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Coronavirus: Ontario invests $12M into mental health supports amid COVID-19 pandemic

Coronavirus outbreak: Ford pledges $12M for online mental health support, dedicated therapy for frontline workers
WATCH ABOVE: Ontario Premier Doug Ford said Thursday his government would seek to invest $12 million to expand online mental health supports for people impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition, Ford said his government would provide dedicated therapy for frontline healthcare workers.

The Ontario government announced an investment of $12 million into virtual mental health supports amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Premier Doug Ford made the announcement alongside Ontario Health Minister Christine Elliott and Associate Minister of Mental Health and Addictions Michael Tibollo at Queen’s Park Thursday afternoon.

READ MORE: Coronavirus: Ontario AG announces funds to support victims of crime during pandemic

“What we’re seeing happening to our seniors and our long-term care homes, what we’re seeing happening to our neighbours, is hard to process,” said Ford. “It’s hard to comprehend and it’s hard to deal with.”

“The feeling of being isolated is real.”

Ford said the government has partnered with programs such as Kids Help Phone and Bounce Back to create the new virtual support.

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“We also know the mental and physical strain that our frontline workers and our first responders are facing,” Ford continued. “They’re working long hours, they see tragedy every single day, they’re making really really tough decisions.

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Ford said they will be providing “dedicated therapy” to help those frontline workers, healthcare workers and first responders.

“You’re not alone, we’re listening, we care,” he said. “If you’re struggling please reach out, talk to someone, if you know someone who may be struggling, talk to them.”

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Earlier on Thursday, Ontario’s Attorney General Doug Downey announced $4 million to support those who are victims or crime and domestic abuse during the pandemic.

As of Thursday morning, Ontario has 2,793 cases of coronavirus and 53 deaths.

“We will get through this, we will defeat COVID-19,” said Elliott, emphasizing that the government will look to do everything they can to protect Ontarians mental and physical health.

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