Psychosocial support during the COVID-19 pandemic

RNAO is aware nurses and health-care providers across Ontario are experiencing tremendous levels of physical and emotional stress due to COVID-19, and are committed to supporting you during this time.

On this page:

Mental health and well being is essential. To maintain the safety of health-care workers and their families during this crisis, a list of recommended resources has been compiled to support you.

If you are in crisis, please call your local distress line. If you are facing a mental health emergency, please call 911.

Description Resource(s)
Clinical services to support health-care providers experiencing distress

Support and help lines:

  • Ontario COVID-19 Mental Health Network
  • ConnexOntario: Fully operational and available via telephone, chat and email 24/7 to provide accurate and up-to-date substance use, mental health and problem gambling information to Ontarians
  • Canadian Mental Health Association: Mental Health Helpline at 1-866-531-2600 
  • Togetherall
  • Bell Let's Talk
  • Assaulted Women's Helpline
  • If you are working and have an Employee Assistance Program (EAP), you can access it. 
These sites provide information and suggestions about how best to cope with stress and anxiety

The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH)

Online resources for Ontario long-term care (LTC) home leaders and team members during the COVID-19 pandemic

Homewood resources posted in CLRI: Mental Health Supports for LTC

  • Includes a self-directed cognitive behavioural therapy program for anxiety and depression
  • Health and wellness library
  • Helpful articles
  • 20+ e-courses for stress and anxiety
  • Other resources to support the health and well-being of those who work in LTC
For nurses registered with the CNO who have substance use and/or mental health disorders

Nurses Health Program

  • A voluntary, bilingual and confidential program
  • Includes specialized programs for health-care professionals
  • Includes customized treatment plans that support you to practice or return to practice nursing safely
For medical students, residents, physicians in Ontario who are experiencing distress, mental health or substance use issues

Ontario Medical Association, Physician Health Program (PHP):

PHP Confidential toll free line: 1-800-851-6606 or email

Support for mental health and well being:

  • Links to resources to manage anxiety and stress

Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA)

Support for mental health and well being:

  • Self-care strategies

Mental Health Commission of Canada

World Health Organization (WHO)

Counseling and support groups for individuals who use substances
Resources to support children and families

Centre for Addiction and Mental Health

World Health Organization (WHO)

Ontario's Ministry of Health:

  • Children and youth under 18 can locate mental health services through:
    • Kids Help Phone website
    • Kids Help Phone -1- 800-668-6868 help line 24/7 support
    • Good2Talk help line 24/7 support
  • Secondary students: Good2Talk - free, confidential mental health support service providing professional counseling and information and referrals for substance use, addictions and wellbeing to postsecondary students in Ontario, 24/7/365

Mental Health Commission of Canada

Open forum
Continuing the conversation – an open forum for nurses to share how they're feeling during COVID-19
How are you feeling during COVID-19?

RNAO is aware nurses across Ontario – especially those working on the frontlines of COVID-19 – are experiencing tremendous levels of physical and emotional stress and burnout. We know this can affect your mental health and well-being at this challenging time and that you may have less time to devote to your own self care.

RNAO hosts a virtual open forum series for nurses to share how they're feeling during COVID-19. During these forums, RNAO facilitates open discussions and holds breakout sessions for participants to discuss themes identified in the previous forums, such as dealing with multiple losses, taking care of yourself and burnout.

All Ontario RNs, NPs, RPNs and nursing students – in all roles and sectors – are invited to take part and share or simply join in to listen to your nursing colleagues.


Report: Work and well-being survey results
Work and wellbeing survey results

RNAO’s work and wellbeing survey asked RNs, NPs and nursing students in Ontario how they’ve been impacted by COVID-19 and the best way RNAO can continue to support Ontario’s nursing community. The survey closed on Feb. 22, and the more than 2,100 responses have been analyzed.

RNAO released its report on the results of the survey at a media conference on March 31, 2021. 


Webinar COVID-19 FB – No Date.png

At the COVID-19 Webinar Series on March 8, 2021, RNAO's CEO Dr. Doris Grinspun and Director of Nursing and Health Policy Matthew Kellway provided an overview of how the pandemic has changed nurses’ work, their attitudes toward work and their future in nursing. They also discussed how the survey results will inform RNAO’s upcoming policy work and advocacy efforts.



Downloadable files