CAMH is dealing with the burden of COVID-19 in Canada. With virtual calls taking over in-person appointments, the hospital is facing a huge spike in mental health calls. CAMH has helped with over 3,000 calls in the last month, up from an average of about 350.

As the pandemic continues, more and more people are calling in for mental health support. In order to meet demand, CAMH is expanding its virtual care to better help people.

According to a news release, back in 2019, the hospital helped 3,000 patients through virtual care from all over Ontario.

In the period of March 2020 to April 2020 along, those numbers were seen in just a span of a single month across Canada.

What was once about 350 calls per month jumped to almost 3,000 a month, an explosion of over 750% in cases.

"Mental health care looks fundamentally different today than it did three months ago, and yet at its core, we continue to strive for compassionate, quality care," said Dr. Allison Crawford of CAMH via the release.

"Through innovation and technology, we have an opportunity to reimagine and rebuild a broader system of virtual care that is safe, secure, flexible and accessible."

Through the use of virtual care, patients are now able to have more flexibility when scheduling appointments as well as follow-ups.

There are also shorter wait times and strong communication with other clinicians who are able to provide care regardless of where the patient is located in the province.

"While we are apart right now, no one is alone and technology is helping to keep populations and patients connected during this difficult time. This is a pivotal moment for a new frontier of telemental health care in Canada – CAMH is reshaping how we deliver care now and into the future," said Dr. Catherine Zahn, President and CEO of CAMH via the release.

And getting help through CAMH has got so much easier for people as young as 10 years old.

Just a few months ago, it was announced that the province would be helping people with free therapy and other tools for mental health like anxiety and depression.

There was also an effort back in October 2019 which saw therapists and mental health staff installed in Ontario high schools in a $25-million investment. 

Given the struggles that people are facing right now, and the huge soar in virtual calls, it seems like this new expansion will be needed as long as this pandemic lasts.

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