Catholic Health Association of Manitoba

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COVID-19 Support for Managers, staff and their families

The coronavirus pandemic is taking it's toll on many management teams, staff, residents, patients and families.  CHAM, in partnership with the Réseau Compassion Network, Aulneau Renewal Centre, Sara Riel Inc., St.Amant and the Interfaith Healthcare Association of Manitoba, has put together a series of workshops, tools and resources to help and support those who are feeling compassion fatigue, anxiety, burnout, fear, and stressed.  

Over the past several months, we have faced unprecedented challenges brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. We have been forced to change many aspects of our personal and professional lives and know that this constant change can be exhausting and difficult on our mental health.

This information is designed to help you and your staff or families navigate these challenging times. We hope that these remote tools can assist you in taking care of your mental health, while taking care of others. Special thank you to Aulneau Renewal Centre, Sara Riel Inc and St.Amant staff for creating many of these tools.

We would also like to offer you access to workshops facilitated by mental health professionals.  If you are a Community of service in the Réseau Compassion Network, the cost of the courses will be covered for your organization.  Upon reservation, the session will be offered exclusively for your staff and tailored to your organization.

Aulneau Renewal Centre 

Request a Wellness Check | Aulneau Renewal Centre

Compassion Fatigue

This 3 hour workshop will provide a safe and supportive space to learn about compassion fatigue-how it’s like other forms of trauma and burnout.  You will learn new coping skills, how to understand what is happening and to debrief with yourself.

Presenter: Juanita Wilson, BA BSW MACP CCC RSW           
Please email 

Sara Riel Inc. 

Helping Others by Helping yourself: Using Compassion in Difficult Times

This workshop explores the different ways you can implement compassion in your professional and personal life.  You will learn how practicing compassion with yourself and others can help manage fatigue, burnout, and your own mental health during periods of distress, change, and uncertainty. 

Sara Riel can to help promote this opportunity within your organization, to staff and assist with the registration process.

If there are other tools or resources that would be beneficial to you and your team at this time, please do not hesitate to let them know how they can further assist you.

Supporting Personal Care Home Workers during COVID-19
With the dramatic increase of cases and deaths in Personal Care Homes, Sara Riel Inc. has reached out to employers and employees to provide support in dealing with the stressors of COVID-19.
“Mental PPE in Long-Term Care : Arming Yourself with Psychological Strategies During the COVID-19 Pandemic" was developed by Sara Riel Inc. to address the significant challenges and limitations in providing care that have left many employees struggling to navigate these challenges while balancing their own mental health and well-being. Compassion fatigue, burnout, anxiety, depression, and increased workplace and life stress are results of the continued and compounding difficulties brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. In response to this, Sara Riel Inc. is providing mental health supports to front line staff during these unprecedented times.
The Sara Riel Workshops and Modules include strategies and information on: the benefits of mindfulness and self-compassion as stress management tools; how to stay well specifically in the context of COVID-19; information and ways to prevent burnout and compassion fatigue, and; self-care strategies to stay on track.
The workshops were made possible through a partnership with Sara Riel Inc.  and the U of M Psychiatry Health Information Exchange Department and the generous donation from the Réseau Compassion Network and CHAM. This series of Sara Riel Inc. Workshops and Modules are available for free on our website, and can be accessed whenever you need, as many times as you need them.  Long Term Care Workshops - Sara Riel
Sara Riel Inc. has had 335 modules completed with overwhelmingly positive responses, and 65 personal care homes have been supported to date in Manitoba. To access our free modules or for more information visit Sara Riel Inc..
Sara Riel Inc. is a non-diagnosis specific, mental health service provider offering Community-Based services to individuals with mental health and addiction needs through support in Mental Health Counselling, Employment Services, Community Mentorship, Respite and Peer Support care. Sara Riel Inc. has been providing these services to the people of Winnipeg for over 43 years.  

Please email or  

Staff recognition  Being in a position of authority as manager, your employees look to you for direction. A necessary part of this direction is affirmation. Recognition in the form of a “thank you” or “good job” is one of the cheapest and most limitless tools available to managers to enhance positive behaviour.  To read this document and learn ways of recognizing staff, click RECOGNITION.

Grief Resources During COVID-19

Coping with grief can be difficult at any time. In a world where social contact is limited and access to physical resources are restrained, it’s important to know that there are still people you can reach out to when you’re struggling with grief. From articles about grief to free, over the phone counselling, you are not alone. Physical distancing doesn’t need to mean social distancing; we’re here for you.

First, take a look at Palliative Manitoba’s Telephone Bereavement Program. In this program, you’re matched with a volunteer; they’re not trained counsellors, but caring citizens who want to support you in your time of need. You’ll be able to speak with them around once a week, and your relationship might last a year or longer.

Those who are in need of more immediate care can access a wide variety of crisis lines. The Government of Manitoba provides a list of crisis lines. Don’t worry too much about whether or not your situation is severe enough to be called a crisis - if you feel overwhelmed and you need help right now, it’s a crisis.

You might take a look at some of the many articles written about processing grief during the pandemic. Some of these articles speak about the collective grief we’re all feeling right now, while others will speak specifically to the bereavement process during a time when communities can’t physically gather. Much of the advice that’s always given about grief applies here. Take things slowly. The process is not linear; you may feel great one day, and find your energy depleted the next. Reminders of your loved one can fill you with great joy, great sadness, sometimes both at the same time. Take time for yourself, and don’t be afraid to cancel plans and appointments when necessary.

Remember that your friends and family are a powerful resource. Even though you might not be able to meet up with them in person, you can still call or video chat with them. Generally, audible forms of communication are preferable to text chat; we tend to feel more connected this way. Your friends and family are there to support you. Let them know you want to talk.

We’re here for you, too. The Korban funeral home has virtual resources you can access during the pandemic. We can arrange for digital memorial services, including live streams and recordings. We can talk to you about your grief; we understand. Give us a call - we can direct you to a lot of other resources not listed here, too.

Processing grief is different for everyone, so don’t worry if none of the resources we’ve listed here fit your needs. We understand it can be difficult to put the effort into accessing resources - grief can be physically and emotionally exhausting. Be easy with yourself - remember that grief is not a permanent state, but a process that ebbs and flows over time.

(Courtesy of Korban Funeral Chapel)



COVID-19 has transformed our health care landscape and society. In Canada, public policy issues such as Medical Assistance in Dying and the pandemic have shone a public light on many important issues—perhaps most significantly the marginalization of our seniors and other vulnerable Canadians. It has initiated public discussion about concepts at the heart of our Catholic ministry—community, solidarity, common good, and our social responsibility.

The pandemic has also highlighted the timeless relevance of Catholic social teaching and our collective role as health care providers in building a Canadian society that reaches out to every person who is suffering from illness, stigma, poverty, or loneliness.

Canadian Virtual Hospice 

Are you grieving? Do you know someone who is?

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Every Canadian deserves the chance to say goodbye to their loved ones, even in an unprecedented crisis such as COVID-19. There have been too many heartbreaking stories of families who are unable to say goodbye due to extreme restrictions on end-of-life visitations. As a result of these restrictions during the pandemic, many people have lost a loved one have not been able to say goodbye, visit, and in many cases have a proper funeral or celebration of life.

We at CHPCA would like to acknowledge the grief so many Canadians  have experienced during these unprecedented tines by holding an online concert in conjunction with National Bereavement Day.

The unprecedented changes that have come from COVID-19 and uncertainty around the future can be difficult for anyone to navigate, but especially for health care and social services staff who are also walking alongside those in vulnerable situations. Compassion Network has compiled a list of online mental health resources designed to assist anyone struggling to stay calm and positive during these times. Front-line staff, we hope you’ll take a moment to care for yourselves.

Resources for Workplaces

Workplace Strategies for Mental Health | Canada Life

Tips to Respond to Employee Anxiety about COVID-19 | Canadian Mental Health Association

Mental Health Resources for Health-Care Workers | Shared Health

Employer Support Phone Line | Sara Riel
For resources and guidance on wellness for employees, managers can call 204-237-9263, ext. 125

Other Resources for Individuals

Seneca Warm Line | Sara Riel
For peer counselling on mental health or addiction issues, call 204-231-0217 or 204-942-9276

COVID-19 Community Wellness Line | St.Amant counsellors and social workers
To access the line call: 204-258-7076 or 1-877-858-7076

Mental Health and Health Services | Youville Centre
For counselling, dietician, sexual health and other support, visit or call 204-255-4840

Coping Strategies for Complex Trauma Survivors Contending with the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic
Coping Strategies for Complex Trauma Survivors

Introduction to Mindfulness – Video (18 minutes)

Mental Health Tips Video Series (one minute and under)


A Catholic Perspective: Triage Principles & Moral Distress in Pandemic Scarcity. 

Dr. Jaro Kotalik co-authored a document with Sr. Nuala Kenny and a group of co-authors. Jaro is a recognized international expert in the ethics of pandemics and well-known among Catholic ethicists.

A local Ethics Framework- recently produced locally for the Shared Health Services - is rather general and does not raise any concerns.  This paper considers issues of clinical triage and subsequent moral distress in emergency triage more comprehensively. 

May 15, 2020 COVID-19 Ethics Framework Information for Providers 1 . COVID-19 Ethics Framework Information for Providers . This document will evolve as information related to COVID-19 emerges and changes.