Digital Mental Health Tools for Healthcare Workers Providing COVID-19 Care

Personalized, digital therapy tools to support and sustain healthcare organizations and their frontline workers.

Project Budget* - $2.5M

Partner Co-investment - $0.5M

Supercluster Co-investment - $2.0 M

Starling Minds Inc. – $2.0 M

*Contracted amounts as of September 30, 2020. 

Project Partners

Project Overview

With COVID-19, healthcare workers are on the frontlines of one of the greatest health challenges in generations.

In more normal times, healthcare workers already experience stress, anxiety, trauma, and depression from their jobs:

  • Before the pandemic, burnout and disability claims were 50 per cent higher than in other professions
  • More than one in four nurses screened positive for generalized anxiety disorder (26.1 per cent) and clinical burnout (29.3 per cent)
  • 23 per cent of nurses screened positive for PTSD and 20.3% for panic disorder
  • Over 40 per cent of Canadian physicians report that they are in the advanced stages of burnout

COVID-19 has added more pressures, including dealing with a highly infectious virus.

The Digital Mental Health Tools for Frontline Healthcare Workers – COVID-19 and Beyond project is working to deliver personalized mental healthcare to workers through a digital suite of accessible and interactive tools. This project aims to establish a strong foundation for healthcare organizations to safeguard frontline workers’ mental health.

Led by Starling Minds in collaboration with the University of British Columbia and Genome BC, the project provides preventative tools to help workers with their mental health, both at the workplace and at home, as well as intervention tools to assist those who are off work and struggling to get back on the job. It will be available via mobile phone, tablet or computer in English and French. 

One of the platform’s key approaches is cognitive behavioral training. By leveraging digital technology, users can easily access self-guided therapeutic support to better understand mental health and embed best practices into their daily routines. 

Users will also have the opportunity to connect with their peers through a safe, confidential and anonymous online community where they can share personal and professional experiences and struggles. 

The platform can evolve to address mental health conditions and stressors in other professions such as teachers, police officers, firefighters and public employees. 

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