Skip to main content
The Globe and Mail
Support Quality Journalism.
The Globe and Mail
First Access to Latest
Investment News
Collection of curated
e-books and guides
Inform your decisions via
Globe Investor Tools
per week
for first 24 weeks

Enjoy unlimited digital access
Enjoy Unlimited Digital Access
Get full access to
Just $1.99per week for the first 24weeks
Just $1.99per week for the first 24weeks
var select={root:".js-sub-pencil",control:".js-sub-pencil-control",open:"o-sub-pencil--open",closed:"o-sub-pencil--closed"},dom={},allowExpand=!0;function pencilInit(o){var e=arguments.length>1&&void 0!==arguments[1]&&arguments[1];select.root=o,dom.root=document.querySelector(select.root),dom.root&&(dom.control=document.querySelector(select.control),dom.control.addEventListener("click",onToggleClicked),setPanelState(e),window.addEventListener("scroll",onWindowScroll),dom.root.removeAttribute("hidden"))}function isPanelOpen(){return dom.root.classList.contains(}function setPanelState(o){dom.root.classList[o?"add":"remove"](,dom.root.classList[o?"remove":"add"](select.closed),dom.control.setAttribute("aria-expanded",o)}function onToggleClicked(){var l=!isPanelOpen();setPanelState(l)}function onWindowScroll(){window.requestAnimationFrame(function() {var l=isPanelOpen(),n=0===(document.body.scrollTop||document.documentElement.scrollTop);n||l||!allowExpand?n&&l&&(allowExpand=!0,setPanelState(!1)):(allowExpand=!1,setPanelState(!0))});}pencilInit(".js-sub-pencil",!1); // via darwin-bg var slideIndex = 0; carousel(); function carousel() { var i; var x = document.getElementsByClassName("subs_valueprop"); for (i = 0; i < x.length; i++) { x[i].style.display = "none"; } slideIndex++; if (slideIndex> x.length) { slideIndex = 1; } x[slideIndex - 1].style.display = "block"; setTimeout(carousel, 2500); } //

Health-care workers wave to people clapping and yelling thank you to the frontline workers during the 7pm tribute outside the Lions Gate Hospital in North Vancouver, B.C. Wednesday, April 8, 2020.


Two hundred psychologists in British Columbia are volunteering to provide free virtual counselling to front-line health workers as part of the province’s efforts to ramp up mental health services for anyone who needs them.

Premier John Horgan joined Mental Health and Addictions Minister Judy Darcy on Thursday to announce virtual supports that he said are necessary for people struggling during the pandemic.

“We need to hang together, we need to recognize that although we may feel stress, that we may feel bouts of depression at the challenges that we face as individuals, as a family and as a community, together we can get through this,” Horgan said.

Story continues below advertisement

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry acknowledged the stressful circumstances the province is facing but said residents efforts to practise physical distancing and self-isolation are producing positive results.

“The story is told in what we’re seeing in terms of the numbers of cases, the numbers of people in hospital,” she said at a news conference Thursday. “It tells me that people are doing what we’ve asked them to do.”

Henry reported two COVID-19 deaths, bringing B.C.’s death toll to 50.

She said B.C. has 34 new cases of COVID-19 and a total of 1,370 cases. There are 132 people in hospital and 68 are being treated for the virus in intensive care. Henry said 858 people have recovered.

The mental health and addictions minister said people experiencing anxiety, loneliness and the financial stress of losing a job, caring for children out of school or fearing illness need to reach out for help while living with precautionary measures that have limited contact with others during COVID-19.

“While we know that these physical distancing measures are temporary and are in everyone’s interests it’s important to recognize the immediate and long-term impacts on people’s mental health and well-being,” Darcy said.

The government’s mental health supports come as B.C. officially imposed strict work conditions at long-term care facilities to protect elderly residents and workers.

Story continues below advertisement

Care workers in B.C. are no longer working at more than one long-term care facility during the pandemic, Henry said.

“As of today, it’s official we have been using orders under both the Public Health Act that I’ve given, and under the Emergency Programs Act, to implement a process to make it possible for care workers, health-care workers of all kinds to work at a single site only,” she said.

She said B.C. now has 20 long-term care facilities with COVID-19 outbreaks after one home was declared free of the virus.

Health Minister Adrian Dix said 30 of the 50 COVID-19 deaths were residents at long-term care facilities.

He said the government estimates the single-site care worker policy will cost about $10 million a month.

Members of the public can also get help through the B.C. government’s BounceBack program, an online skills-building service for people with mild to moderate anxiety or depression. It’s one of several new and bolstered government initiatives to help during the pandemic, Darcy said.

Story continues below advertisement

“Now, very importantly, anyone can access BounceBack without a referral from a doctor. This is huge and this will help so many people in our province,” she Darcy.

She said the B.C. Psychological Association began offering free services to health care workers several days ago.

“We know what kind of stress front-line health care workers are under – the fear of the disease itself, the stress of caring for patients, what this means for their mental health, what it means for their families, the isolation they experience,” she said in an interview.

Virtual resources from a mobile response team for people working on the front lines of the overdose crisis have also been ramped up, Darcy said, adding the focus will be on paramedics and those in small community agencies where people lack access to extended benefits or counselling.

“These are for the front-line workers dealing with stress and trauma,” she said of those who in the past would often have received debriefings, support and counselling.

In May, a virtual peer-support service will be provided for workers in long-term care homes and those who provide home support, Darcy said. Work is also under way with the Canadian Mental Health Association and unions for peers to learn “psychological first aid,” she said.

Story continues below advertisement

Finance Minister Carole James said on Thursday that 132,000 jobs were lost in the province in March due to COVID-19, pushing the unemployment rate over seven per cent.

She said she expects the numbers for April to be even worse.

Your Globe

Build your personal news feed

  1. Follow topics and authors relevant to your reading interests.
  2. Check your Following feed daily, and never miss an article. Access your Following feed from your account menu at the top right corner of every page.

Follow topics related to this article:

View more suggestions in Following Read more about following topics and authors
Report an error
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

If you do not see your comment posted immediately, it is being reviewed by the moderation team and may appear shortly, generally within an hour.

We aim to have all comments reviewed in a timely manner.

Comments that violate our community guidelines will not be posted.

UPDATED: Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

To view this site properly, enable cookies in your browser. Read our privacy policy to learn more.
How to enable cookies