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Workplace Wellness: Coping during COVID-19

This page contains resources for staying psychologically well during this time. This includes 24/7 counselling, stress management, self care strategies - from virtual mindfulness and fitness to webinars - and recognition programs for our workforce.

Anxiety is a normal reaction to uncertainty and things that may potentially harm us. This is a stressful time for many of us, and it’s normal to feel more anxious than usual. This is an important time to prioritize relaxation and rest in order to cope with the uncertainty.

In addition to the resources below, try and use helpful coping strategies such as ensuring sufficient rest and respite during work or between shifts, eat sufficient and healthy food, engage in physical activity and stay in contact with family and friends.

Employee and Family Assistance Program (EFAP) 

24/7 Counselling (EFAP)

We want to help you stay well. If you’re feeling anxious or just need someone to speak with, PHSA’s Employee and Family Assistance Program (EFAP) is here to support you anytime - 24/7 - with free, confidential counselling through video counselling, phone, private online chat, or private messaging. EFAP is available to all PHSA employees - full-time, part-time, or casual - as well as dependent family members.

Phone: 1-800-663-1142
Request services online by completing the following form:

Key Person Advice Line free for Managers/Leaders: 1-800-663-1142. Homewood Health’s Key Person Advice Line is available to managers and supervisors to support them during the COVID-19 pandemic and during any stressful situation. The line’s clinical counsellors can help leaders identify ways to cope and mitigate stress for themselves and their teams. You can access this line 24/7.

Critical Incident Stress Management (CISM)

Staff working in healthcare may experience heighted anxiety due to the evolving COVID-19 pandemic. See the contact information below for counselling and critical incident stress management services for your department.

Hours: 24/7

Details: Managers and supervisors can call Homewood Health to access a crisis management professional and request an intervention for a fee. This typically involves both a one-on-one immediate check in following an incident and a debriefing with those impacted following the incident.

Fee: All costs associated with Homewood CISM services are to be covered by the requesting department.

Homewood Health: 1-800-663-1142

Hours: 24/7

Description: BCEHS employees have access to the Critical Incident Stress Program Counsellor Network. Currently, due to COVID-19 response, all counsellors are utilizing Phone or Video connections. Critical Incident related counselling session series: 6-12 sessions per year.

Fee: This is a free service for employees of BC Emergency Health Services (BCEHS).

CIS Program Peer Team Coordinator: 1-855-969-4321 to request a debriefing or defusing or peer check-in.

Alternative number: 778-762-3471 (if calling from a satellite phone or the number above does not work).

For more information: Access the BCEHS Handbook or (*BCEHS intranet access required) ‎

Hours: 7 days a week 6:30 - 23:00

Description: Employees of the Forensic Psychiatric Services Commission (FPSC) have access to in-house CISM services.

During regular office hours: Call Devon Silvers on 604-523-7813 or Rhys Thompson on 7704 or call 604-524-7938.

PHSA Staff Psychosocial Support Service

PHSA Workplace Wellness: Psychological Health & Safety in the Workplace

If you are experiencing stress associated with the COVID-19 Pandemic, you are not alone.

You can access the Workplace Wellness Staff Psychosocial Support Service to have a confidential, supportive conversation that can be helpful in exploring coping strategies related to unique and common experiences related to coping with COVID-19.  The Staff Supporters are PHSA staff members who are trained professionals with backgrounds in in Psychology, Counselling, Social Work and Psychiatry. The Staff Support Team will have access to additional support/resource information to share with you.  We are in this together.  We are here to support you. To request to speak to a Staff Supporter, email or phone and leave your first name, telephone number and the best time(s) to contact you.  We will be responding to requests M-F from 7am to 7pm.

Phone: 604-875-2982

Learn more about this program.

Self-Care & Resources

Please note: Many of the self-care supports below involve accessing zoom videoconferencing, online videos and apps. To avoid slowing down the PHSA network, wherever possible, please use your personal data.

In the time of COVID-19, it is more important than ever to practice good care for ourselves and others, and continue to build mindful community by reaching out with our hearts instead of our hands.

Mindfulness helps to decrease stress, increase resilience, improve personal productivity, develop connections with others, and augment the ability to experience more joy and peace. Mindfulness is all about encouraging awareness of oneself in the present moment, and without judgment.

Access our mindfulness resource guide.

Virtual Sessions

Register on the LearningHub to be on the email distribution list, where you will receive access details for the virtual mindfulness meditation sessions “Living Wellness- Mindfulness Meditation”
The next session is on March 25th, 2020 at 12:30 pm -12:50 pm.

Register on the Learninghub for the following sessions to practice daily mindfulness meditations, learn strategies for managing stress, and learn ways to increase your well-being.

• Mindfulness Meditation sessions are being delivered online from the BC Children’s Centre for Mindfulness. Register on the Learninghub.

• The Stress Busters Webinar is available for all PHSA staff. Register on the Learninghub.

• The Journey to Wellness Webinar is available for all PHSA staff. Register on the Learninghub.

Lunch hour yoga
Needing a break to get the blood flowing?
Join us for a virtual 20min yoga session. No equipment needed. No need to change your clothes or footwear. Be mindful of your personal physical limitations while participating.

Tuesdays & Thursdays (starting Thursday March 26)
Join via Zoom:  

*Use Chrome for video
"If you get a dialogue box that blocks access, click on "join from your browser"

Curtis Health Online Fitness Resources
PHSA's onsite fitness provider, Curtis Health provides online resources for workout handouts and videos, running tips, meditation and mindfulness, recipes, and at home activities with the family. 
Password: Health

Free Online Fitness Classes and Apps
Access this PDF for a list of free apps and videos, online class subscriptions (free trials to take advantage of before you sign up), and special online classes and live streams being offered by studios and trainers.


Now, more than ever, we cannot thank our workforce enough for your dedication to patient care. Whether you’re on the front line caring for those impacted by COVID-19, or behind the scenes ensuring efficiency and support, we value each and every one of you. 

You are all #healthcareheroes.

To recognize your exceptional efforts, PHSA's Workplace Experience team has developed specific recognition programs to support our people during this challenging time.


A series of eCards have been developed for in the moment recognition at so you can quickly and efficiently send a note of recognition and gratitude to your colleagues. You may not be able to walk over to their workspace to personally thank them, so a little message goes a long way! 

"You Rock Care!" Packages

At PHSA, every single one of you is appreciated. When and where possible, Workplace Experience is delivering care packages to teams for as long as we are able to safely do so.

We are working hard to get packages delivered, but please remember we can’t reach everyone right away, so we have an evolving schedule and process in place.

For any questions regarding our care packages, do not hesitate to reach out to

Tim Horton’s Trucks

Our generous friends at Tim Horton’s are offering free Take 12 coffee cartons and individually wrapped baked goods and sandwich delivery to health care professionals. There are strong safety protocols in place that must be followed for both drop off and delivery. If you are interested in arranging this for your facility, contact

Additional resources available online or on the phone:

• Anxiety Canada’s free online resources
For those experiencing persistent stress or heightened anxiety, Anxiety Canada has many free downloadable resources.

• MindhealthBC
Take a quick online assessment on your mental health and get resources for a variety of related concerns.

• Here To Help
Browse strategies to help you take care of your mental health.

• Foundry BC
Find ways you take care of your family when you’re feeling anxious about the news and updates around the outbreak.

• HealthlinkBC
Call 811 to speak with a registered nurse, or access online resources for health-related questions.

• Bounce Back Online
This is a free self-directed course from the Canadian Mental Health Association to help manage low mood, stress, and anxiety. Visit

• Crisis Centre BC
If you or someone you know is feeling hopeless or at risk of harm, call or chat online with a crisis responder any time.

PHSA’s Psychological Health and Safety team supports the mental health of all employees in any PHSA program, service, or division. Questions? Email  

SOURCE: Workplace Wellness: Coping during COVID-19 ( )
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