Even Hamilton’s Healthcare Heroes Need Help Sometimes

New $50,000 Grant from the Government of Canada’s Emergency Community Support Fund and Hamilton Community Foundation Helps St. Joe’s to Provide Mental Health Care to Frontline Workers

The increase in people suffering from mental illness resulting from COVID-19 is now being viewed as a secondary pandemic facing the healthcare system. For essential healthcare and community care workers, feelings of anxiety, exhaustion, compassion fatigue and post-traumatic stress disorder are all normal responses to the unrelenting need for these heroic workers to come to work to combat COVID-19 every day for nearly four straight months.

They’ve endangered themselves and those they love to care for our community. Now it is our turn, indeed our duty, to care for those who have so bravely cared for us.

St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton is one of only five Hospitals in the province chosen to partner with Ontario Health’s Mental Health and Addictions Centre of Excellence to provide mental health assessments and referrals for healthcare or community care workers whose wellbeing has been impacted by their role on the frontlines of the pandemic.

But healthcare workers often work long and irregular hours, so they may not be able to seek support during traditional office hours. So, with the help of $50,000 in funding from the Government of Canada’s Emergency Community Support Fund facilitated by the granting teams at Hamilton Community Foundation, we’re making sure that help is there, whenever they need it.

The new grant will be used to recruit a dedicated intake worker who will work evenings and weekends and respond promptly to requests for support from essential and frontline workers and care-providers. The team at St. Joe’s is working around the clock to provide a wide array of care options from virtual consultations, to regular individual sessions or peer support groups with other healthcare workers who may be feeling the same way.

“It’s an honour for us at St. Joe’s to have been selected as one of the Hospitals to provide this essential care to the frontline workers who have been risking their own physical and mental health for months to care for others,” says Dr. Randi McCabe, Director of the Anxiety Treatment and Research Clinic at St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton and project lead for the Virtual Mental Health Support for Frontline Workers initiative. “We’re immensely grateful for this grant that will allow us to respond quickly and be there whenever our frontline workers need us for virtual consultations, care and referrals.”

Learn more about how St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton is providing mental health support for frontline workers by clicking here.