- Posted by Karen Adams
- On April 2, 2020
It has been suggested that we are In the wake of the largest crisis since World War II. These unprecedented times are creating feelings of uncertainty and anxiety about medical, financial and social issues across the entire population.
Twenty years ago I embarked on a mission to help Canadians understand that mental health was an issue. I was in boardrooms and with executives educating on the importance of the impact of mental health on productivity, disability and drug costs. I was an advocate for CAMH during its early fundraising years to encourage treatment and care for those with serious mental health issues.
In today’s era, mental health benefits are seen as being important to the wellbeing of employees. We are seeing an evolution of modalities being made available to people in the effort to provide access to treatment. Modalities are being mistaken as solutions. However, we are limited in our ability to screen for risk factors using traditional evidenced-based tools that then navigate to appropriate treatment and resources. In 2012, I joined conversations with the Conference Board of Canada on the importance of building resiliency in our workplaces and putting the focus on prevention. We agreed that most of the programs in the workplace were intervention oriented.
That is why I joined Snapclarity in 2019, where the focus is on screening and enabling coping tools for the prevention of mental health issues while ensuring appropriate treatment. My new education is on the importance of ensuring you have access to a clinically valid assessment tool and resources to enable prevention. It is important to ensure your mental health offering is holistic and offers assessments and modalities of care.
We are now seeing references to what is being termed Echo Pandemic – the after-effects of isolation, anxiety, and fear of COVID 19. The long term impacts are expected to include a rising incidence rate of mental health issues around the world. We are going into a time where we have gone from weeks in isolation to months in isolation. The question is: what is the new norm going to look like? My call to action is for employers and individuals to access tools that can assess for risk and provide coping tools – tools that build resiliency and wellbeing.
We need to listen when people are calling for support in areas that will accelerate or impact our wellbeing. The COVID 19 pandemic has taught us that preparedness and prevention will help stop the spread. We have a chance in mental health to do the same thing. Focus on prevention, support, and wellbeing. We have a chance to avoid what is being referred to as “echo pandemic”.