Surrey – SurreyCares Community Foundation has provided a $13,380 Emergency Community Support Fund grant to Semiahmoo House Society (SHS) to assist in providing immediate crisis response and coping strategies for people with disabilities, caregivers, and essential workers amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Our Mental Health and Wellness Services initiative aim to directly address the harmful mental health effects of the COVID-19 pandemic for people with disabilities, caregivers, and essential workers. This includes helping people cope with feelings of stress, inability to cope, fear, worry, and social isolation,” explained Elizabeth Deschenes of Director of Community Services, Semiahmoo House Society. “By providing crisis management and coping strategies for the mental health of PWD, their caregivers, and essential workers, we are also supporting our community.”
Semiahmoo House Society Mental Health & Wellness Services are not government funded and there is a waitlist for both counselling and life coach services. With the aid of the Emergency Community Support Fund grant, Semiahmoo House Society can provide more access to these services. Along with free counselling sessions, the project will provide free coping strategies workshops.
The Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) conducted a national survey where 3,000 people responded from May 14 – 29th, 2020 on how they are feeling the effects of Covid-19. The report for this survey stated people with disabilities are more likely to report: worse mental health [over the general population] (47% vs 37%); experience stress (47% vs 36%); feel depressed (36% vs 22%); and are 2x more likely to be having trouble coping (24% vs 13%).
This grant is made possible through the Government of Canada’s $350 million Emergency Community Support Fund, which saw over $900,000 allocated to SurreyCares in its first round and now, over $575,000 in the second round.