OTTAWA (NEWS 1130) — Help is on the way for the most vulnerable Canadians. Speaking from his home in Ottawa, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced additional funding for children and seniors during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Trudeau says the federal government will give $7.5 million to Kids Help Phone to provide young people with mental health support during the coronavirus crisis.
Trudeau made the announcement Sunday morning during his daily briefing, where he urged young Canadians to ask for help when dealing with anxiety and depression.
He first appealed to children, saying anyone who is feeling anxious or depressed should reach out for help.
“I know these past weeks have been tough haven’t seen your friends, not able to go to school, and you’re watching the world you know change radically. It’s a source of anxiety it’s a source of tension,” he says.
“Reach out to Kids Help Phone. They’re there to listen. They’re there to support you, they’re there to make sure that you know that you are not alone.”
— Tarnjit Parmar (@Tarnjitkparmar) March 29, 2020
The government is also giving $9 million through United Way Canada to help local organizations support seniors with services, including grocery delivery, medications and check-ins.
The federal minister responsible for seniors, Deb Schulte, says nine million dollars has been set aside to help those most at risk.
“Get deliveries of important needs like medications, food, access to the supports that they need to be able to continue to isolate and stay apart from everyone else, so they can stay safe.”
She says the United Way will oversee how the money is divided between various community groups and non-profit volunteers.
“And the message is really that we are all in this together. We are going to get through this. Follow the advice of public health agencies, but also make sure that we connect. We can be physically distant, but we can be creative at how we reach out to each other and support each other in this challenging time.”
Schulte says she’s also proud of how BC’s top doctor has led the way when it comes to issuing orders aimed at protecting seniors.
Just last week, the provincial health officer imposed a ban on any health care employees working at more than one facility during this pandemic.
Schulte says she commends Henry for setting such a good example for others across the country.
“Not all provinces are experiencing things exactly the same way, so I think it’s a very wise move in BC and I’m sure that other provinces and other public health agencies will be looking at what each other is doing and adjusting.”
Schulte adds her mother-in-law recently moved into a longterm care facility in Ontario, but she hasn’t been able to see her since heavy restrictions were imposed to keep visitors from carrying the virus into seniors’ homes.
-With files from The Canadian Press