Maintaining mental health is a challenge for many people and COVID-19 has made it worse. Fifty percent of Canadians say their mental health has deteriorated, according to the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health. In Hamilton, Shalem Mental Health Network has seen demand for its services increase 25 percent. Still, many can’t afford to get help.
With support from HCF, Shalem’s Counselling Assistance Program will allow 150 children, youth, couples, families and seniors on the margins and struggling with poverty and housing, to access psychotherapy sessions at a reduced cost.
Sessions are offered by video call unless there are safety, privacy or technology concerns that warrant in-person, socially-distanced meetings. Treatment plans identify sources of ongoing support once sessions are completed. Clients are asked to contribute a small sum to increase their own engagement in the process.
The short-term interventions used by Shalem staff have been shown to result in strong outcomes, balancing quality of care and cost.