COVID - RESOURCES FOR POLICE FAMILIES
Resources and Tips from The Health and Wellness Department at DRPS
TIPS TO MANAGE ANXIETY AND WELL-BEING DURING THE CORONAVIRUS OUTBREAK
Managing your overall mental and physical well-being during a public health emergency is important for first responders and their loved ones. The rapidly growing and unknown aspect of Coronavirus (COVID-19) is naturally making a number of people feel anxious. A small amount of anxiety is normal as it can help us to make conscious decisions when it comes to our health. However, steps should be taken to prevent stress or anxiety from affecting our ability to function.
EDUCATE YOURSELF: Here is a quick and informative video developed by the World health Organization (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mOV1aBVYKGA )
What the virus is, how it spreads, signs & symptoms and prevention ( http://bit.ly/38U9btb )
Simple & practical things you can do to be prepare ( http://bit.ly/33sX5Gg )
Social distancing ( http://bit.ly/2vt0yrV )
Differences between self-monitoring & self-isolation (http://bit.ly/3d7mR7r )
Self-assessment for Coronavirus ( http://bit.ly/2IVmRd0 )
KEEP PERSPECTIVE: When something is new and there’s unknowns about it, your brain’s normal reaction may perceive it as a threat that triggers a flight or fight response. It’s easy for the risk to be inflated considering the amount of attention a new threat like this gets. Take the time to consider the actual risk to you and your family.
Although it is important to stay informed it is also important to keep perspective by knowing facts from trusted sources; not rumours or misinformation. Set limits on how much time you spend reading or watching news about the outbreak and focus on positive things in your life that you can control.
Durham Region Health Department: http://bit.ly/2UdIDhf
Ontario Ministry of Health: https://news.ontario.ca/mohltc/en
World Health Organization:https://www.who.int/
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: https://www.cdc.gov/
EDUCATE LOVED ONES: As a first responder, many of your loved ones including your spouse and/or children may experience increased anxiety with your exposure in the community.
Ease anxiety by explaining the multiple precautionary steps being implemented by DRPS for your safety while at work. These steps were outlined by the Executive Leadership Team through multiple COVID-19 email updates. You can also find this information on Media One with the new COVID-19 tab, email COVID19@drps.ca, or call extension 4121 between 8 am – 6 pm.
Some of your loved ones who you do not live with may not feel comfortable with you working in the community as the risk to them may increase. Validating their feelings and brainstorming ways to limit face to face interactions while understanding that staying connected is important. This could be through electronic methods like FaceTime, Skype, Whats APP, etc.
Acknowledge your children’s fears and learn how to explain the situation to them at their level without causing more anxiety.
“Talking with Children: Tips for caregivers, parents and teachers during infectious disease Outbreaks” ( http://bit.ly/2Ufh4nR )
COPING STRATEGIES: Remember to engage in the practice of, or remind loved ones in the practice of coping strategies that can help manage anxiety levels.
Physical activity – is one of the best things you can do for your health and it has been shown to improve people’s physiological response to stress. Going for a daily walk can be beneficial however if you enjoyed the gym then you may want to do more. Due to the closure of fitness facilities, even gyms at DRPS buildings, home workouts are encouraged for your overall well-being. There are numerous free apps or websites that can help you with a home workout plan based on your skill level and limited equipment;
APPS - https://yhoo.it/2wfXEY0
WEBSITES - http://bit.ly/2QnY3i0
Healthy eating- Be mindful of the connection between stress and the foods you consume. Choose healthy food options in times of stress to lead to clearer thinking, increased energy, and better overall health. See below links for foods proven to boost the immune system.
Meditation – has been used throughout history to help people clear their minds of worries, cares and negative thoughts so they can manage stress.
APPS - http://bit.ly/390GOcZ
Other popular coping strategies are;
Listening to music or singing
Surround self with nature
FINANCIAL RESTRICTIONS: Many people may experience anxiety with concerns pertaining to their finances due to Coronavirus and isolation.
Service Canada Employment Insurance (EI) sickness benefits are available to provide income replacement for those unable to work because of illness, injury, or quarantine. The one-week waiting period for EI sickness benefits will be waived for new claimants who are quarantined so they can be paid for the first week of their claim. Service Canada’s dedicated toll-free support number is 1-833-381-2725.
An information fact sheet from Canada Life regarding benefits for COVID-19 is attached for information purposes
Federal Government announced the following proposals;
They will spend up to $82 billion, including $27 billion in direct support for Canadian workers and businesses.
They will also temporarily boost the Canada Child Benefit over the coming months, proposing families will get an extra $300 per child as part of their May payment.
Tax deadline will be moved from April 30th to June 1st 2020, and payments for owed taxes postponed until August 31st 2020.
A six-month, interest-free moratorium on the repayment of federal student loans.
Link for more information: ( http://bit.ly/2w8JGaw )
SELF-ISOLATION: Although self-isolation or being quarantined can sound very negative, remember you are in control of your feelings about the situation. When was the last time you were able to take 14 days to stay home and have time to accomplish many projects you have thought about for years?
Are there any side projects you’ve always wanted to start or at-home hobbies you wanted to get back into?
Continue adult education through free online resources.
Canadian Police Knowledge Network ( CPKN ) offers multiple free courses that you could complete in hours or days for your development (https://www.cpkn.ca/en/ )
Free eLearning programs offered through PEIC
Complete various ‘challenges’ through Canada Life which include;
Share the Kindness Challenge
Climb High Challenge
Great Snooze-off Challenge
Fruits and Veggies Challenge
( Link: http://bit.ly/38YDHCn )
Educational resources for mental and physical health on Canada Life
( Link: http://bit.ly/33ovdDs )
Tips for self-isolation from the Red Cross (http://bit.ly/2TVV4iO )
Scholastic has offered free online learning for students to keep children engaged in their education ( http://bit.ly/38TRcDm )
STAY CONNECTED: Having a support network of people to talk to when you’re feeling anxious can help to keep you grounded and remind you to keep the perspective you need. In fact, humans are wired to receive and give social support which can have a physiological impact that makes us feel better right away.
If you, or a loved one, are struggling with your anxiety that is affecting your ability to maintain your regular activities, you may consider seeking additional support.
Employee Assistance Program (EAP) - Service offered to you, your spouse, and dependent children for unlimited counseling for marital/family difficulties, work related issues, addictions, self-esteem, legal and financial concerns, etc. Our benefits now cover 100% for a psychologist AND psychotherapist, social worker and occupational therapist when related to mental health support and or treatment
PILLAR Peer Support Program – Confidential support from peers with lived experience supporting other peers. A list of current members on Media One.
Durham Regional Police Association – Confidential resources available to members at 905-655-5566, or 24/7 support on any Directors cell phone. www.drpa.ca
Durham Beyond the Blue – A community of support for police spouses and families through resources that provide education, training and practical tools. www.durhambeyondtheblue.com
Boots on the Ground – 24/7 peer support for first responders across Ontario, along with a list of up-to-date resources. 1-833-677-2668 www.bootsontheground.ca
Kids Help Phone – 24/7 crisis support for children and teens.
1-800-668-6868 or text ‘HOME’ to 686868
For a list of more resources click on our “Health and Wellness" link that is located on the Media One homepage. ( https://mediaonesp/HealthWellnessSafety/Pages/unit_home.aspx )