Government of Canada invests $798,500 to support the mental health of educators
Funding commitment will address posttraumatic stress disorder and trauma in those most affected by COVID-19
March 2, 2023 | Ottawa, ON | Public Health Agency of Canada
The COVID-19 pandemic has created significant challenges for educators, who have faced school closures, isolation, and a constantly changing work environment while rising to the challenge of teaching our children and youth. This has had a profound impact on their mental health and well-being, which is why the Government of Canada is committed to investing in educators' mental health throughout our recovery and beyond.
Today, the Honourable David McGuinty, Member of Parliament for Ottawa South, on behalf of the Honourable Carolyn Bennett, Minister of Mental Health and Addictions and Associate Minister of Health, announced $798,500 in funding for the Canadian Teachers' Federation (CTF) to promote mental health and prevent mental illness for essential workers in K-12 schools, including educators and administrators, most affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
This project will help to enhance the capacity of individuals, staff networks, and school leaders to address mental illness and trauma. The CTF will deliver and assess the project at three pilot sites across Canada, and deliver a virtual group intervention through webinars and community discussion boards. Wellbeing will be assessed through a survey with all education workers and teachers, which will integrate standardized mental health assessment tools.
Today's investment builds on the important announcement the Government of Canada made in February of $198.6 billion over 10 years to improve health care services for Canadians, reduce surgical backlogs, support health workers, and improve integrated mental health and substance use services. We will continue to do whatever it takes to ensure that all Canadians have the mental health and substance use supports they need – wherever they live and wherever they need them.
"Educators play a crucial role in communities here in Ottawa and across Canada. We are committed to supporting their mental heath during the pandemic recovery and beyond. Thank you to all educators for their courageous work."
The Honourable David McGuinty
Member of Parliament, Ottawa South
"Teachers have sacrificed so much during the pandemic to help our children and youth learn while facing truly unique circumstances. As we work with provinces and territories to enhance our universal health care system and improve access to mental health and substance use supports, today's funding will ensure that educators and administrators across Canada have the tools they need to improve their mental health and address PTSD and trauma throughout our pandemic recovery. To all educators – thank you."
The Honourable Carolyn Bennett
Minister of Mental Health and Addictions and Associate Minister of Health
"This funding will enable the Canadian Teachers' Federation, in collaboration with our provincial member organizations, to provide educators with the necessary tools to promote mental health and prevent mental illness for K-12 public education workers. This support from the federal government is an essential next step in the pandemic recovery."
President, Canadian Teachers' Federation
- This funding is part of a larger investment in Budget 2021 of $50 million over two years to help those experiencing, or at risk for, posttraumatic stress disorder and trauma due to the pandemic, including frontline and essential service providers.
- The Government of Canada is committed to supporting the mental health of people in Canada through the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond.
- On February 7, 2023, we announced that we will work collaboratively with provinces and territories on shared health priorities to improve integrated health care for people in Canada, including improved access to quality mental health and substance use services.
- Stressors from the pandemic may increase the number of people in Canada experiencing symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Those who already have PTSD may experience more severe symptoms.
- PTSD symptoms may affect various aspects of daily life, making it hard for people to function in their day-to-day activities. This funding opportunity aims to promote mental health, wellness and resilience, as well as provide support following exposure to trauma to mitigate mental health impacts.
- The Government of Canada is committed to supporting the mental health of people in Canada through the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond. If you or a loved one is struggling, you can access the Wellness Together Canada portal, or call 1-866-585-0445 or text WELLNESS to 741741 (adults) or 686868 (youth). The Wellness Together Canada portal provides free access to educational content, self-guided therapy, moderated peer-to-peer support, and one-to-one counselling with qualified health professionals.
Office of the Minister of Mental Health and Addictions and Associate Minister of Health, Carolyn Bennett
Public Health Agency of Canada
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