Free online psychology sessions aimed at helping Manitobans deal with COVID-19 stress

Manitoba psychologists are offering free online seminars to help people cope with stress. Getty Images

Manitoba psychologists are offering free virtual talks on a wide range of topics — from helping to reduce childhood tantrums, to mental health for athletes, to managing anxiety during pregnancy — in an effort to help people deal with the increased need for mental health supports brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Research data came out recently, finding that for one in three, COVID-19 has negatively impacted their ability to access mental health care here in Manitoba,” Dr. Kristin Reynolds of the Manitoba Psychological Society told 680 CJOB.

“Manitoba continues to have the lowest number of psychologists per capita.

“One of the things we’re hoping to do to raise awareness of the importance of psychology … is through Psychology Month. This is the first year we’ve done things virtually.”

The Psychology Month seminars, which begin Wednesday night with a session about getting your child to go to sleep (and stay asleep), have the goal of lightening the load on people struggling during the current stressful situation, as well as to raise awareness of access to psychological and mental health resources.

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“Large nationally-representative studies have shown worsened mental health over the past decade or so — so this isn’t new — but I think the pandemic has worsened that perception,” said Reynolds.

“I think the change in routine and perhaps the lack of routine is a big one where people do feel that sensation of Groundhog Day, that every day is sort of similar.

“We’ve seen financial concerns, concerns about job loss, concerns about child care and homeschooling and all those kinds of things, and I think people are juggling a lot of things on their minds and having fewer outlets to cope with some of those challenges.”

A full schedule of Psychology Month events is available on the MPS website.

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