Time and money – along with stigma – are often cited as barriers to getting treatment for mental health. But, a program called BounceBack addresses all those concerns.
For 24-year old Shealyn Ivany, it turned out to be the only formal type of mental health treatment she needed after she graduated from the University of Toronto in 2017.
“A lot of my anxiety and depression was situational at that time, because of the uncertainty that I felt in my life and within myself.”
She had always been a high achiever in school but was unable to find a fulfilling job after university and fell into depression.
A solo trip to Banff, Alta. gave her time for introspection and confidence that she could succeed with some help.
Her physician referred her to BounceBack, a phone-based service for anyone above the age of 15.
BounceBack helps people with mild to moderate anxiety or depression, or even those having difficulty with stress. Clients can be referred by a doctor or be self-referred. The program began in British Columbia and was brought to Ontario five years ago.
Rebecca Shields, CEO of the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) in York Region said “this is a program that they can access over the phone and they get connected to a coach who can help them work through an individualized program.”
Clients call in and set up an appointment to talk with their own personal “coach,” who will teach them CBT – Cognitive Behavioural Therapy.
CBT is a method of modifying one’s thinking and behaviour to reduce anxiety. To attend an in-person session on this method can cost hundreds or even thousands of dollars, which is money Ivany didn’t have as a newly graduated student. Furthermore, she was concerned about the amount of time and travel that might be involved in seeking treatment.
BounceBack is free – managed by the CMHA. Coaches are available between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. on weekdays and between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. on weekends. As well, since it is done over the phone, it’s discreet and there’s no travel time involved.
Clients are given a series of workbooks, chosen specifically to address their own individual problems, such as difficulty sleeping or being assertive.
“I like to think of it as guided self-help” Ivany said. “So you check in with your BounceBack coach every month but for the majority of the time it’s just you with these worksbooks that address areas you want to work on.”
She spent five months doing the BounceBack program and says she’s doing fine now. She writes and speaks about mental health to groups and she’s started her own website – livingembrace.ca – to give hope to others.
As she contemplates the importance of Bell Let’s Talk Day, she says “I love how these initiatives bring attention to the topic in such a widespread way on days like Bell Let’s Talk Day but for me, I really believe this is something we need to talk about every other day of the year as well.”
Business travel isn't expected to return to pre-pandemic levels anytime soon – CBC.ca
Kacey Siskind recently took her first business trip to the U.S. since the pandemic began.
The vice-president of business development at Honk Mobile, a parking app, attended an industry conference in Texas.
“Our team was fully vaccinated and we felt that we could probably make our way and see how it went… we just wanted to take a chance and really be back out in the world,” said Siskind.
But in Dallas, you’d barely know there had ever been a global pandemic. Panel discussions and networking sessions at the conference happened indoors with no masks in sight — just lots of people eager to re-connect.
Siskind said she found the environment unnerving at first, but soon began to appreciate the experience.
“There is really nothing like being in person with somebody,” Siskind said. “There’s nothing like physically seeing them and talking to them.”
Only essential business travel has continued throughout the pandemic; for example, trips related to healthcare issues or critical infrastructure. Work trips related to maintaining or building relationships, making sales or attending conferences had been shut down.
In an online survey of 640 industry professionals, a June poll from the Global Business Travel Association, a U.S.-based industry group, found 91 per cent of companies say they’ve cancelled or suspended most or all international business travel — a huge hit for the industry.
Slow return for business travel in Canada
In Canada, virtual, online gatherings are expected to be the norm at least until the end of the year, event planners said.
“Our friends down in the states are moving a little bit quicker than us,” said Anh Nguyen, an event planner in Calgary. “In Canada, we’re seeing a little bit of a more conservative approach.”
Nguyen’s company, Spark Event Management, organized a number of virtual events over the past year. She believes many organizations — here and in the U.S. — won’t be willing to give up all the benefits that come with going online.
“There’s no such thing as sold out, right? So if you’re a 300-person event you can now reach 5,000-6,000 people if you wanted it to.”
Nguyen adds that with avatars, networking and breakout room software, industry is getting close to being able to replicate much of a real-life event experience online — though it’ll never be quite the same.
“The technology has grown and there’s a lot of money and investments being put into event technology right now,” Nguyen said.
Virtual gatherings may be great in some ways, but industry insiders note that they do next-to-nothing for local economies. Business travellers are often big spenders. They’re often on expense accounts, which benefit hotels, restaurants, taxis, airlines and more.
“Business travel contributes over $40 billion towards our Canadian economy in pre-pandemic numbers,” said Nancy Tudorach, who works with the Global Business Travel Association. “It’s about 2.5 to 3 per cent of our typical pre-pandemic GDP.”
Airlines are hurting
Vik Krishnan, a consultant with McKinsey & Company, said airlines in particular depend on expensive business class tickets.
“The business traveler tends to book late, they tend to travel with higher frequency, and they tend to also buy some of the more expensive fares,” he said. “Business travel for some airlines comprises 50 to 75 per cent of profits.”
A recent report from McKinsey noted that it took six years for airlines to recover from the impact of the Sept. 11 attacks, and that the industry still hadn’t fully recovered from the 2008 global financial crisis when the pandemic hit.
The COVID-19 pandemic has been larger in scale and deeper than any of those prior crises, Krisnan said. But if corporate travel remains curtailed, he said airlines probably won’t make up the difference by charging regular consumers more.
“This is an industry that has faced a lot of competition, has faced fairly relentless pricing pressure and cost pressure, and therefore, it’s no stranger to having to deal with an environment where you don’t have a lot of leeway and flexibility to raise prices.”
The recent emergence of new discount airlines in Canada, such as Flair and Canada Jetlines, could make it difficult for WestJet or Air Canada to charge more.
Business travel may stay depressed
Many of the companies that depend heavily on business travellers are expected to continue to struggle. McKinsey’s report on the airline industry forecasts pre-pandemic travel levels won’t be reached until 2024, and even then will only be at 80 per cent.
Others say the pandemic may have changed the approach to corporate travel forever.
Kacey Siskind suspects all business trips will now be evaluated differently.
“Is it efficient for us to go to a conference? Yes, if we’re going to see hundreds of people, it’s going to make sense for us to be there,” she said. “Is it smart for me to go off to New York for a night to have one meeting? Maybe not so much.”
Union ratifies deal with Bombardier at Downsview; talks with De Havilland continue – CP24 Toronto's Breaking News
TORONTO – Unifor says members of two of its locals have ratified an agreement with Bombardier Aviation at its Downsview plant in north Toronto.
Unifor National President Jerry Dias says in a statement that the three-year collective agreement approved by members of Local 112 and 673 makes “significant progress” on key issues such as pensions, as well as on job protection against outsourcing and the use of contractors.
Workers will see raises of 0.5 per cent in Year 1, 0.75 per cent in Year 2 and one per cent in Year 3.
The workers launched a strike late last month against the business jet manufacturer and De Havilland, which it says had made Dash 8 turboprops at the facility.
Unifor says the ratified deal covers approximately 1,500 Bombardier Aviation workers, and runs from June 23, 2021 to June 23, 2024.
But it says 700 De Havilland workers remain on strike as negotiations between it and the company continue, with a dedicated picket line in operation at the De Havilland area of the facility.
“As the industry recovers from this once-in-a-century pandemic and Bombardier prepares to move production to a new facility at Pearson Airport, these collective agreements will ensure our highly skilled members will maintain wages, pension, benefits and other working conditions that are among the best in the industry,” Dias said in the statement.
The union has said the future of the Dash 8 program is the focus of talks with De Havilland.
De Havilland announced earlier this year that it would no longer produce new Dash 8s at the facility beyond currently confirmed orders. De Havilland indicated two years ago that work will end at Downsview once lease agreements for the land expire.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 31, 2021.
Ontario reports 258 new COVID-19 cases on Saturday – CBC.ca
Ontario reported another 258 cases of COVID-19 on Saturday. The latest case count includes 53 cases in Toronto, 33 in York Region, 28 in the Region of Waterloo, 27 in Hamilton and 26 in Peel Region.
Here are some other key pandemic indicators and figures from the Ministry of Health’s daily provincial update:
Seven-day average of daily cases: 183
Tests completed: 19,112
Provincewide test positivity rate: 1.2 per cent
Active cases: 1,606
Patients in ICU with COVID-related illnesses: 112; 83 needed a ventilator to breathe
Deaths: Six, pushing the official toll to 9,345
Vaccinations: 81,590 doses administered for a total of 19,459,198 as of 8 p.m. on Friday.
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