Published in the August Canstar Metro and Headliner
By Myrna Driedger
We have been living with a once in a lifetime pandemic for a long time now. At the beginning of this pandemic, few people could have guessed just how long and challenging the COVID-19 pandemic would be. It’s caused us to all make changes in our everyday lives. These changes and the uncertainty of this time has created an increase in mental health challenges. Understandably, anxiety and depression have affected more of us than before and for those of us already dealing with these challenges, the pandemic has exacerbated them.
It’s important during these difficult times to remember that it’s okay to not be okay. Throughout the pandemic, there have been resources made available through the Province of Manitoba. These include two virtual counselling sessions, AbilitiCBT- an online mental health virtual therapy, and a web link listing of existing mental health resources in our province. Please have a look at this webpage at gov.mb.ca/covid19/bewell/index.html if you or anyone you know is feeling overwhelmed.
Recently, public health officials have begun to talk about a post-pandemic Manitoba. This is a wonderful milestone and one that was only made possible by the creation and roll-out of vaccines. It really is a testament to the power of science that a vaccine was made available in a relatively quick timeline. I know that many of you have already received your vaccine- thank you. If anyone you know is hesitant to get the vaccine, encourage them to speak with their health care provider. Doctors, nurses, and other professionals within our healthcare system have dedicated many years to achieving the education that qualifies them to provide accurate and knowledgeable healthcare advice. It’s important that we encourage any vaccine hesitant friends to only look for healthcare advice from the educated professionals within our system.
While many of us have received our vaccines, we still need more Manitobans to trust in the science and book their doses today.
As we start to look forward to a post-pandemic Manitoba, let’s take the time to acknowledge the metal health challenges this can bring on for many of our friends and neighbours. Although many of us are vaccinated, we must continue to be vigilant. Continue to follow all public health orders and recommendations, wash your hand frequently, and book your vaccine today if you haven’t already received yours.