Connect with us

Health

‘Anxiety and depression are increasing’: Alberta doctor sees spike in mental health visits – Global News

Published

 on


An Alberta family doctor says he is seeing as many as 12 patients a day suffering with mental health challenges when he used to see just one or two a day in 2019.

Dr. Mukarram A. Zaidi, a family physician in Calgary, says a number of factors, including the pandemic, are contributing to a huge spike in anxiety, depression and suicidal tendencies.

“I don’t have concrete numbers but I’m seeing more and more patients with depression,” he told Global News.

READ MORE: Kenney pledges $53M in mental health funding as Alberta sees no new COVID-19 deaths

Zaidi said many people have lost their jobs and most of those who haven’t are working from home.

Story continues below advertisement

We used to socialize after work, go out and about on the weekend, go out for dinner, workout and catch up with family and friends.

“That has all gone. A: we don’t have work, B: we are working from home, C: we don’t go out.”

Read more:
Shortage of last-resort antidepressant creating ‘scary situation’ for patients: pharmacists

Additionally, many Albertans live in housing that doesn’t have a dedicated space either for work or for working out and staying active.

“A lot of people are working from their basement,” Zaidi said. “Many of patients live in apartments and can’t work out.

“It builds on each other… Everyone’s on edge,” he said.

“Not socializing with one another is a huge deal. Not being allowed to have family visit you… it’s skyrocketed depression in younger patients that I see.”

The big increase in the number of patients suffering from severe depression is what led Zaidi to share a message on Twitter earlier this week.

Story continues below advertisement

Zaidi believes in addition to the economy and the pandemic, political rhetoric is exacerbating the stress Albertans — both patients and physicians — are feeling.

Read more:
Alberta health minister blames feds for scarce details on Phase 2 COVID-19 vaccine plan

“They don’t see ways the economy will improve. They don’t see hope.”

“The government has no clear message,” he said.


Click to play video 'Alberta health minister is furious over vaccine delivery changes'



1:44
Alberta health minister is furious over vaccine delivery changes


Alberta health minister is furious over vaccine delivery changes – Jan 28, 2021

Confusion and disappointment over vaccine timelines is also increasing worry among Albertans, Zaidi said.

“Their anxiety and depression is increasing on a daily basis.”

Read more:
Albertans report greatest increase of stress as Canadians’ mental health plummets

Story continues below advertisement

Last spring, the Calgary Distress Centre saw a 21 per cent increase in suicide-related calls between January and May. Also over that time period, the centre received more than 5,500 crisis contacts related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

[ Sign up for our Health IQ newsletter for the latest coronavirus updates ]

The centre’s director of communication, Diane Jones Konihowski, said the majority of calls the organization has received are mainly related to isolation, anxiety and depression amid the ongoing pandemic.

Read more:
City sees spike in crisis calls amid COVID-19 pandemic: Calgary Distress Centre

While provincial data from the chief medical examiner for 2020 and 2019 is still considered preliminary and may change as cases are finalized, the suicide rate for Alberta actually appears to be trending downward.

In 2020, there were an estimated 468 deaths by suicide, the highest number occurring in the 30-34 age group. The previous year, there were an estimated 601 deaths by suicide, with the highest number reported in the 55-59 age group.

In both years, these occurrences were three times more common in men than women.

The two years before that — 2018 and 2017 — recorded similar rates of suicide: 630 and 647, respectively.


Click to play video 'Alberta announces $68.5M towards protecting the vulnerable from COVID-19'



4:18
Alberta announces $68.5M towards protecting the vulnerable from COVID-19


Alberta announces $68.5M towards protecting the vulnerable from COVID-19

There are a number of virtual and remote addiction and mental health supports and services available to Albertans at this time, including:

Story continues below advertisement

The Mental Health Helpline

  • Provides confidential, anonymous service, including crisis intervention, information on mental health programs, and referrals to other agencies if needed.
  • The Mental Health Helpline is available at 1-877-303-2642.

Alberta Health Services’ Help in Tough Times

  • Provides links to supports and services, including addiction and mental health, available to Albertans.

AHS’ Text4Hope program

  • Free service providing three months of daily Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)-based text messages written by mental health therapists.

Togetherall

  • Clinically moderated, online peer-to-peer mental health community that empowers individuals to anonymously seek and provide support 24/7.
  • Togetherall is free to all Albertans aged 16+.

AHS’ virtual addiction and mental health services

  • Services and supports free to Albertans.

Alberta 211

  • Provides information, including support via phone, text, chat and website referrals and resources addiction and mental health referrals and resources.
  • Professionally trained specialists are available by texting INFO to 211, live chat through the website, ab.211.ca or calling 2-1-1.

The Crisis Services Canada Suicide Prevention Service

Story continues below advertisement

  • Offers a 24/7 helpline for people thinking about or affected by suicide via phone, text or chat (1-833-456-4566).

Kids Help Phone (expanded) 

  • Provides free, confidential 24/7 services for children, youth, and young adults.
  • Services include professional counselling by phone, and volunteer-led information and crisis support via phone, text, or chat.

Wellness Together Canada

  • Provides free online resources, tools, apps and connections to trained volunteers and qualified mental health professionals when needed.

The Crisis Text Line Alberta

  • Available 24-7
  • Offers information, referrals and volunteer-led, text based support for Albertans of all ages, by texting CONNECT to 741741.

Click to play video 'Strong But Not Silent: 4 men come together to talk about mental health'



2:44
Strong But Not Silent: 4 men come together to talk about mental health


Strong But Not Silent: 4 men come together to talk about mental health – Nov 27, 2020

The Edmonton Police Service reported a slight increase in this type of call for service from 2019 to 2020.

Story continues below advertisement

In 2019, there were 4,941 calls for service related to attempted suicide or suicide. In 2020, there were 4,953.

The number of people who lost their lives to suicide (reported to EPS) rose from 39 in 2019 to 61 in 2020.

Read more:
New technology focuses on mental wellness for Albertans during COVID-19 pandemic

“Check on Welfare” calls also rose, from 970 in 2019 to 1,194 in 2020.


Dr. Mukarram A. Zaidi, a family physician in Calgary.


Global News

Zaidi said the increase in mental health-related cases is also taking a toll on physicians, especially when there are multiple patients with complex needs.

“It takes a lot out of you,” he said.

Many of the patients he sees for severe depression come to him because they have no where else to go, Zaidi said.

Story continues below advertisement

“People can’t afford to go to counselling, so while the patient came in for ‘not feeling well for some time’… after looking, bloodwork, asking them questions… It turns out they have severe depression and severe anxiety.”

Read more:
Two family doctors explain why they’re leaving Alberta: ‘Physicians are just feeling powerless’

Zaidi said he then talks with the patient about the diagnosis, discusses possible causes, symptoms and treatment options.

“Seeing 12 in a day? It’s a lot on our mental health as well.

“For my colleagues — family doctors and emergency doctors are under huge pressure.”

The sour relationship between the UCP government and doctors isn’t helping, he said.

Story continues below advertisement

“We don’t have an agreement with the province about how we will be paid.”

Read more:
Alberta government ends master agreement with doctors; new rules coming April 1

On the election trail, Jason Kenney was focused on trimming Alberta’s health-care costs (42 per cent of the province’s operating costs) and often targeted physician pay.

Once elected, the United Conservatives passed Bill 21, which allowed the health minister to terminate the province’s physician compensation agreement with the Alberta Medical Association.

In February 2020, the master agreement was cancelled and Minister Tyler Shandro announced a number of changes to physicians’ pay. In July, the AMA released a survey showing 42 per cent of doctors who responded are thinking about leaving Alberta.

Read more:
Alberta doctors ‘beyond frustrated’ with virtual care app amid coronavirus crisis

“The stress that we are under since COVID started… we are in a negative balance,” Zaidi said. “But not even knowing what’s coming up next is a huge stress for family physicians.

“Not knowing if we can pay the bills and take care of patients.”

Where to get help

If you or someone you know is in crisis and needs help, resources are available. In case of an emergency, please call 911 for immediate help.

The Canadian Association for Suicide PreventionDepression Hurts and Kids Help Phone 1-800-668-6868  all offer ways of getting help if you, or someone you know, may be suffering from mental health issues.

© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

Let’s block ads! (Why?)



Source link

Continue Reading

Health

CPPIB CEO Mark Machin steps down after getting COVID-19 vaccine in UAE – Global News

Published

 on


Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB) said on Friday Mark Machin had stepped down as CEO of the country’s largest pension fund after disclosing he recently traveled to the United Arab Emirates where he arranged to be vaccinated against COVID-19.

CPPIB said it had accepted Machin’s resignation and appointed John Graham as chief executive officer.

Read more:
Head of Canada Pension Plan board received COVID-19 vaccine in Dubai: reports

Canada’s Ministry of Finance on Thursday called a media report about Machin traveling to the Middle East and receiving a COVID-19 vaccination “very troubling”.

Machin was not immediately available for comment.

Machin, 54, received Pfizer’s vaccine shot after arriving in the UAE with his partner this month, the Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday, citing people familiar with the matter.

Story continues below advertisement

Machin was named president and CEO in June 2016, according to the pension fund’s website.

(Reporting by Noor Zainab Hussain in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D’Silva)

© 2021 Reuters

Let’s block ads! (Why?)



Source link

Continue Reading

Health

‘Think small, think local’: B.C. health officials advise against big spring break plans – Global News

Published

 on


British Columbia’s top doctor is advising people not to make big plans for the upcoming March break as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to pose a threat.

Dr. Bonnie Henry says British Columbians will need to stay local during the annual pause from school. The province had previously indicated there would be encouragement to travel around the province if transmission numbers dropped.






1:45
Advice for what B.C. parents should do for March Break 2021?


Advice for what B.C. parents should do for March Break 2021?

“In terms of travel, right now as always, we need to stay local,” Henry said.

Story continues below advertisement

“And we’re going to be reassessing things as we move through the next weeks. And we will be talking more about March break and what we need to do in the coming days.”

[ Sign up for our Health IQ newsletter for the latest coronavirus updates ]

Henry is pointing to the province’s rate of transmission, positivity rate and reproductive rate for why restrictions remain in place and why spring break travel is not being encouraged.

Read more:
B.C. ‘not quite there’ on easing restrictions, reports 395 COVID-19 cases, 10 deaths

The seven-day rolling average for new COVID-19 cases was an average of 481.4 cases a day on February 24, a steady climb from the 432.1 daily average reported a week earlier.

The test positivity rate has also gone up, although not as dramatically. Two weeks ago, 6.2 per cent of all COVID-19 tests in the province came back positive, going up to 6.6 per cent last week and sitting at 6.7 per cent now.


Click to play video 'What’s fueling the current spread of COVID-19 in B.C.?'



2:47
What’s fueling the current spread of COVID-19 in B.C.?


What’s fueling the current spread of COVID-19 in B.C.?

The province could not provide specifics on the reproductive number — a key metric for measuring whether the pandemic is under control. Henry says it is over one, which means for every COVID-19 case in the province it is passed on to more than one person.

Story continues below advertisement

“In the last two weeks, we started to see (the reproductive number) move above the level of one, and what that means is that there is potential for rapid growth if we are not careful,” Henry said.

“It is like a tree that keeps growing and spreading. But we need to keep the cases low and slow so that we can control that.”

B.C. is working with other provincial governments to determine some national policies around the spring break. The province is also looking at how it can support British Columbians, particularly young people, to have safe opportunities with friends during the break.

© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

Let’s block ads! (Why?)



Source link

Continue Reading

Health

A look at COVID-19 vaccinations in Canada on Friday, Feb. 26, 2021 – ThePeterboroughExaminer.com

Published

 on


The latest numbers on COVID-19 vaccinations in Canada as of 4 a.m. ET on Thursday, Feb. 26, 2021.

In Canada, the provinces are reporting 55,116 new vaccinations administered for a total of 1,707,398 doses given. The provinces have administered doses at a rate of 4,505.094 per 100,000.

There were 3,510 new vaccines delivered to the provinces and territories for a total of 2,043,599 doses delivered so far. The provinces and territories have used 83.55 per cent of their available vaccine supply.

Please note that Newfoundland, P.E.I., Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and the territories typically do not report on a daily basis.

Newfoundland is reporting 3,827 new vaccinations administered over the past seven days for a total of 20,285 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 38.739 per 1,000. There were zero new vaccines delivered to Newfoundland for a total of 26,800 doses delivered so far. The province has received enough of the vaccine to give 5.1 per cent of its population a single dose. The province has used 75.69 per cent of its available vaccine supply.

P.E.I. is reporting 1,485 new vaccinations administered over the past seven days for a total of 12,176 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 76.758 per 1,000. There were zero new vaccines delivered to P.E.I. for a total of 13,045 doses delivered so far. The province has received enough of the vaccine to give 8.2 per cent of its population a single dose. The province has used 93.34 per cent of its available vaccine supply.

Nova Scotia is reporting 5,716 new vaccinations administered over the past seven days for a total of 30,748 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 31.507 per 1,000. There were zero new vaccines delivered to Nova Scotia for a total of 47,280 doses delivered so far. The province has received enough of the vaccine to give 4.8 per cent of its population a single dose. The province has used 65.03 per cent of its available vaccine supply.

New Brunswick is reporting 5,135 new vaccinations administered over the past seven days for a total of 26,317 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 33.738 per 1,000. There were zero new vaccines delivered to New Brunswick for a total of 35,015 doses delivered so far. The province has received enough of the vaccine to give 4.5 per cent of its population a single dose. The province has used 75.16 per cent of its available vaccine supply.

Quebec is reporting 10,166 new vaccinations administered for a total of 387,076 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 45.237 per 1,000. There were zero new vaccines delivered to Quebec for a total of 509,325 doses delivered so far. The province has received enough of the vaccine to give 6.0 per cent of its population a single dose. The province has used 76 per cent of its available vaccine supply.

Ontario is reporting 19,112 new vaccinations administered for a total of 621,960 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 42.342 per 1,000. There were zero new vaccines delivered to Ontario for a total of 683,255 doses delivered so far. The province has received enough of the vaccine to give 4.7 per cent of its population a single dose. The province has used 91.03 per cent of its available vaccine supply.

Manitoba is reporting 2,688 new vaccinations administered for a total of 69,060 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 50.152 per 1,000. There were 3,510 new vaccines delivered to Manitoba for a total of 102,360 doses delivered so far. The province has received enough of the vaccine to give 7.4 per cent of its population a single dose. The province has used 67.47 per cent of its available vaccine supply.

Saskatchewan is reporting 2,091 new vaccinations administered for a total of 65,436 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 55.494 per 1,000. There were zero new vaccines delivered to Saskatchewan for a total of 59,395 doses delivered so far. The province has received enough of the vaccine to give 5.0 per cent of its population a single dose. The province has used 110.2 per cent of its available vaccine supply.

Alberta is reporting 9,000 new vaccinations administered for a total of 195,572 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 44.428 per 1,000. There were zero new vaccines delivered to Alberta for a total of 205,875 doses delivered so far. The province has received enough of the vaccine to give 4.7 per cent of its population a single dose. The province has used 95 per cent of its available vaccine supply.

British Columbia is reporting 9,008 new vaccinations administered for a total of 239,883 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 46.746 per 1,000. There were zero new vaccines delivered to British Columbia for a total of 307,849 doses delivered so far. The province has received enough of the vaccine to give 6.0 per cent of its population a single dose. The province has used 77.92 per cent of its available vaccine supply.

Yukon is reporting 810 new vaccinations administered for a total of 15,174 doses given. The territory has administered doses at a rate of 363.615 per 1,000. There were zero new vaccines delivered to Yukon for a total of 18,900 doses delivered so far. The territory has received enough of the vaccine to give 45 per cent of its population a single dose. The territory has used 80.29 per cent of its available vaccine supply.

The Northwest Territories are reporting zero new vaccinations administered for a total of 16,454 doses given. The territory has administered doses at a rate of 364.68 per 1,000. There were zero new vaccines delivered to the Northwest Territories for a total of 19,100 doses delivered so far. The territory has received enough of the vaccine to give 42 per cent of its population a single dose. The territory has used 86.15 per cent of its available vaccine supply.

Nunavut is reporting 184 new vaccinations administered for a total of 7,257 doses given. The territory has administered doses at a rate of 187.393 per 1,000. There were zero new vaccines delivered to Nunavut for a total of 15,400 doses delivered so far. The territory has received enough of the vaccine to give 40 per cent of its population a single dose. The territory has used 47.12 per cent of its available vaccine supply.

Loading…

Loading…Loading…Loading…Loading…Loading…

Notes on data: The figures are compiled by the COVID-19 Open Data Working Group based on the latest publicly available data and are subject to change. Note that some provinces report weekly, while others report same-day or figures from the previous day. Vaccine doses administered is not equivalent to the number of people inoculated as the approved vaccines require two doses per person. The vaccines are currently not being administered to children under 18 and those with certain health conditions. In some cases the number of doses administered may appear to exceed the number of doses distributed as some provinces have been drawing extra doses per vial.

This report was automatically generated by The Canadian Press Digital Data Desk and was first published Feb. 26, 2021.

Let’s block ads! (Why?)



Source link

Continue Reading

Trending