Canadian Mental Health Association, BC Division, is expanding its Care to Speak program, which connects healthcare and social workers with a peer supporter. (Pixabay photo)

Canadian Mental Health Association, BC Division, is expanding its Care to Speak program, which connects healthcare and social workers with a peer supporter. (Pixabay photo)

CMHA Vernon expands peer support program for healthcare, social workers

Care to Speak program connects care workers with people who understand the rigors of their profession

When people who provide care for others need care themselves, the Vernon branch of the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) has a program that can help.

And now, CMHA Vernon’s Care to Speak program is expanding.

The Care to Speak program connects workers in the social services and healthcare sectors with trained peer supporters who have worked in those sectors and understand the rigors of their jobs, offering them a safe and confidential place to talk.

The program comes by way of a partnership between the CMHA B.C. Division and SafeCare B.C. So far the program has helped more than 300 British Columbians working in healthcare.

The social services sector continues to be leaned on heavily during the COVID-19 pandemic. Under normal circumstances, people in social services are already under pressures related to the profession. During the pandemic, CMHA says they’ve reported high levels of anxiety, exhaustion and stress.

“Often, individuals just need a conversation with someone so that they can talk about what has been going on in their day or what is on their mind. Whereas other individuals have some topics that have been bothering them for a while and can be related to workplace harassment or other events in the workplace that they cannot control or talk about to their colleagues,” said Care to Speak coordinator Harjinder Janda.

“Care to Speak offers individuals working in the healthcare and social services sectors a safe space to talk. You will be connected with a trained peer supporter who has worked in front-line healthcare or the social services sector – someone who understands your challenges and stresses,” Janda said.

For more information or to access support, visit careforcaregivers.ca/caretospeak.

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Brendan Shykora
Reporter, Vernon Morning Star
Email me at Brendan.Shykora@vernonmorningstar.com
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mental health