important in your lives. We all need to have patience, practise good self-care, and have empathy for each other.
About the Mood Disorders Society of Canada:
The Mood Disorders Society of Canada was launched in 2001 to provide people with mood disorders, their families and caregivers a strong, cohesive voice at the national level on issues relating to mental health and mental illness. With particular regard to depression, bipolar disorder and other associated mood disorders, the MDSC aims to improve access to treatment, inform research, shape program development and government policy to improve the quality of life for people affected by mood disorders.
The Mood Disorders Society of Canada (MDSC) has evolved to become one of Canada’s best-connected mental health NGOs with a demonstrated track record for forging and maintaining meaningful and sustained partnerships with the public, private and non-profit sectors throughout Canada.
Mental Health Resources:
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