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Mental health and substance use during COVID-19

Mental health and substance  use during COVID-19

During a pandemic, people can experience a wide range of mental health impacts.

If you are concerned about your mental wellness you can reach out for advice and support from your primary care provider, local counselling service, or your employer’s Employee and Family Assistance Program if available.

Or visit this infographic for tips on managing anxiety during COVID-19,

Crisis Support

If you are noticing signs of increasing mental health or substance use concerns, please call your primary care provider or 811. If you need immediate mental health assistance call the Interior Health Crisis Line at 1-888-353-2273.

First Nations and Aboriginal individuals may also access the KUU-US Crisis Line Society 1-800-KUU-US17 (1-800-588-8717). These crisis response personnel are certified and trained in Indigenous cultural safety.

The Métis Nation of BC also operates a 24/7 crisis line at 1-833-638-4722.

Find more information about  Help Lines available in Interior Health.

Mental Wellness

It’s normal to feel anxious during uncertain times. It is important to keep your anxiety in check to avoid all-consuming negative and unproductive thinking. Unchecked, anxiety can also lead to behaviours such as stockpiling that results in empty shelves, or seeking unnecessary medical care at the potential expense of others in need. Take time for yourself and take care of your mental health:

  • Take breaks from social media
  • Help others if you can
  • Ensure you are getting good nutrition, sleep, and exercise
  • Connect with family and friends in a way that keeps you and others well, such as through telephone or video calls

For more information visit the provincial Virtual Mental Health Supports During COVID-19 for a collection of mental health supports that are available to people in British Columbia.

To find mental health and substance use resources in your community contact your local Interior Health Mental Health and Substance Use Centre.

Substance Use

According to the BC Centre for Substance Use, high risk drinking can lead to disease, social problems, and economic costs. These harms have been magnified during the COVID-19 pandemic as many people turn to alcohol, cannabis, and other substances, as a coping tool.

For information regarding substance use (drug and alcohol) concerns, check out these Interior Health Substance Use Fact Sheets:

Substance Information – Alcohol

Substance Information – Cannabis

Overdose Prevention / Harm Reduction

Opioid Agonist Treatment

COVID-19 home detox resource

 Guidance for people who use substances – COVID-19

Service Descriptions

For more details regarding Mental Health & Substance Use services within Interior Health, visit the Snap Shots and Detailed Service Descriptions:

Detailed Service Description: Mental Health & Substance Use Services (all)

Detailed Service Description: Mental Health Services

Detailed Service Description: Substance Use Services

Service Snap Shot: Mental Health

Service Snap Shot: Substance Use

Brochures and Additional Resources

Mental Health Community Counselling and Treatment Services

Mental Health Crisis and Hospital Services

Mental Health Specialty Services

Mental Health Treatment Support and Recovery Services

Substance Use Services

Mental Health and Cultural Resources (First Nations Health Authority)