Staying healthy during the COVID-19 pandemic – both body and mind
This page is intended for all RCMP employees.
You should contact your manager if you have any questions specific to your situation.
Mental Health Champion Broadcast sent April 6, 2020
As we enter into another week of the COVID-19 pandemic, I wanted to reach out to you to say how humbled I am by the stories I'm hearing about how employees across the country are finding ways to support and stay connected to each other. From social media discussion groups to phone chats and emails, it's clear we are looking out for each other, listening to each other, and keeping spirits up.
We are working in a completely different environment than we were a few short weeks ago – one that has changed some of our priorities, but hasn't changed our mission as the RCMP. I want to thank you for persevering every day and taking this on, no matter your current situation: whether you're working on the frontlines, working from home, or taking care of yourself or loved ones.
If you are a manager or a supervisor, you have an important leadership role in this. Keep in touch with your team and ensure that they're up to date on information and supports they may need, and keep them connected to the organization.
In addition to work demands, we are all dealing with personal challenges beyond our every day. It may be coping with financial pressures. Some of us may be caring for sick family or friends. Some may be feeling restless because we don't have our usual physical outlets; others may be feeling lonely due to social isolation. Some of us may not be dealing with any of these issues but may have a family member or friend who is, and this may be weighing on you.
The Commissioner has also reminded us that these times are challenging for our families – our most vital support system: "We can't do our work without the support of our families, and ultimately we all want what they want – for you to be safe and healthy at the end of your work day."
They worry about us too, and understanding all the steps we're taking to protect your health and safety could help them worry a little less. Make sure they know about the resources we are posting on RCMP.ca and the excellent public health information available on Canada.ca.
In order to continue our extraordinary efforts of keeping our loved ones and Canadians safe for the duration of this outbreak, we must look after our own well-being. These are exceptional circumstances and, like we always do, we will all work together to get through them. Please be sure to take time for yourself every day, and to protect your mental health as you strive to safeguard your physical health. As always, support is just a phone call or click away, if needed – do not hesitate to reach out to your manager or the following resources:
- Employee Assistance Services (24/7) at 1-800-268-7708
- Peer to Peer Program
- Support for Operational Stress Injury (SOSI) Program
Thank you for supporting and taking care of one another.
Stephen White, Deputy Commissioner
National Mental Health Champion
Managing your financial well-being: The Financial Consumer Agency of Canada (FCAC) provides valuable information on what to do if you're facing financial hardship.
Choosing sources of information carefully: The Mental Health Commission of Canada has a list of tips on how to choose sources of information to minimize their impact.
For Government of Canada employees: The Centre of Expertise on Mental Health in the Workplace offers fact sheets on COVID-19 and mental health, which provide an overview of available services and supports.
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