More help for stressed out social service workers is at hand.
The Care to Speak peer support program has expanded to connect those in the social services sector with someone who understands.
Since the start of the Peer Support service, Care to Speak has helped more than 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,” said Harjinder Janda, Care to Speak co-ordinator.
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. Volunteers understand the pressures of the job and have experienced similar struggles.
"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." said Janda.
For more information or to access support, visit www.careforcaregivers.ca.
The program is a partnership between SafeCare BC and the Canadian Mental Health Association, BC Division, supported by the B.C. Ministry of Mental Health and Addictions.