November can be a dreary month at the best of times. Grey skies, drizzling rain, dropping temperatures and the daily loss of an hour’s worth of daylight time can send a person’s mood into the doldrums.
Sometimes, the dreary side of November can be momentarily buoyed by the excitement that comes with the expectation of an upcoming ski season, holidays and family gatherings.
But this year, everything potentially positive is not only shadowed by the lassitude of November, but also offset by the fact that we are in the throes of a global pandemic, with no sign of easing.
In B.C., our number of COVID-19 cases continues to rise. The central and southern parts of the SLRD are within the Vancouver Coastal Health Region, one of the hardest hit areas of the province, and we are now one week into a two-week order prohibiting social gatherings with anyone outside of our immediate households. And even though this order doesn’t apply to the rest of the SLRD, which falls within the jurisdiction of the Interior Health Authority, IHA has also issued a public service announcement alerting residents of the concern around the growing number of COVID-19 cases, and urging against non-essential travel outside of the region.
The increase in COVID-19 cases throughout the province means everyone must be diligent. Our curve is spiralling in the wrong direction.
People are struggling, as this pandemic wears on, and the strain of it all is wearing on many of us.
We must remember that at any time – and especially in the face of such uncertainty – mental health matters. Whether you are struggling, or you suspect someone you know may be having a particularly hard time, it’s important to know that help is available.
There are mental health resources available and we’ve collated some of them on the COVID-19 Spotlight section of the SLRD website.
In particular, the Canadian Mental Health Association’s COVID 19 Mental Health Check-In is a tool that helps you take a look at your mental health and wellness in light of COVID-19, and can also direct you to resources.
Take a moment to gauge how you are feeling, and, please, also, take some time to check in on someone you know – a family member, a neighbour, a friend, a colleague. Think about familiarizing yourself with the resources that are available, so that you know where to go if you need help, and also so that you might be able to connect someone with the help they may need.
And let’s be kind – to ourselves, and to one another.
Chair, Squamish-Lillooet Regional District