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Get in the know to keep the blues at bay

Posted by Medavie Blue Cross on January 27, 2021

Between the pandemic’s second wave and the winter doldrums, the next few months could be a challenging time for us mentally. That’s why it’s so important to get in the know — to keep those blues at bay before they turn into more serious mental and physical health issues.

By this we mean familiarizing ourselves with the signs of stress, anxiety and depression, becoming aware of the mental health resources that may be available right in your own backyards or at your fingertips, and learning about the expert care you can access through your health benefit plan.

Keep exploring our Living Well Hub

A great place to start is here at our Living Well Hub. We invite you to continue exploring our site for knowledgeable advice from our subject matter experts and trusted health care partners including a top 10 list of ways to help you protect your mental health during the pandemic.

Get the tools in Bell’s Lets Talk Toolkit

While you’re online, be sure to check out the Bell Let’s Talk Toolkit for information and tips developed by the Canadian Psychological Association to help you, your friends, and your family cope with stress and look after your mental wellbeing.

Have the conversation about mental health

The toolkit above includes a conversation guide to lead your own discussion about mental health or talk with someone you might be concerned about at work, school or home. It also has a downloadable 30-day self-care activity chart, which suggests ways to do something good for ourselves each day. What we like about these activities are that they are simple, fun and if, put into daily practice, can help keep us mentally healthy well beyond the pandemic. They include:

  • Write a positive affirmation and recite it in the mirror
  • Discover a new author or musician
  • Talk to a loved one about your feelings
  • Have a good laugh
  • Write a journal

The chart underlines the importance of remaining emotionally connected while we stay physically distanced. With that in mind, look for new ways to practice self-care and stay connected, such as reading with a virtual book club, playing aboard game online, streaming a group fitness class or dancing like no one’s watching to a virtual concert.

Help spread the word about mental health

You can also do your part to help raise awareness and reduce the stigma surrounding mental illness by participating in Bell Let’s Talk Day activities on January 28. That day, Bell will contribute 5 cents toward mental health initiatives in Canada for every tweet we send, call we make, Facebook post we share, TikTok video you share, etc. Discover how you can join in this campaign to create positive change.

As this year’s Bell Let’s Talk Day reminds us, all actions, big or small, from recognizing our stressors to being there for a loved one, can support mental health and strengthen our communities during the difficult days ahead.

Learn about the mental health services available

As the manager and insurer of health benefits for 1 in 12 Canadians, mental health has always been a top priority for us. We offer a variety of online options to give you quick and easy access to expert mental health care — without having to leave the house:

Digital Therapy – Access one-on-one counselling and education services from a licensed therapist using your computer, tablet or mobile device. iCBT helps build life-enhancing skills to manage thoughts and feelings and is available through our Connected Care digital health platform.

Online Doctors – Connect with a licensed Canadian physician in minutes for consultation and treatment and is also available through Connected Care.

Personalized Medicine – Results of a pharmacogenetic test can show how your DNA will affect your response to specific drugs. This in turn can help your doctors prescribe the most effective and safe medication for you to treat your condition and at what dosage — with the lease likelihood of adverse side effects.

My Good Health – Create your own personal profile for customized advice, information and tips, including self-care resources for mental wellbeing.

Employee and Family Assistance Program – our EFAP solution, inConfidence, our EFAP solution, offers confidential counselling and education to deal with a wide range of work-life challenges. If this is part of your benefit plan, you have a toll-free number that you can dial 24/7 to receive expert support from a certified counsellor.

Learn more about how you can access these services here.

We also encourage you to speak to your manager or human resources representative to find out what services and supports are available to help you and your loved ones from the privacy and comfort of your home. Help may be just a click or call away.

Note: If your symptoms of anxiety are causing you significant distress or are interfering with your ability to function normally, make sure to seek professional help by phone or online. If you are in crisis or experiencing an emergency, call ‘911’ immediately or locate a crisis centre in your region.