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Train for mentally healthy work throughout the pandemic and beyond

Visible minority healthcare worker
Vaccines spark hope for an end to the pandemic, but ongoing public health measures AND programs to tackle the mental health impacts of COVID-19 will be needed for some time.

Statistics Canada has been tracking the social and economic impacts of COVID-19 upon Canadians. They tell us the most vulnerable also experience the greatest threat to their mental health. Not only do immigrants and visible minorities face a higher risk of COVID-19-related job loss, but they are more likely to perform the essential frontline work which increases their risk of exposure to the virus on the job.

And there’s more. Visible minorities were three times more likely to report a perceived increase in the frequency of harassment or attacks since the pandemic began.

Mental health interventions needed

Mental health service providers were struggling to meet needs before COVID-19 hit. A report by the Mental Health Commission of Canada, conducted amid the first wave of infection last spring, documents the impacts on the population, especially among essential frontline workers, and portrays a mental health system struggling to support Canadians.

They also warn that vulnerable populations are at risk of being left behind and suggest the greatest mental health impacts may only emerge after the pandemic is over. Now is the time they say to assess and build system supports to meet the needs of Canadians during and after the pandemic: “The lessons learned to date from COVID-19, and from earlier disasters and epidemics, suggest that planning and reforms are needed to stay ahead of mental health impacts that will be long term, complex, and may take time to fully emerge.”

WHSC training supports mental and physical health now

Workplaces have a key role to play in enhancing worker mental health by creating physically and psychologically safe and healthy environments. WHSC plays a role in this too by offering a variety of training programs aimed at supporting worker mental health.  Several of these programs are currently available in our virtual classrooms.

To further assist joint health and safety committees, worker health and safety reps, workers, supervisors and employers during the pandemic, the WHSC has also created a series of comprehensive fact sheets detailing insights into proper COVID control measures and procedures. While trusted information is critical, formal training is a key way employers meet their significant legal duties to provide information and instruction and prepare workplace parties for their roles in pursuit of safer, healthier work.

Register for any, or all, of our scheduled courses in virtual classrooms. They include:
For WHSC virtual classroom training, all that is required is a high-speed internet connection and a computer with a functioning camera and audio. Please note, to help ensure the integrity of the learning experience mobile devices like cell phones and tablets are not permitted. When registering be sure to supply the participant’s home address, as resource materials critical to successful participation will be shipped to this address.

Don’t see what you need?
Beyond scheduled classes, and where participant numbers warrant, we can work with you to coordinate almost any of our training courses in a virtual classroom for all workers, workplace representatives and supervisors.
To learn more:
Contact a WHSC training services representative near you.
Call: 1-888-869-7950
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Related WHSC resources:
The stress of COVID, more research and WHSC training to help
Study links workers’ mental health with COVID protection
COVID-19 rates higher among racialized and low wage workers
All WHSC COVID resources
Other WHSC hazard resource lines