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Crisis in long-term care: Workers in need of psychological support

Preventing moral distress and promoting psychological self-care are essential for workers in long-term care homes. In a new report aimed at health-care leaders and policy makers, the Mental Health Commission of Canada, Queen’s University, and HEC Montreal are highlighting these workers’ needs in long-term care and identifying areas of support for this struggling sector.

Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, long-term care workers were experiencing chronic stress and burnout.

Recent investigations by non-profit, media, and government organizations into the growing number of COVID-19-related deaths in long-term care sounded the alarm about the lack of support being provided to the sector in Canada.

This report supports the need to address these emerging and long-standing economic, social, and organizational issues.

What is being recommended:

  • Address emerging and long-standing structural issues in the long-term care sector
  • Provide funding to make continuing education and training accessible to all staff
  • Support leadership and organizational staff
  • Eliminate unsafe working conditions brought on by COVID-19
  • Implement significant improvements to existing workplace human resource policies


“The COVID-19 pandemic brought to light and exacerbated many of the realities faced by workers in long-term care. For the continued viability of the sector, these inequities must be fully addressed to prevent an escalation of this crisis in the future.”

Michel Rodrigue, President and CEO
Mental Health Commission of Canada

“On its last legs, Canada’s long-term care sector stands to benefit from complete reform on outdated policies, insufficient funding packages, and compassionate working conditions.”

Dr. Sophy Chan-Nguyen
Queen’s University

“Improving working conditions in long-term care should be a top priority for governments, particularly as this was one of the hardest-hit sectors throughout the pandemic.” 

Dr. Colleen Grady
Queen’s University

Media Relations
Mental Health Commission of Canada
613-683-3748 / media@mentalhealthcommission.ca

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The Mental Health Commission of Canada is a catalyst for change, an organization designed to recommend improvements to the mental health system on a national level. We are not directly involved in individual cases of advocacy, outreach, service delivery or local supports.