OTTAWA – In lieu of an in-person update to the media, Dr. Theresa Tam, Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer, issued the following statement today:
“There have been 102,794 cases, including 8,508 deaths. 64% of people have now recovered. Labs across Canada have tested over 2,598,243 people for COVID-19 to date. Over the past week, an average of 38,000 people were tested daily, with 1% testing positive. These numbers change quickly and are updated daily in the evenings on Canada.ca/coronavirus.
There is no doubt that the COVID-19 pandemic has had physical, mental, and emotional effects on Canadians. During this time, we are all undoubtedly feeling a range of emotions as we adjust to living with COVID-19. In the same way the pandemic has had a greater impact on the physical health of some Canadians, such as seniors, certain populations may be experiencing disproportionate mental health impacts. For some, the crisis and its impacts on our everyday lives may have heightened feelings of loneliness, sadness, distress or hopelessness.
As we observe Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) Day in Ontario today, I would like to bring awareness to traumatic stress and PTSD, and remind all Canadians to do well-being checks with those around you. If you need help, you are not alone– please seek out mental health supports as early as you can.
PTSD is a mental disorder that may occur after a person experiences or witnesses a traumatic event, which can include interpersonal violence, major accidents, war and a global crisis, such as COVID-19. Not every person who experiences trauma will develop PTSD, and most people will recover in a relatively short period following a traumatic event. However, some will experience symptoms that worsen or persist over months or years. This can leave them feeling significantly distressed or impaired from recurring or intrusive thoughts, feelings and memories.
While PTSD can affect anyone, regardless of background, we recognize that some may be at greater risk because of the type of job they do. This includes first responders, healthcare providers, personal support workers and members of the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) providing care to seniors in long-term care homes.
I would personally like to thank all front line and essential workers who have been taking care of Canadians throughout this crisis. We appreciate your sacrifices.
This is also a gentle nudge to remind you to take care of yourself, too. There are many resources available if you need support. Wellness Together Canada is a free online portal that will connect you with mental health and substance use resources, as well as counselling with mental health professionals. Public Safety Canada has also teamed up with the Canadian Institute for Public Safety Research and Treatment (CIPRST) to provide information and resources for public safety personnel through the CIPSRT COVID-19 Readiness Resource Project. If you need to talk, do not be afraid to open up and connect.”