Canada invests in virtual care, mental health tools
May 6, 2020
OTTAWA – Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced an investment of $240.5 million to develop, expand, and launch virtual care and mental health tools to support Canadians.
Working with provinces, territories, and stakeholders, the investment will be used to create digital platforms and applications, improve access to virtual mental health supports, and expand capacity to deliver healthcare virtually, including projects to reach vulnerable Canadians. These supports will also help ease the burden on our healthcare system, as we continue to deal with COVID-19.
This investment will:
- help Canadians safely engage with their health providers and specialist health services through telephone, text, or video-conferencing;
- support access to mental health supports and reliable health information in a safe and secure manner, reducing pressure on our health system;
- help governments, public health officials, hospitals, and healthcare facilities make evidence-based decisions; and
- support federal, provincial, and territorial initiatives in collaboration with innovators, health stakeholders, and organizations like Canada Health Infoway, to expand virtual health services to Canadians.
The investment will support Wellness Together Canada, an online portal that provides Canadians with free resources, tools, and professional support services to help with wellness and resilience, as well as mental health and substance use. It will also support a growing family of digital products that includes the Canada COVID-19 app, which helps people track their symptoms, receive the latest updates, and access trusted resources.
“It’s important that we take care of ourselves and our families during these challenging times, and that’s why we’ve introduced more virtual health resources and mental health tools to further support Canadians through this crisis,” said the Prime Minister.
Back in late March, the Government of Canada announced $7.5 million in funding to Kids Help Phone to provide children and youth with mental health support and counselling services during this difficult time.
“These investments will help provide Canadians with virtual healthcare services that are safe and secure,” said Patty Hajdu (pictured), Minister of Health. “As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to evolve, people in every community are struggling and we will continue to help them.”