Canada needs a free support program to fight COVID-19 mental health crisis, doctors say

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As pandemic-related stress and anxiety continues to take its toll, some doctors say what’s needed is a system that will address the long-term psychological impact on Canadians.

Mental health organizations across the country are launching online self-assessment tools, developing virtual consults and increasing the capabilities of crisis lines to address the increased demand for psychological support.

While she applauds those initiatives, Margaret Eaton, the head of the Canadian Mental Health Association, said a long-term plan for providing continuing support is necessary.

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In an online address earlier this month to the parliamentary committee on health, Eaton raised concerns about an “echo pandemic” of mental health woes.

“Across the country, the phone lines have just been ringing off the hook,” she said of the association that provides services in all provinces and Yukon, currently online and by phone.

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An Angus Reid report published this week found half of all people surveyed said their mental health has worsened over the past month a half.

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