The Working Mind Program for Long Term Care

The Government of Canada is focusing in on addressing post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and trauma by those most affected by COVID-19. The Canadian Association for Long Term Care has successfully been granted a portion of funds to support the mental health of staff via an educational program that builds mental health resiliency through knowledge and empowerment.

Our Why

The long-term care workforce has been subjected to intense stress, fear, uncertainty, public outcry, government debate, and most significantly the death of many residents in long-term care homes from uncontrolled COVID outbreaks.

Many long-term care employers are doing their best to provide a range of mental health supports, but capacity and resources are a key concern for LTC employers as there is little to no budget provided for mental health resources.

Staffing shortages raise questions on the long-term sustainability of the long-term care sector in Canada, despite intense need for more long-term care beds across the country. It is essential that current employees are supported and given the correct tools to build mental health resiliency and have the best tools to manage stress and be mentally well. Many long-term care employers have offered mental health support within their resources, but there is a significant range in what can be made available and is impacted by very limited budgets and overall limited resources.

Our What

To ensure there is a shared level of knowledge on mental health among the long-term care workforce, this initiative equips long-term care homes with the capacity to deliver training that builds a common baseline of knowledge on what is mental health, why it matters, and what to do when mental health needs are identified in yourself or a how to support a peer in need.

CALTC has partnered with the Mental Health Commission of Canada on a customization of The Working Mind program for the LTC sector. From it, information gathered to find out more about the general mental health, resiliency, stigma, exposure to death, grief, and trauma related symptoms for long-term care staff.

As part of the grant, Dr. Keith Dobson, Professor of Psychology at the University of Calgary, will work to evaluate the effectiveness of The Working Mind program, and its impact on the individuals who take part in the facilitator training.

Funding Acknowledgement

Addressing post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and trauma by those most affected by COVID-19 is supported by a financial contribution from the Public Health Agency of Canada. The views expresses herein do not necessarily represent the views of the Public Health Agency of Canada.

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