Novel Coronavirus COVID-19

Helping others manage stress

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The Government of Canada recently launched a new portal dedicated to mental wellness. This portal provides free online resources, and connects Canadians to peer support workers, social workers, psychologists and other trained professionals for confidential chat sessions or phone calls, in both official languages. Resources include modules for addressing low mood, worry, substance use, social isolation and relationship issues. For more information, visit: Wellness Together Canada: Mental Health and Substance Use Support.

Helping youth

There are many healthy ways to cope youth cope with stress. Have them:

  • Talk to people they trust about their feelings - email, text, phone, video-chat. This could be a friend, parent, Elder, teacher, counsellor or a phone line support person.
    • Visit the Kids Help Phone at, for information and resources directed to youth.
  • Have fun! Do things they enjoy. Remember physical activity/exercise can lower stress and make them feel happier and energized.
  • Find ways to relax. Take a walk, read, listen to music, watch a movie, have a nap, pray, smudge, do yoga or do deep breathing. For more relaxation tips, go to:
  • Ask friends what helps them feel better and cope with the stress.
  • Tell a story about how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected them: draw, write, sing, dance, journal, take photos.
  • Think about times in the past when things were difficult for you, and what helped you get through the hard times then.
  • Help support others. When feeling stressed, helping to support others takes you outside their own troubles for awhile.
  • Find a way to remember both the good and the bad things during the pandemic (ex: shoot a video, write, take pictures).

Video: Kids & COVID-19 - A Question and Answer Session
Lanette Siragusa, provincial lead, health system integration, quality, and chief nursing officer, Shared Health
Dr. William Li, pediatrician
Ace Burpee, host

Caring for seniors

While many Manitoba seniors are active and self-sufficient, there are some who will need extra support during a pandemic, particularly if they live alone.

Everyone, including seniors, will react differently to the stress of dealing with a pandemic. It’s natural for people to:

  • feel overwhelmed and unable to focus on daily tasks
  • get preoccupied with a particular problem (e.g., groceries, medications, health)
  • feel helpless or hopeless
  • get preoccupied with the past and previous events they remember

Signs of anxiety or stress in seniors, including:

  • withdrawal
  • intense worry and panic symptoms
  • denial of the situation, refusing help or personal contact
  • unkempt appearance, taking unhealthy risks, not taking medication
  • change in eating habits, appetite, sleep patterns
  • talk of being a burden, depression, hopelessness

Caring for older relatives, friends or neighbours

  • Check in with them regularly by phone, video chat, text for social interaction and to make sure they have everything they need.
  • Actively include them in planning discussions.
  • Take time to listen and let them talk out their anxiety and concerns.
  • Call frequently remind them they’re important in your life.
  • If an in-person visit is required, ensure you are not sick and have not travelled, and wash your hands and practice social distancing.
  • Help them with tasks that may be difficult (ex: getting to or rebooking appointments, picking up medication or arranging for delivery of groceries and medications, cleaning, cooking).
  • Bring extreme needs to the attention of health care workers or contacts listed below for follow-up (ex: extreme anxiety or trouble sleeping for an extended period of time).
  • Help them connect by phone, video chat or text with community or faith groups that work with and help seniors, if it seems appropriate.
  • Support and encourage them to stay connected to the community in general through phone, television or the Internet, when possible.

Need Help Now? Contact a Crisis Line.