(File photo)

COVID-19: Update from the City of Parksville

Resources listed for focus on mental health

Latest message from the City of Parksville:

Recognized by the Canadian Mental Health Association, from May 6 to 12, Mental Health Week’s focus is placed on the importance of maintaining social connections and good mental health.

CMHA indicated that feelings of loneliness and isolation were already a major concern before the COVID-19 pandemic, but now that more people are staying indoors and away from others, it is even more of an issue.

In its website, the CMHA pointed out that people with weak social connections are at an increased risk for anxiety, depression, anti-social behaviour and suicidal behaviours. With current health recommendations having us avoid close in-person contact, the CMHA is encouraging people to reach out to each other through phone or video calls, as well as through text messages.

Expanded mental health supports, because of the pandemic, are available online and by phone. CMHA offers many online programs – peer support, mental health check in, community counselling, and such programs as Confident Parents – Thriving Kids, Bounce Back and more.

CMHA provides strategies and tools you can use at home – health information, taking care of your health and well-being, what to do if feeling overwhelmed and suggestions for managing financial uncertainty. If you need immediate help, CMHA also offers a crisis line 1 800 784-2433.

READ MORE: Parksville delivers balanced budget for 2020; property tax increase set at 3 per cent

In Parksville Qualicum Beach, Forward House is helping to keep the community safe during the COVID-19. Although closed to the public, Forward House is continuing to support clients during these times and members of the public are welcome to call to speak with one of their trained mental health workers (250 954-0785), Monday to Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Here are some suggested links with mental health supports related to COVID-19:

• Canadian Mental Health Association resources — https://cmha.bc.ca/covid-19/

• Managing COVID-19 stress, anxiety and depression — https://www2.gov.bc.ca/assets/gov/health-safety/covid19_stressmanagement_5_accessible.pdf

• List of BC Mental Health supports — https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/justice/criminal-justice/bcs-criminal-justice-system/services-and-resources/services-by-need/mental-health-services

• Health Link BC resources — https://www.healthlinkbc.ca/mental-health-substance-use/resources

Feedback on communications and public engagement

Meanwhile, the COVID-19 pandemic and resulting physical distancing measures have changed how the City of Parksville connects with residents.

It is adjusting doing business during the COVID-19 pandemic situation and exploring how to continue public engagement while being respectful of the restrictions now in place because of COVID-19.

Listening to provincial and federal health officers, it has become clear that working virtually and maintaining physical distance will be our new normal for some time.

Over the next few months, the city moving forward, will be looking for feedback from the public on policies, programs and projects. Because staff will not be able to meet in person, they are now looking for input from residents to determine whether there is an interest in engaging with the city on projects.

As well, the city has a few questions about how you receive information as well as how you would like to provide your feedback to us. Before the city begins engaging on future projects, it would like to hear from you.

The link to the survey is provided here https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/parksvilleengage and may be accessed from the City’s website and our public engagement platform, Let’s Talk Parksville. The survey will be open until June 7.

If you wish for a paper copy of the survey mailed to you, please call 250-248-6144. Please direct questions to communications@parksville.ca.

City reminders

Until further notice, city meetings are closed to the public. Council continues to meet regularly and meetings are held virtually through Zoom and webcast live and archived from the city’s website.

Agendas are posted to the website on Thursday the week before the Monday council meeting. Residents are welcome to send comments related to items on the agenda to Council@parksville.ca.

If you wish your comments included in the public record, comments must be received by noon, the day of the council meeting. Please include a full name and address for the comment to be included in the minutes.

As for city operations, services continue despite the offices are closed to the public. You can contact the city by phone or email: 250-248-6144 and email info@parksville.ca. Direct department contact information is available on the City’s website.

— Submitted

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