Skip to main content

Demand for mental health support climbing, some organizations unable to keep up

Klinic Community Health

Mental health support demand has recently skyrocketed, leaving some people phoning a crisis line with no one free to take their call.

Klinic Community Health said they are seeing a significant increase in the need for mental health crisis support.

“We know that Manitobans are struggling and the increase in calls are related to lots of people experiencing things like anxiety, depression, and relationship issues,” said Sophia Ali, Klinic’s director of Mental Health and Crisis Services.

Ali says the increased demand, paired with fewer volunteers due to the pandemic is leaving some people on the other end of the crisis line with no one available to talk.

“We struggle. We want to be there to meet the needs of our community. We know this is a difficult time. We want to do the best we can, but again, our resources are really limited.”

Its crisis line typically gets anywhere from 130 to 150 calls per day.

A free mental wellness art facility – Artbeat Studio - began seeing a leap of interest in late January and early February.

 “I feel like this is a time when folks are just looking for something to do,” said Marissa Hoff, the director of the Art Program. “It is the change of the seasons which is always a little hard on folks. With this influx of snow we have. But definitely, our space is full of folks that are looking to create art, create community together.”

The executive director of the Mood Disorder Association of Manitoba (MDAM), Rita Chahal, says they are planning for in-person programs.

“We are going to listen to the community,” Chahal said. "We are going to see what the community is asking for and adapting our programs.”

The association is seeing increased support needs for anxiety and depression, but also for eating disorders.

“There has been a huge increase in our body image and disordered eating programs, especially amongst youth,” said Andrea Smith, a disordered eating and body image programming expert with MDAM.

Hoff is seeing how a sense of community is making a difference in people’s overall mental wellness.

‘’People are just excited to share it with each other and encourage each other too,” Hoff says.

Chahal is expecting mental health organizations to need to work together to meet the demand.

“I think the next couple of months will be an opportunity to really look at what the individual needs are and be able to look at what resources are available in the community,” Chahal said.​ Top Stories

Stay Connected