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CAMH offers mental health support for front-line retail staff

Online resource hub helps c-store employees cope with stress and anxiety during the pandemic

Screen Shot 2020-05-05 at 1.32.20 PMAs grocery and c-store workers take on the role of essential service providers during the COVID-19 crisis, the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) wants them to know they’re not alone.

CAMH, which is Canada’s largest mental health teaching hospital, has created an online resource hub for front-line workers, including retail employees and healthcare workers, to help them manage and cope with stress and anxiety arising from the pandemic.

The online tools and resources include a self-assessment survey to gauge stress levels, strategies for coping with stress and anxiety, suggestions for challenging worries and anxious thoughts, and advice on addressing worried family members.

“Specific to the grocer trade, we wanted to recognize that those keeping Canadians fed and stocked with all the things they need—food and medications—have unique needs and are under incredible stress,” says Sarah Chamberlin, vice-president of marketing and donor experience at CAMH Foundation, the charitable fundraising arm of the CAMH hospital. “This is our way of supporting them by speaking directly to them and saying ‘we see you, we thank you, and here is some support.’”

The resources are part of a larger digital and social media campaign, titled “Apart. Not alone,” designed to help all Canadians experiencing mental health challenges during the pandemic.

“There is a great amount of mental health advice out there… but very little of it has been developed by actual mental health experts,” says Chamberlin. “We really felt an obligation to get our resources—which are evidence-based and draw upon experienced clinicians—out there far and wide as we can so people have those world-leading tools.”

Originally published at Canadian Grocer