Supporting the Mental Health of our Healthcare Heroes 2

Supporting the Mental Health of our Healthcare Heroes


Helping our frontline workers with the incredible stress and risk of burnout during the pandemic.

According to Statistics Canada, 70 per cent of healthcare workers reported that their mental health was “somewhat worse now” or “much worse now” than it was pre-pandemic.

The situation is even more troubling for those who work in direct contact with confirmed or suspected cases of COVID-19, with 77 per cent reporting worsening mental health.

That’s where the Digital Mental Health Tools for Healthcare Workers Providing COVID-19 Care project comes in. The initiative is delivering highly personalized mental healthcare through two interactive cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) tools via mobile phone, tablet and computer in English and French. Due to the impacts from COVID-19 on the education system, the project’s scope was extended to include teachers and educators.

In a few short months, the project developed and deployed Starling Minds’ digital mental health platform to more than 30,000 healthcare workers in B.C.’s Fraser Health Authority and 200,000 educators, principals and vice-principals across Canada.

“In this time of crisis, we need to help our frontline workers with the incredible stress and risk of burnout of their profession during the pandemic, yet there is a chronic lack of access to mental healthcare professionals within the Canadian system,” says Peter Oxley, CEO of Starling Minds – the project lead. “Our healthcare professionals are the foundation of a functional healthcare system, and we need to provide mental health tools that can be conveniently accessed during COVID and beyond for the unique needs of this critical profession.”

By recognizing the unique needs of these workers, Peter explains, Starling Minds Mental Fitness and Starling Minds Return-to-Health takes a profession-centric therapy approach and uses its proprietary Expert System to make recommendations and insights that foster early intervention and rehabilitation in workers. Users can also connect with their peers through a safe, confidential and anonymous online community to share their personal and professional experiences and struggles.

The scope of Starling’s mental health tools continues to expand and now nearly 4.8 million Canadians have access to Starling’s digital therapy.

The reach will grow even more, Peter adds, as the platform evolves to address mental health conditions among a wide group of professions and those who are unable to work due to a mental health issue or physical injury.

View the Project

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