Good Morning Everyone:
All sites have been working hard on a regional Psychiatry COVID-19 Response Plan to protect our patients, the staff, and to also provide space for non-psychiatry patients if the medical units become full. It has been an amazing experience to transform the mental health care system across Eastern Ontario in approximately two weeks.
This is an unprecedented time and we need to make changes, but also study them so we can be nimble in our responses when this recurs, which it is likely to do. For that reasons, I have put Dr. Simon Hatcher in charge of COVID-19-related research and he has written the message today:
You are invited to join a working group in the Department of Psychiatry to support faculty in Mental Health Research and Covid-19. There are important research questions to ask, for example about the prevention of psychological injuries in high risk groups; describing the impact of Covid-19 on mental health; as well as working out the mental health impact of the current lockdowns. Many funding agencies and regulatory authorities are rapidly changing the way they work. The group will facilitate the formation of research teams, share information about funding and changes in regulatory authorities.
The other priority relevant to the Department of Psychiatry is providing psychological support to our colleagues in health care. Another working group being set up by the Department is to investigate ways to lead and research supporting health workers. Ottawa has a strong record in physician wellness initiatives, and we have an opportunity to showcase how to do this well. As part of a package of measures we are looking at a time limited Health Worker Occupational Stress Injury Clinic.
If you are interested in either of these initiatives please contact Jesse Ogle or Simon Hatcher.
In addition, if you have already started working on a COVID-related MH research project, please send the following information to Jesse Ogle and Dr. Hatcher so we can start tracking the projects going on within the department: PI and co-Is, Site, Title, Brief Summary (including outcomes or deliverables), Funding Sources, Amount of Support, Timeline for completion.
I again thank every one of you for your efforts in keeping our patients and each other safe. Stay well.