Staff Wellness Resources

These are unprecedented times. Navigating these unchartered waters may be the most difficult thing some of us ever do.

Are you experiencing stress, anxiety, or uncertainty due to the evolving COVID-19 pandemic? Are you looking for a way to feel calm and supported to better cope with these challenges? Psychological First Aid is now available to staff and professional staff at our Hospital. To book your confidential appointment or for more information, email: (please indicate if you would prefer a group or individual appointment)

All staff and professional staff have a role to play in our Hospital’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Fulfilling that role comes with challenges, anxiety and a deep impact to our own health and wellbeing. It is imperative to take time to address physical and mental wellbeing. You are strongly encouraged to make use of the valuable resources listed below:

During the COVID-19 pandemic, mental health concerns may arise or worsen. It is crucial to take care of your wellness so you can stay healthy for you and your loved ones. 

  • Coping with Covid 19 Presentation – Encounters in Bioethics.
  • Unstress Me: This virtual wellness program includes videos to support stress reduction and deep relaxation. Led by Michael Apollo, these videos can even be viewed with a headset while sitting at a desk. Please forward this resource. It is not always apparent who may need it.
  • CAMH: COVID-19- Discussion Forum: Provides a space where you can offer support, encouragement, and share your experiences with managing your stress and anxiety related to the COVID-19 virus. You can also read others’ tips and suggestions for how best to cope in this difficult time.
  • CAMH: COVID-19 – Mental Health: Provides answers to frequently asked questions regarding mental health and the COVID-19 pandemic and gives information about coping with stress and anxiety.
  • CAMH: Resources for Health Care Workers: Provides information about mental health for health care workers specifically during COVID19.
  • Government of Canada: Shares valuable information about mental health and wellness, self-care, financial well-being and other additional resources.
  • 10% Happier (app): Provides mindfulness and meditation sessions. There is a promotion for health care workers that gives free access to all their content.
  • Mindfulness Apps: List of apps that all offer free mindfulness tips and some mindfulness sessions to explore.
  • Mindfulness Workshop: Slide deck providing information about how to support compassionate and effective leadership during a crisis.
  • Namaste With Dave: Our Hospitals version of meditation and relaxation classes. 5, 15 and 30 minute videos available for staff and the public.
  • My Work Place Health: Shares tips and tricks to reduce workplace anxiety around COVID-19.
  • Mental Health Works: CAMH and Mental Health Works have teamed up to support healthcare workers through a series of webinars. These occur weekly and can be found on this site.
  • Ontario Ministry of Health:
    • Hope for Wellness: Counselling and crisis intervention for Indigenous people in Canada. Can also call 1-855-242-3310.
    • Kids Help Phone: Children and youth under 18 can access someone about their mental health concerns. Can also call 1-800-668-6868.
    • Talk 4 Healing: Access to help and support in 14 different languages with services tailored to Indigenous women. Can also call 1-855-554-4325.
    • 211 Ontario: Access to mental health services in Ontario. Can also call 211.
  • Self-Appreciation: Provides information about self-appreciation, the flip side of self-compassion including links to workshops.
  • Thunder Bay District Health Unit:  Contains local mental health information and resources.
  • Wellness Together Canada:  Provides free online resources, tools, apps and connections to trained volunteers and qualified mental health professionals when needed.
  • WHO: Healthy at Home-Mental Health: Provides information about your mental health and how to cope including information and resources for parents, older adults, and individuals with pre-existing mental health conditions.
  • Pause 4 Providers: A group of physicians have created an online open-access mindfulness program called “Pause 4 Providers” for health providers – in the context of the current stressful circumstances and challenges associated with working in healthcare during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Canadian Psychological Association has called on all registered psychology practitioners to donate time to provide psychological services to front line health care providers who may be feeling stressed, overwhelmed or distressed by being on the front lines of this health crisis. If you are a front-line health service provider, and would like to contact a psychologist, please refer to the website below. The listing of volunteer psychologists is organized into province and territory as well as languages spoken. It is important that you choose one who is on the list of the province or territory in which you are located. The psychologists on the listing have agreed to return calls for requests for service within 24 hours of their receipt and to provide services at no charge.

Mind Beacon

Mind Beacon is a Therapist Guided Program based in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT). It’s a skills-building approach to therapy, helping you develop resiliency and coping skills to better manage your mental health concerns. It consists of readings, exercises and activities that will help you learn and practice those new skills.

Experience therapy that’s completely digital. Now offering free mental health support for Ontario residents dealing with stress, anxiety, depression and more, thanks to funding from the Government of Ontario. is a volunteer network of Ontario based mental health professionals dedicated to supporting frontline COVID-19 workers during the evolving crisis. Their goal is to help people feel connected, supported and to provide short-term pro bono one-to-one teletherapy for those who need it. All therapist volunteers are licensed to perform the controlled act of psychotherapy in Ontario.

Wellness Together Canada: Mental Health and Substance Use Support

If you are a frontline health care worker and would like confidential support from a clinicial, including iCBT supports, you can self-refer online of by phone to any of the access points below:

Centre for Addictions and Mental Health (CAMH), Toronto

Ontario Shores Centre for Mental Health Sciences, Whitby (in English only)

St. Joseph’s Healthcare, Hamilton (in English only)

The Royal Ottawa Mental Health Centre, Ottawa

Waypoint Centre for Mental Health Care, Penetanguishene

Alive in Healthcare with Liliane de Vries. Complementary 30-minute coaching sessions with a mental health support focus for all health care professionals impacted by COVID-19.

Process one of the biggest challenges you have had to deal with

Identify the feelings you are experiencing

Discover the strategies that work for you and against you

Implement solutions to coping with the challenges you are experiencing

Book online at:

According to the Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology (CSEP) physical activity guidelines, it is recommended that adults accumulate 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous activity every week. Physical activity not only helps you to stay physically healthy, but decrease stress and anxiety.

  • Body Mind Centre (through Facebook): Provides daily yoga and meditation videos to follow at home.
  • Cleveland Clinic: Exercise: Shares information about how to get started on an exercise program.  
  • Down Dog App: This is a yoga app, that is free for healthcare staff until July 1st, that includes yoga, yoga for beginners, High Intensity Interval Training, Ballet inspired workouts and prenatal yoga!
  • Movati Athletic Thunder Bay (through Facebook): Provides various workout and yoga videos that can be followed at home.
  • ParticipACTION app: Provides various physical activity tracking and exercise recommendation features.
  • Strava app: Provides physical activity tracking specifically running and cycling.

WHO: Being Active during COVID-19: Shares information about why physical activity is important and how to safely workout at home during COVID-19

Eating healthy plays a key role in staying well. Eating healthy keeps your body strong and healthy, helps prevent chronic disease, improves focus and mood, and helps with getting a goodnight’s sleep. Follow Canada’s Food Guide and try new healthy recipes during the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • Canada’s Food Guide: Educates the public about Canada’s Food Guide, healthy eating tips and recipes that follow these guidelines.
  • Grocery Hero is a free delivery service for frontline medical professionals during the COVID-19 pandemic. This service was formed to decrease potential exposer of COVID-19 from grocery stores and to assist medical staff who are working long hours to keep our community safe.
  • Grocery Service for Hospital Staff: Select grocery items are available to purchase through Flavours Cafeteria. Click on “Groceries 2Go Order Forms” and send pre-orders to

With school now being virtual and daycare and extra activities cancelled, it can be difficult to maintain a daily routine around the house. Keeping children busy and continuing their education is important for children and parents.

Project ECHO
St. Joseph’s Care Group is changing up regular sessions on chronic pain and opioid stewardship during this unprecedented time to possibly provide supports for healthcare staff. As a result, we are offering a Self-Compassion for Healthcare Communities (SCHC) series, a 6-week evidence-based healthcare adaptation of Mindful Self-Compassion.

This brief education series, facilitated by Monique Mercier, aims to improve well-being and personal resiliency in healthcare professionals by teaching skills to deal with distressing emotional situations as they occur.

The first session will be Thursday May 7th, 2020 from 7:00-8:30 pm. As always, our ECHO sessions are free and open to any healthcare provider.

To register for these sessions, please visit our new website: