Wellness Together Canada encourages everyone to #TakeThatStep with access to free mental health support available 24/7

TORONTO, June 15, 2020 /CNW/ - The #TakeThatStep campaign launched today to remind people in Canada that we can take steps every day to improve mental well-being, especially during trying times, and there's free support available. Wellness Together Canada is Canada's first and only online platform offering immediate mental health and substance use support for all ages, funded by the Government of Canada.

As part of the #TakeThatStep initiative, Wellness Together Canada has partnered with Canadian multidisciplinary artist Jacquie Comrie to design a Vans limited-edition shoe that is being distributed to public figures across Canada to share their own stories about mental health and inspire others.

Each bright and colourful shoe is hand painted to represent the deeply personal action of taking steps towards understanding your own mental health, getting help when needed and continuing to check in on yourself each day to promote mental wellness.

"With many people in Canada grappling with different realities, the #TakeThatStep shoe design was created with community in mind to address the importance of healing and caring for our mental health through these difficult times," says Comrie. "The steps taken can be big or small. That is why it's important for us to have resources available like Wellness Together Canada to provide what you need at that moment in time to continue on your journey."

Wellness Together Canada provides a "stepped care" model where Canadians can be instantly connected to virtual mental health services, from a five-minute self-assessment, to extensive support and resources, to live phone, video or text counselling with a mental health professional or crisis responder.

This innovative stepped care model, designed by Stepped Care Solutions is supported by Kids Help Phone, Canada's leading e-mental health solution for youth, and Homewood Health, one of Canada's leading providers of mental health and addiction treatment services and employee assistance programs; both of which bring a wealth of knowledge and expertise in providing virtual mental health services. The portal is funded by the Government of Canada.

Wellness Together Canada launched in mid-April in response to growing mental health concerns as a result of COVID-19 and Canadians struggling to cope with the mental health impacts of isolation, financial uncertainty and the complex challenges brought about by disruptions to daily routines, such as school, daycare and workplace closures. It can also help those struggling with feelings of fear, stress, anger or sadness as a result of the larger dialogue taking place across the country around racial equality. 

Wellness Together Canada is a joint venture between Stepped Care Solutions, Kids Help Phone and Homewood Health, supported by Greenspace Health, with funding from Health Canada as a result of the vision and leadership of Health Minister Patty Hajdu. Each service delivery partner brings their unique services and expertise to the partnership.

The initiative is the first and only online platform of its kind offering immediate mental health and substance use support to all people in Canada in every province and territory in English and French. Prior to Wellness Together Canada, there was no nationally available, virtually accessible service open to people of all ages and in all geographic locations. 

#TakeThatStep and go to WellnessTogether.ca for free support that is available 24/7.


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