An impossible juggling act
Because the effects of the pandemic are not felt equally, the Mental Health Commission of Canada (MHCC) is turning its attention to populations that are disproportionately affected — including women.
“Women make up the majority of our organization,” said Karla Thorpe, the MHCC’s vice-president of Public Affairs and Organizational Performance. “Every day over the last year, we’ve been hearing from female staff in particular about having to juggle an impossible number of tasks, and we need to recognize that these realities have mental health ramifications.”
Thorpe herself is all-too-familiar with the mental toll arising from the COVID era’s push and pull.
“Personally, this past year was among the most challenging I’ve weathered. I had to move my elderly parents into a care home at the height of the pandemic. With long days of Zoom meetings, followed by caregiving visits in full PPE, there were times when normalcy felt so far out of reach,” she recalled. “Yet, I recognize my own good fortune. The challenge for those who have had to take longer-term leaves or don’t have the luxury of paid time off is even more complex. This is especially true for people without the resources to seek the support they need.”