An effort to make it easier for those struggling with their mental well-being during the pandemic has led a group of local experts to develop a one-stop-shop for online resources.
Dr. Jennifer McIvor said Together White Rock/South Surrey (together-wr.com) is a website that was devised by a group of approximately eight private psychologists and a clinical cousellor who got together over the past few weeks – virtually and by phone – “to discuss what we could contribute to help support the community.”
“With Covid19, there is naturally a lot of current distress in the community. Research suggests that there will be an increase of mental health issues, perhaps for some time following the outbreak, and we feel this will be especially true because of the combined recession,” McIvor, a registered clinical psychologist, told Peace Arch News by email.
After consulting with Sources, the White Rock-South Surrey Division of Family Practice, private practice clinical counsellors and Alexandra Neighbourhood House as to what might be helpful, “we identified a need for 1 mental health website where the public could go, particularly vulnerable populations (essential services, seniors, youth) who may not normally access mental health or are too overwhelmed to ‘search about’ for what is happening.”
So far, the new website includes links to: services available for frontline workers and seniors, with additional pages for families, isolated individuals and youth underway; toll-free crisis and support phone lines; COVID-19-specific mental-health resources (with pages for anxiety, grief, substance use, trauma and seniors resources under construction); and volunteer opportunities for other professionals wanting to get involved (interested private registered therapists are asked to email firstname.lastname@example.org
McIvor said all sites and services are being verified prior to being added to the Together website, and it’s hoped it will remain a resource long after the pandemic is over. It’s also being adapted for mobile access.
White Rock/South Surrey organizations offering community mental-health therapy service updates are asked to email at email@example.com
• Another Surrey professional offering 30 minutes of free counselling to those impacted by the pandemic is holistic psychotherapist Chrisoula Liatiras. Liatiras told PAN she wants to share the supportive services in particular with small businesses, those who have been laid off, seniors and health-care workers. The support will be provided by Skype, FaceTime or phone. For more information or to schedule an appointment, call 604-561-0084 or visit www.lunatherapy.ca