We are all aware of how the coronavirus affects our physical health. An infected person might experience a dry cough, difficulty breathing, or a temperature. But what about the less visible effects on our mental health?
Community support workers (CSWs) help some of the most vulnerable members of society with their emotional, social, or health needs. Their clients could be the elderly, those affected by mental or physical health problems, or young families under financial pressure.
These people are likely to be among the most impacted by COVID-19, and the uncertainty of the situation could take its toll – even if they are not physically affected by the virus. Read on to find out some of the ways that COVID-19 is affecting people’s mental health, and how CSWs can help.
COVID-19 Could Create Financial Stress
COVID-19 has had a huge impact on the Canadian economy. Statistics show that more than one million people lost their jobs in March alone. Retailers and service businesses all closed their doors to avoid spreading the virus.
Losing your job and income can create strong feelings of stress and anxiety, as people may not know how to pay rent or bills or provide for themselves and their families.
One way that you could help when you become a community support worker is assisting people in accessing the funds that are available to them. The Canadian government set up an emergency benefit for people that have lost their income through COVID-19. You could help clients to access and complete the relevant forms so that they have a sense of security at a very uncertain time. As well as this, there are a number of donation schemes and food banks to help people affected.
Help People to Manage Feelings of Loneliness or Isolation in CSW Careers
In order to stop the spread of the coronavirus, people have been advised to stay at home and not visit friends or family members. This may create feelings of loneliness and isolation which can be difficult to manage, especially for elderly people who are more likely to live alone.
Over time, loneliness can have a negative effect on mental and physical health. Studies have shown that seniors are more likely to suffer from dementia and heart disease if they regularly experience feelings of loneliness.
In CSW careers, you could provide meaningful emotional support to people affected by loneliness during the global pandemic. Even if you are not able to visit clients in person, you could provide valuable virtual care over the phone or through video calls.
Ensure Clients Are Aware of Mental Health Resources
There are a number of resources to help people struggling with mental health, both during the pandemic and generally. As a community support worker, you could give back to your community by connecting people in need to these services so that they always have a support network. Some of the services include:
- Kid’s Help Phone
- Bell Let’s Talk
- The Canadian Psychological Association
- Canada Health Infoway
- Mental Health Commission of Canada
- Stepped Care 2.0
- And more
Are you interested in community support worker training?
Contact Canadian Business College today!