Fort McMurray, December 3, 2020 – Athabasca Oil Corporation (AOC) knows that there has never been a greater demand for mental health services. AOC is supporting the mental health of the RMWB with a donation of $10,000 to support the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA).
Cold weather, uncertainty, eroded social networks and restrictions on holiday gatherings are hitting at a time when people are already anxious, hopeless, and fearful that things are going to get worse. 48% of Canadians reported high levels of anxiety/worry as a result of COVID-19, as well as stress (38%), sadness (25%) and depression (24%).
Key findings from a recent survey put on by CMHA and UBC, found that suicidality and self-harm are up since the pandemic started, with 1 in 10 Canadian’s experiencing recent thoughts or feelings of suicide. This is up from 6% in Wave 1 of the pandemic.
When asked why CMHA Wood Buffalo was chosen as the recipient of the $10,000 donation, Jeffrey Czepil, Hangingstone Operations Superintendent said “Athabasca Oil Corporation recognizes the challenges Fort McMurray residents have been through over the past few years, and would like to ensure the health and well-being of the residents within the community we do business in. The Canadian Mental Health Association – Wood Buffalo Region is a critical organization for our community and our donation will support their efforts during these challenging times.”
CMHA’s mental health programs and services are tailored to meet local community needs and include everything from youth outreach to employment training, from suicide prevention to community education, support groups, consumer navigation services, anti-stigma projects, school seminars and physical health initiatives.
Thanks to the generous donation of the AOC, community-level interventions and supports can get people the help they need sooner and alleviate pressure on an acute-care system already hit hard by COVID-19.