The current pandemic and the challenging impact in our lives is being experienced by everyone in different ways. It can be overwhelming and stressful to know where to get help and support. As a starting point, this is a summary of some resources to get information and support.
Government Related Resources
– Federal Government: This specific link is the official webpage from the Government of Canada regarding all updates and resources about COVID-19 including the different programs to provide relief and support. https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/coronavirus-disease-covid-19.html
– Provincial Government: This specific link is the official webpage from the Government of Alberta regarding all updates and resources about COVID-19, including the different programs to provide relief and support. https://www.alberta.ca/coronavirus-info-for-albertans.aspx
– Municipal Government: This specific link is the official webpage from the City of Edmonton regarding all updates and resources about COVID-19 including the different programs to provide relief and support. https://www.edmonton.ca/programs_services/emergency_preparedness/covid-19.aspx
Resources to Address Key needs
– Updates about the Law and Legal Help: This Legal FAQs page is a great ouline of all legal needs, such as information about access to the courthouse, changes in the law, particularly renters right and employment law issues, and which organizations are open to give legal help: https://www.law-faqs.org/covid-19/
– Open Local Businesses to Purchase Needs: Every day, there are changes to regulations about size of gatherings and which businesses are permitted to open. This handy webpage is a resource to see which businesses are open, and is also a great opportunity to support local businesses. https://edmonton.thingsthatareopen.com/
– Mental Health and Therapy Supports: The pandemic could cause different kinds of emotional distress. The Canadian Mental Health Association’s website (that has online chat) https://edmonton.cmha.ca/ and Distress Line 780-482-HELP (4357) is available for support. Sometimes, speaking to a compassionate listener who is professionally trained can improve our mental and emotional state.
Locally Focused Support Groups and Initiatives
– YEG Community Response to COVID19 Facebook Page: There is a large, community-based Facebook Page is organized by the John Humphrey Centre for Peace and Human Rights, with 18,000 members to date. People can directly ask for help for urgent and specific needs (ex. you ran out of food and don’t have the money or unable to go outside to buy), and a fellow Edmontonian will reach out and give support. They have also compiled lists of resources to help with other needs, such as online classes, or tips to stay healthy and positive. There are numerous discussions that also take place, so the page has been a great tool to provide emotional and knowledge-based support electronically.
The link for the group’s page is: https://www.facebook.com/groups/209788323463176/
– Neighbourhood-Level Supports: Edmonton’s community leagues, the neighbourhood-focused, volunteer-run organizations that serve the community, are organizing in their own ways to look after neighbours. You can search for the name of your neighbourhood’s community league at efcl.org/ and you can either reach out for help, or participate in initiatives to serve others.
While there are lots of resources in this article, I encourage everyone to continue their independent research and to verify each resources before using or accessing them. Stay safe and healthy everyone.