COVID-19: Mental Health and Substance Use Supports
This page was updated on May 11, 2020. We will continue to make updates as we receive new information. Download the BC COVID-19 Support app for emerging information and a self-assessment tool.
As you know, the COVID-19 outbreak is a leading focus across the world. This public health emergency is happening at a time when B.C. is facing another public health emergency, the overdose crisis. There are things everyone can do to stay as healthy as possible and keep others safe too.
Find up-to-date information about the COVID-19 health emergency through the BC Centre for Disease Control.
Mental Health Supports
If you are feeling a heightened level of stress or anxiety, it is understandable. It is also okay to be unsure or nervous during uncertain times. You are not alone. There are some helpful ways to take care of your mental health and manage stress during this time. Find virtual mental health supports available to all B.C. seniors, adults, students, youth and frontline health care workers.
Substance Use Supports
If you or someone you know uses drugs, there things you can do to stay safer while also preventing the spread of COVID-19 and protecting yourself. Find supports and resources to help protect vulnerable people during this time, including people who actively use drugs. Find more guidance from the BC Centre on Substance Use to help health care providers keep people safer in COVID-19.
Safer drinking during COVID-19
During the COVID-19 pandemic you may have difficulty accessing alcohol. Everyone is different, but for some people dealing with high-risk drinking or living with alcohol use disorder, stopping all at once or cutting down too fast can be dangerous. It can increase the risk of serious alcohol withdrawal. Here are ways to stay well and make a plan for safer drinking (PDF).
COVID-19 most commonly spreads through respiratory droplets generated when you cough or sneeze, or by touching something with the virus on it and then touching your mouth, nose or eyes. The best way to protect yourself is to practice good health hygiene:
- Wash your hands regularly.
- If a sink is not available, alcohol-based hand rubs (ABHR) can be used to clean your hands as long as they are not visibly soiled. If they are visibly soiled, use a wipe and then ABHR to clean them.
- Cover your mouth and nose with a disposable tissue or the crease of your elbow when you sneeze or cough. Put used tissues in the garbage immediately and wash your hands.
- Do not touch your eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands.
- Clean high-touch surfaces frequently.
- Do not share food, drinks, utensils, etc.
- Practice physical distancing (also called social distancing). Put 2 metres of space (about two arm lengths) between you and others when outside of your home and do not attend group get-togethers.
- If you have recently returned from anywhere outside of Canada, you must self-isolate for 14 days − here is information on testing and isolation.
- If you are concerned due to your own health or personal situation, or you may have been exposed to or are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19:
- Use the Province’s COVID-19 Self-Assessment Tool.
- If you show the COVID-19 symptoms, call 8-1-1 or your healthcare provider; they will tell you what to do and determine if you should get tested.
- Self-isolate for 14 days – here are some guidelines on how to isolate yourself. If your job allows, talk to your supervisor or boss about working from home.
- Rest and get better.