We are happy to announce that the Care to Speak peer support program has expanded to connect those in the social services sector with someone who understands. The Care to Speak program is a partnership between SafeCare BC and the Canadian Mental Health Association, BC Division, proudly supported by the BC Ministry of Mental Health and Addictions. Since the start of the Peer Support service, Care to Speak has helped over 300 British Columbians working in healthcare.

The social services sector continues to play a role in responding to the COVID-19 pandemic by supporting those most vulnerable in our community – addressing threats to food security and fears of increased domestic violence to continuing to provide support amidst increased stress, mental health strain, isolation, and overall service demand.

Under normal circumstances, those in social services already feel the burden of being in a helping profession. They have reported high levels of anxiety, exhaustion, and stress.

“Often, individuals just need a conversation with someone so that they can talk about what has been going on in their day or what is on their mind. Whereas other individuals have some topics that have been bothering them for a while and can be related to workplace harassment or other events in the workplace that they cannot control or talk about to their colleagues.” shares Harjinder Janda, Care to Speak Coordinator.

The social services sector entails navigating a complex and evolving situation from offering emotional and mental health support to educating the larger community. It has been a challenge; while they give care, they also need care.

The Care to Speak program is here to help through the tough times. Our volunteers understand the pressures of the job and have experienced similar struggles. We know sometimes it is not easy to talk about certain things with coworkers, family members, or friends, but Care to Speak is a safe space to share how you are feeling. All our support is confidential and delivered without judgment.

“Care to Speak offers individuals working in the Healthcare and Social Services sectors a safe space to talk. You will be connected with a trained peer supporter who has worked in front-line healthcare or the social services sector – someone who understands your challenges and stresses.” states Janda.

If you work in healthcare or social services, your mental health is a priority. Get the support you deserve! For more information or to access support, please visit; www.careforcaregivers.ca/caretospeak/

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