CIHR Operating Grant : COVID-19 Mental Health & Substance Use Service Needs and Delivery

Registration Deadline: June 18, 2020
Application Deadline: July 7, 2020
Anticipated Notice of Decision: Aug. 25, 2020
Funding Start Date: Sept. 1, 2020

Click here to apply for the opportunity: https://www.researchnet-recherchenet.ca/rnr16/vwOpprtntyDtls.do?prog=3340&language=E


As a part of the Government of Canada’s continued rapid response to address major health challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, the third funding opportunity in CIHR’s COVID-19 and Mental Health (CMH) Initiative, Operating Grant: COVID-19 Mental Health & Substance Use Service Needs and Delivery, launches today to:

  1.  Understand and address the acute mental health and/or substance use needs of individuals, communities and/or populations, and/or the effects on related care systems, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and
  2. Develop the evidence to better match access to mental health and/or substance use services with the people who need them the most, in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The registration deadline for this funding opportunity is June 18. Like the previous CMH Initiative funding opportunities, Operating Grant: COVID-19 Mental Health & Substance Use Service Needs and Delivery has urgent deadlines to ensure the timely delivery of critical knowledge. As the mental health effects of the pandemic continue, help us fill this critical research need by sharing this information with interested colleagues.

To connect with CIHR about the CMH Initiative or funding opportunities therein, please email COVID19MH-COVID19SM@cihr-irsc.gc.ca

Audio Update: Dr. Heather Prime on Risk and Resilience in Family Well-Being during COVID-19

Dr. Heather Prime and two colleagues collaborated on a paper called “Risk and Resilience in Family Well-Being during the COVID-19 Pandemic”. They turned to previous crises (natural disasters, economic crashes, etc) to better understand where families are at and may be headed during COVID-19. You can find their paper here: psycnet.apa.org/fulltext/2020-34995-001.html

CPA’s 2020 Strategic Plan

At the 2020 Annual General Meeting, the CPA was glad to announce the launch of its 2020 Strategic Plan.  The plan was developed in consultation with CPA members and prospective members, affiliates as well as its Board and staff. It defines the CPA’s mission, vision, guiding principles, operating principles, as well as six strategic goals which will guide the organization’s activity from 2020 through 2025.  I would like to invite you to review our new Strategic Plan and consider how you can help your association work for you.”
Dr. Kim Corace, CPA President 2020/21


Working with the Federal Government

CPA sent a letter to the House of Commons Standing Committee to offer our expertise in assisting in identifying sustainable solutions that keep Canadians mentally as well as physically healthy (see letter).

CPA, along with other national health organizations, met with the Federal Minister of Health on May 21st to discuss the role of the federal government in the context of COVID-19.  The Minister did indicate that the government is discussing what additional investments could be made in the mental health space.


32nd ICP2020 and IUPsyS Assembly Rescheduled to July 2021

Due to the public health risks and challenges presented by the novel coronavirus pandemic, the 32nd International Congress of Psychology (ICP) 2020 and the Annual General Assembly of the International Union of Psychological Science (IUPsyS), which was to be held from July 19-24, 2020 in Prague, Czech Republic, has been re-scheduled to July 18-23, 2021 at the same Prague Congress Centre. 

CDC: Use of Cloth Face Coverings to Help Slow the Spread of COVID-19

CDC recommends wearing cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain (e.g., grocery stores and pharmacies), especially in areas of significant community-based transmission.

CDC also advises the use of simple cloth face coverings to slow the spread of the virus and help people who may have the virus and do not know it from transmitting it to others. Cloth face coverings fashioned from household items or made at home from common materials at low cost can be used as an additional, voluntary public health measure.

Use of Cloth Face Coverings during Pandemic: Wearing, Maintaining and Making Cloth Face Coverings


COVID-19 and the Impact on Research

COVID-19 has had an enormous impact, in a short period of time, on the academic workplace. CAUT launched an online town hall series titled COVID-19 and the Academic Job, to support academic staff in this constantly changing and uncertain time.

Join us for an online forum discussion with the Tri-Councils on funding measures to address impact on research

in the context of COVID-19, Thursday, May 21, 11:30 am to 1:00pm EDT.

Please register now at https://zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_oVWAsWyNTMW-cRhs1dxcPQ.

Representatives:
• Dominique Bérubé, Vice-President, Research, SSHRC
• Dr. Marc Fortin, Vice-President, Research Partnerships, NSERC
• Dr. Danika Goosney, Vice-President, Research Grants and Scholarships Directorate, NSERC
• Adrian Mota, Acting Associate Vice-President, Research, Knowledge Translation and Ethics, CIHR

Submit advance questions for the panelists to education@caut.ca.

CPA Members Leading an International Study on Awareness, Attitudes, Impacts and Behaviors related to COVID-19: Please complete the Phase 2 survey!

The Montreal Behavioural Medicine Centre (www.mbmc-cmcm.ca), along with international team of over 150 researchers from more than 40 countries around the world, are trying to assess the public perceptions, attitudes, concerns, and responses to the various measures put in place to prevent or reduce the spread of COVID-19. The study, led by Dr. Kim Lavoie (UQAM, CIUSSS-NIM) and Simon Bacon (Concordia University, CIUSSS-NIM) in collaboration with several CPA members from across Canada, will link the survey to policy and case data from around the world to estimate the effectiveness and impacts of current strategies used to ‘flatten the curve’ of COVID-19. 

Thanks to your help, we received over 35,000 responses for phase 1! (see preliminary result updates here: https://mbmc-cmcm.ca/covid19/stats-wave1/)

To find out more information or to take the Phase 2 survey (which is available in multiple languages), please go to: www.mbmc-cmcm.ca/covid19

Health Psychology and Behavioural Medicine Section Survey: How is the COVID-19 pandemic affecting academic faculty in Canada?.

Tell us how the COVID-19 pandemic is affecting you and your research!

  • We are recruiting academic faculty to participate in a short survey about the experience and effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on Canadian academics
  • Survey duration: 20 minutes
  • Participants can enter into a draw to win a $100 gift card for Skipthedishes or UberEats (odds of winning are approx. 1 in 20). 

Click here to complete the survey: https://uregina.eu.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_6Qqe4GgmDJaO2Ut

“Psychology Works” Fact Sheet: Grief, Bereavement and COVID-19

COVID-19 is an infectious disease that is not only posing significant risk to public health and the way we cope with our daily lives; it is also posing a significant challenge to how we are dying and how we are mourning loved ones. 

Death and Dying

Physical distancing restrictions related to COVID-19 have meant that many individuals are dying – or facing the prospect of dying – without the presence of family and friends around them, causing them feelings of isolation and psychological distress. Due to the strains facing health care workers and facilities, individuals in palliative care may also not be having their advanced-care directives fully realised (e.g., preferred location of death, life-prolonging measures).[i] This can be particularly problematic and distressing for those who are cognitively aware that their directives are not being met.

Those same restrictions are also causing distress for family and friends who are not being permitted to  be with loved ones when they are ill or dying, thereby preventing the opportunity to hold someone’s hand, have a last meaningful conversation, affirm a bond, make amends, or simply say good-bye.[ii] Further causing distress is the haste with which some current provincial restrictions are forcing families to decide where to send a body within 1-3 hours of death, depending on whether the death occurred in hospital or in a long-term care facility.

Impacts on Mourning

Different cultures have their own customs and rituals for mourning.  Physical distancing restrictions are also making it hard for people to come together socially with other mourners to grieve, spend time with or pay their final respects to the deceased, provide support to one another, and/or find comfort in their cultural or secular traditions, thereby contributing to grieving challenges and feelings of isolation.[iii] 

When loved ones do not have the opportunity to say good-bye and cannot come together to provide physical comfort, they may not have the necessary closure – also known as ambiguous loss – they need to properly grieve.[iv] They may feel anger at those that have put the restrictions in place; regret at not having a chance to hold someone’s hand or make amends; worry that a loved one may not be being given appropriate care or necessary pain relief; and guilt over one’s own powerlessness and inability to be with a loved one in their time of need.

It is unknown how long physical distancing measures will be in place; as such, it is important for people to find new ways to both recognize the dying process and cope with grief.  During the dying process, to the extent possible, video calling can connect patients with family members who are separated because of travel and/or visitor restrictions, offering some sense of comfort to patients in their last days and moments. Following death, friends and family can come together virtually, make use of online memorials, write more elaborate obituaries, and/or plan to hold services at a time when physical distancing restrictions are no longer in place.[v] While these measures are providing some means of honouring the deceased, they nonetheless cannot replace the physical comfort and connectedness one feels from a hug or hand-shake.

Disrupted, Complicated or Prolonged Grief

Although grief is a normal response to loss, “the grieving process itself is very individualized and personal such that everyone processes and experiences grief differently”.[vi]  For many, coming together for a funeral or other cultural ritual to honour the death of an individual is an essential – and normal – step in the bereavement process. Not being able to come together to mourn may not only lead to ambiguous loss, these circumstances may also increase the likelihood of one experiencing disrupted, complicated or prolonged grief.

When Psychological Distress Becomes Too Much

Individuals experiencing disrupted, complicated or prolonged grief are at increased risk of substance use, sleep disorders, impaired immune functioning and suicidal thoughts.[vii]

While spiritual leaders are themselves being restricted from being with individuals as they pass and performing any last rites of passage, they can be a source of comfort to loved ones to help them cope with the loss. Psychologists and other mental health providers can also help with disrupted, complicated or prolonged grieving.

If the following signs and symptoms increase or worsen over time and impair overall functioning, they might signal need for help to cope with one’s grief:

  • Sleeping poorly, too much or too little
  • Avoiding others, even within the confines of social distancing
  • Experiencing headaches, stomach problems, neck or back pain
  • Crying excessively and all the time
  • Talking less and being withdrawn
  • Feeling dazed or disconnected from self or the reality
  • Feeling anxious, depressed or having panic attacks
  • Feeling angry, guilty, helpless, numb, or confused
  • Not wanting to get out of bed
  • Having difficulties concentrating or focusing
  • Excessive eating for comfort
  • Drinking more alcohol or taking prescription drugs more than prescribed
  • Having little patience
  • Feeling overprotective of loved ones

 

It is important to remember that most of us have had some of the signs and symptoms listed above at one time or another, and that COVID-19 has led to increased stress for most people.  If you have a number of these signs and symptoms and they

  • persist beyond a couple of weeks
  • persist to the point where you are not able to carry out the home or work-related activities permitted by social distancing advisories
  • are accompanied by intense feelings of despair, hopelessness, helplessness or suicidal thoughts

 

you are well advised to consult a regulated health care professional such as a psychologist, your family physician, psychiatrist, or other mental health provider. 

Resources:

Ontario Palliative Care Network, 2020. Planning for Palliative Care Delivery during the COVID-19 Pandemic. http://www.virtualhospice.ca/covid19/

Where do I go for more information?

To obtain  important and up to date information about COVID-19, visit the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) website at https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/2019-novel-coronavirus-infection.html

Provincial, territorial, and some municipal associations of psychology often maintain referral services. For the names and coordinates of provincial and territorial associations of psychology, please visit:  https://cpa.ca/public/whatisapsychologist/PTassociations 

This fact sheet has been prepared for the Canadian Psychological Association by Dr. Lisa Votta-Bleeker, Deputy Chief Executive Officer, Canadian Psychological Association; Dr. Katy Kamkar, Clinical Psychologist, Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) and Chair of the CPA’s Traumatic Stress Section; and Ms. Eva Sheppard-Perkins, Canadian Psychological Association.

Date: May 11, 2020

Your opinion matters! Please contact us with any questions or comments about any of the Psychology Works Fact Sheets:  factsheets@cpa.ca

Canadian Psychological Association
141 Laurier Avenue West, Suite 702
Ottawa, Ontario    K1P 5J3
Tel:  613-237-2144
Toll free (in Canada):  1-888-472-0657

[i] Arya, A., Buchman, S., Gagnon, B. and Downar, J., 2020. Pandemic palliative care: beyond ventilators and saving lives. Canadian Medical Association Journal, 192(15), pp. E400-E404.

[ii] https://www.apa.org/topics/covid-19/grief-distance

[iii] Leong, I., Lee, A., Ng, T., Lee, L., Koh, N., Yap, E., Guay, S. and Ng, L., 2004. The challenge of providing holistic care in a viral epidemic: opportunities for palliative care. Palliative Medicine, 18(1), pp.12-18.

[iv] https://www.apa.org/topics/covid-19/grief-distance

[v] Wolfelt, A., 2020. Exploring the Natural Complications of the “Whys” of Funerals During the Coronavirus Pandemic – Center For Loss & Life Transition. [online] Center for Loss & Life Transition. Available at: https://www.centerforloss.com/2020/04/funeral-whys-during-coronavirus/.

[vi] https://weareunsinkable.com/when-struck-by-a-dark-cloud-grief-loss/

[vii] Shear, K.M. 2015. Complicated Grief, New England Journal of Medicine, Vol. 372, No. 2, pp: 153-160..

New “Psychology Works” Fact Sheets responding to COVID-19

The CPA has produced a series of Fact Sheets in response to the coronavirus pandemic:

  • Grief, Bereavement and COVID-19 – PDF | HTML NEW 05/12/2020

  • Research Funding Information as relates to COVID-19 – PDF | HTML NEW 05/08/2020
  • Guidance for Psychology Students as Relates to COVID-19 – PDF | HTML NEW 05/08/2020
  • Guidance for Psychology Faculty and Researchers as Relates to COVID-19 – PDF | HTML NEW 05/08/2020

  • Emotional and Psychological Challenges Faced by Frontline Health Care Providers During the COVID-19 Pandemic – PDF | HTML NEW 04/07/2020
  • Psychological Practice and the Coronavirus (COVID-19) – PDF | HTML NEW 03/18/2020

  • Student Wellness and COVID-19 – PDF | HTML NEW 04/02/2020

  • Helping Teens Cope with the Impacts of and Restrictions Related to COVID-19 – PDF | HTML NEW 03/31/2020
  • Psychological Impacts of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) – PDF | HTML NEW 03/20/2020
  • Working from Home During COVID-19, With and Without Children – PDF | HTML NEW 03/17/2020
  • Coping With and Preventing COVID-19 – PDF | HTML Updated 04/04/2020

You can find all of our “Psychology Works” Fact Sheets here


Message Regarding the CPA/CPAP BMS Liability Insurance Program

BMS, CPA logo
Dear Members,

We hope that you are continuing to stay healthy during this challenging time.

On or around May 1st, you will receive the 2020-2021 CPA/CPAP[1] Liability Insurance Program renewal from the program’s broker, BMS. You will see that Professional Liability Insurance (PLI) premium has increased this year. We regret that the increase comes at this challenging time of COVID-19, but please know that the increase is not related to the pandemic but to the increased cost of claims on the psychology program. There has been a steady increase in the cost of claims on the program year over year, with several years where the costs of claims paid by the Insurer have exceeded the premium they collected.

When BMS presented CPA/CPAP with this year’s renewal terms, we requested that they conduct a marketing exercise and approach different Insurers to provide alternate quotes. Several Insurers declined to provide terms due to the volume and frequency of claims and costs paid under the program. Two Insurers did provide alternate terms; however, they did not offer comparable coverage and were not competitively priced. The premium charged this year is substantiated by actuarial analysis and has been renegotiated several times to keep the increase to the lowest amount acceptable to the Insurer to renew the policy.

We recognize the financial difficulty that a premium increase may present, particularly given the timing and impact that the current COVID-19 pandemic continues to have on individuals and businesses. Given this, CPA/CPAP and BMS, have collectively negotiated with the Insurer to offer members the option to defer a portion of their PLI premium to lessen the immediate impact of this change. To support CPA members, and members of CPAP associations during this time, there is an option to pay 50% of your Professional Liability / Commercial General Liability premium by June 1st, with the remaining half deferred to November 1, 2020. This is not mandatory, and premiums can be paid in full for the June 1st renewal, however we wanted to provide an option for members seeking assistance.

2020-2021 Professional Liability Insurance coverage

Our goal at renewal, was to give members the best coverage at the best possible premium. One of the ways to keep premiums as low as possible was to offer only the $10M/$10M Professional Liability (PLI) limit rather than both the $7M/$10M and $10M/$10M options as in previous years.

Your CPA PLI policy continues to include $300,000 of Regulatory Legal Expense coverage to protect members by covering defence costs if you are investigated by your regulatory body (College). This is an essential piece of coverage as over 80% of claims under the CPA/CPAP program in any given year are College complaints. We are aware that in an effort to reduce insurance claims, other programs or policies for psychologists have removed coverage for defence against College complaints and disciplinary hearings. While this may result in lower premiums, it also leaves psychologists without the kind of insurance coverage they are most likely to need. BMS is committed to ensuring that members areprovided with comprehensive coverage that represents the needs and greatest practice exposures for psychologists.

With some members shifting to deliver professional services via telepsychology, we would also like to confirm that the CPA/CPAP PLI policy will cover you for services delivered virtually. As with the coverage generally, you must be acting within your scope of practice and licenced jurisdiction(s). If you are delivering your services via telepsychology, however, BMS recommends that you purchase additional cyber security and privacy liability coverage so that you have adequate coverage for the kinds of exposures specific to a virtual practice.

Retiring members, or those discontinuing practice, will also benefit from an increase in the Automatic Extended Reporting Period coverage from one year to two years. You also continue to have the option to secure unlimited reporting period (tail coverage) to protect you indefinitely following retirement. To our knowledge, this is the only program for psychologists where this is offered.

Psychologists who are members of both CPA and a participating provincial/territorial association will continue to receive a discount on their premiums. Please feel free to connect with BMS at 1-855-318-6038 or psy.insurance@bmsgroup.com if you have any questions about the policy. To share any queries or concerns with the management of the program, contact executiveoffice@cpa.ca

We thank you for your participation in this program and the confidence you have placed in Canada’s associations of psychology. Be safe, stay well.

[1]The CPA/CPAP program is available to members of CPA as well as members of the provincial/territorial associations of psychology who make up the Council of Professional Associations of Psychologists (CPAP).

“Psychology Works” Fact Sheet: Research Funding Information as relates to COVID-19

Canada’s COVID-related Research Support

Public health emergencies such as COVID-19 affect the lives of people, families and communities. In early March, the Government of Canada announced an investment of more than $275 million in funding for research on measures to combat COVID-19. Of this investment, $27 million was allocated to research through the three federal research funding agencies―the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC), and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) ―the Canada Research Coordinating Committee, through the New Frontiers in Research Fund, the International Development Research Centre and Genome Canada. The international research community, research funders and public health institutions are cooperating to look for novel solutions, from new vaccines to more effective communication about the pandemic. To date, over 95 projects led by Canadian researchers are focussed on developing and implementing measures to rapidly detect, manage, and reduce transmission of COVID-19, as well as assess its impacts.

Information from Canada’s Tri-Funding Agencies

If your research is funded by a federal agency such as CIHR, NSERC or SSHRC, review each agency’s websites for information on how your current and/or future research may or may not be impacted.

CIHR

CIHR is closely monitoring the evolution and impact of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), and is taking action to support its grants, scholarship and awards recipients, as well applicants and peer reviewers. Visit this page regularly for messages from CIHR President, Dr. Michael Strong, and updated information for the research community: https://cihr-irsc.gc.ca/e/51917.html.

SSHRC

As the COVID-19 situation continues to evolve, SSHRC management is assessing additional measures that may be needed to support SSHRC-funded students, postdoctoral fellows and research personnel and address concerns. Visit this page regularly for updated information on the impacts of COVID-19 on SSHRC’s policies and programs: https://www.sshrc-crsh.gc.ca/news_room-salle_de_presse/covid-19-eng.aspx.

NSERC

NSERC continues to adjust its operations as it monitors the evolution and impact of COVID-19. Visit this page regularly for messages from CIHR President, Dr. Alejandro Adem, and updated NSERC program information in relation to COVID-19: https://www.nserc-crsng.gc.ca/Media-Media/NewsRelease-CommuniqueDePresse_eng.asp?ID=1139.

Other Funding Sources

Others may have funding from sources other than the tri-agencies (for example, provincial funding, associations, foundations, private industry, universities); in that case, check in with your funding provider to assess the impacts of COVID on your research funding and deadlines.

Where do I go for more information?

To obtain  important and up to date information about COVID-19, visit the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) website at https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/2019-novel-coronavirus-infection.html

Provincial, territorial, and some municipal associations of psychology often maintain referral services. For the names and coordinates of provincial and territorial associations of psychology, please visit:  https://cpa.ca/public/whatisapsychologist/PTassociations 

This fact sheet has been prepared for the Canadian Psychological Association by Dr. Lisa Votta-Bleeker, Deputy Chief Executive Officer, Canadian Psychological Association.

Date: May 7, 2020

Your opinion matters! Please contact us with any questions or comments about any of the Psychology Works Fact Sheets:  factsheets@cpa.ca

Canadian Psychological Association
141 Laurier Avenue West, Suite 702
Ottawa, Ontario    K1P 5J3
Tel:  613-237-2144
Toll free (in Canada):  1-888-472-0657

“Psychology Works” Fact Sheet: Guidance for Psychology Students as Relates to COVID-19

As the COVID-19 situation evolves around the globe, students’ day-to-day lives are being increasingly disrupted: courses have been moved from in-person settings to online formats; visits with friends and families have been prohibited; access to resources such as the on-campus library, student counselling services, or other campus spaces has been lost; some students have had to leave, quickly in some cases, their student residence; in-person conferences have been cancelled; competition and application deadlines have been delayed; internship, residency and co-op/practicum placements have been cancelled or altered; and for some, research projects have been interrupted.

This document provides an overview of Canada’s COVID-related student funding support, as well as resources to help psychology students deal with the impact of the coronavirus on their research, training, and academic work.

More detailed information specific to Canada’s research funding support and information from the funders can be found in the CPA’s Fact Sheet on Research Funding Information as Relates to COVID-19 (https://cpa.ca/corona-virus/cpa-covid-19-resources/).

Information from Canada’s Tri-Funding Agencies

Canada’s tri-funding agencies (Canadian Institutes for Health Research – CIHR; Social Science and Humanities Research Council of Canada – SSHRC; Natural Science and Engineering Research Council of Canada – NSERC) are closely monitoring the evolution and impact of COVID-19 and are taking necessary actions to support its grant, scholarship, fellowship, and awards recipients; support its applicants and peer reviewers; protect their staff; and modify their operations. Below are links to messages from the tri-agencies.

Each agency is also regularly updating their websites with messages from the presidents and updated information for the research community.

Student Support; Awards, Scholarship and Fellowship Competition Deadlines

The Government of Canada has announced significant emergency support for students and recent graduate impacted by COVID – expanded student and youth programming, enhanced student financial assistance for Fall 2020, Canada Emergency Student Benefit, Canada Student Service Grant, and International Students. Information on this support can be found here: https://www.canada.ca/en/department-finance/news/2020/04/support-for-students-and-recent-graduates-impacted-by-covid-19.html

In early May, the tri-agencies announced that training award recipients (master’s, doctoral, and postdoctoral) may defer the start date of their award, or request an unpaid interruption of up to four-months for reasons related to the COVID-19 situation (https://cihr-irsc.gc.ca/e/42405.html#05_04_2020). For master’s and doctoral award holders, this can be adjusted to align with the next available start date (May 1, 2020; September 1, 2020; or January 1, 2021). The agencies will continue to support training award holders who, given the challenges posed by the COVID-19 situation, can only devote part-time hours to their research. They may continue to hold their awards and will be paid at the full amount. The amount will not be prorated, and the end date of the award will remain unchanged.

Visit the program webpages listed below for additional information specific to the following student award, scholarship and fellowship competitions and what impact COVID may or may not be having on their deadlines:

Other Funding Sources

Students with funding from sources other than the tri-agencies (for example, provincial funding, associations, foundations, private industry, universities); in that case, check in with your funding provider to assess the impacts of COVID on your research funding and deadlines.

Studying from Home

Given the many weeks since physical distancing has been in place, and schools have transitioned to virtual learning, many students have already set up home workspace.  Nonetheless, below are a few things to keep in mind when studying from home:

  • Remember to have realistic expectations for your work and progress during a global pandemic. It is okay if you feel that you do not have the mental or emotional capacity to produce knowledge or undertake research during a global crisis.
  • If possible, set up a dedicated workspace where you can keep study materials and have virtual classes or group chats, so that you keep your studies separate from the rest of your life. Try to remember proper ergonomics when setting up your workspace.
  • Take some time to make sure you have all necessary resources at your disposal to effectively conduct your studies, as this could help mitigate potential stressors. For example, install any required software on your computer or order a headset and webcam for online classes. Reach out to your professor or students’ union if you need support and resources.
  • As much as possible, keep your study space quiet and free from distractions. If you have roommates, you could use headphones (ideally noise-cancelling headphones) to drown out noise. Make sure your space is inviting so you want to spend time there (you could sit by a window or add a plant or favourite trinket to your desk).
  • Contact your internet provider for free or low-cost internet options if you do not have Wi-Fi at home and are unable to access the online resources that can help you continue your education.

 

 

Setting a schedule for school and life

  • Maintain a consistent routine: This includes sleep-wake times, exercise, and work/school schedules. It can be easy to do schoolwork all day because it feels like there is nothing else to do. Establishing and maintaining a routine will help you maintain a sense of normalcy and keep your schoolwork and home life separate.
  • Take breaks: It’s important to take breaks to rest your eyes, your mind and your body. If it’s hard for you to remember to take breaks, you could set up a timer for 90 minutes and then take a 15-minute break.
  • Check in with supervisors/professors about expectations: Maintain good communication with your supervisors and professors. Have a clear understanding about whether moving to online classes changes expectations around assignments, exams, and other academic requirements. For example, you could ask for flexibility on timelines given your current time zone.
  • Stay connected to others: Develop a plan to keep in touch with friends, family, and colleagues. Schedule regular phone calls or facetime chats. Tap into social media and tech platforms that allow virtual group gatherings.

Impacts on Graduate Students, Student Research, and Professional Training

Graduate students and trainees have been particularly impacted during CVOID-19 due to stressors arising from financial uncertainty; pressure to graduate within a given time frame and before funding runs out; managing research and teaching responsibilities; and disruption in academic work and transition to remote learning. During these times, students would be benefit from:

  • Talking to one’s university’s research officer to understand what, if any, impacts COVID-19 will have on any student funding one may have (e.g., scholarships, bursaries, fellowships).
  • Assessing if one’s research can be conducted through online surveys or if one’s research protocol can be moved to an online experiment.
  • Talking to one’s supervisor/professor(s) about working on publications, while not losing sight of the mental and emotional resources required to cope with COVID-19.

Professional Training Impacts

Some graduate students and trainees have also been particularly impacted by disruption to practicum/co-op placements, internships, and other face-to-face skill building activities. Students should talk to their department head or co-op/practicum coordinate (if applicable) about the impacts of cancelled practicum placements and co-op work terms, as well as options for extending work terms with placement providers and finding new placements.

With respect to the impact on internships, the CPA, Canadian Council of Professional Psychology Programs (CCCPP), and the Association of Canadian Psychology Regulatory Organizations (ACPRO) issued a joint statement recognizing the impact COVID-19 is having on the operation of professional psychology training programmes and on their faculty, staff and students (https://cpa.ca/cpa-ccppp-acpro-statements-regarding-covid-19/).  It is important to understand that decisions about training will be made at several levels (https://ccppp.wildapricot.org/news). The first level is between the internship program and the university, as they jointly determine if the requirements for the internship have been met. The second level of decision making lies with the regulators, who will make independent decisions on a case-by-case basis about whether a candidate for licensure/registration/certification has met the provincial standards that are outlined in legislation and bylaws.

Conference Cancellations

The pandemic has also resulted in the cancellation of many in-person conference and knowledge mobilization activities, which is also impacting students and trainees in terms of lost opportunities to present at or attend conferences.  Until such time that in-person conferences can resume, students should seek opportunities to present and/or participate in virtual conferences. The CPA’s national convention will be offered virtually in July and August 2020; check the CPA’s website regularly for more information on how to participate and/or present at the virtual event.

If you had been accepted to submit at a conference and the conference was cancelled, contact the conference organizers regarding their policy about creating an abstract book or conference proceedings, noting the conference acceptance on your CV, and obtaining the word on how to do so. The CPA will be preparing an abstract book of all accepted presentations; below is information on how to cite your presentation if you were accepted to present at the CPA’s 2020 National Convention in May 2020.

Surname, Initial. & Surname, Initial. (2020, May 27-30).  Title of accepted submission. [specify type of presentation – poster, Gimme-5, 12-minute talk, etc.]. 81st Canadian Psychological Association Annual National Convention, Montréal, Quebec, Canada. (insert link to Abstract Book PDF when available) (Conference cancelled due to COVID-19)

Alternative Learning Opportunities

  • Register for online continuing education offerings, from the CPA as your national association or from one of the provincial psychological associations, many of which are presently free or significantly discounted.
  • Explore or deepen your learning of new research methods or statistical applications by downloading freely available software.
  • Learn more about Open Science(https://cos.io/)and the preregistration (https://cos.io/prereg/)
  • Source publishers that are providing free access to books and journals online.
  • Take in the APA webinar (https://www.apa.org/education/coping-webinar-students)in which psychologists Lynn Bufka and Vaile Wright discuss ways for undergraduate and graduate students to navigate the shifting COVID-19 crisis.

Self-Care and Student Wellness

During this time, it is important to take care of yourself and pay attention to your mental well-being.

Where do I go for more information?

To obtain  important and up to date information about COVID-19, visit the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) website at https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/2019-novel-coronavirus-infection.html

Provincial, territorial, and some municipal associations of psychology often maintain referral services. For the names and coordinates of provincial and territorial associations of psychology, please visit:  https://cpa.ca/public/whatisapsychologist/PTassociations 

This fact sheet has been prepared for the Canadian Psychological Association by Dr. Lisa Votta-Bleeker, Deputy Chief Executive Officer, Canadian Psychological Association.

Date: May 7, 2020

Your opinion matters! Please contact us with any questions or comments about any of the Psychology Works Fact Sheets:  factsheets@cpa.ca

Canadian Psychological Association
141 Laurier Avenue West, Suite 702
Ottawa, Ontario    K1P 5J3
Tel:  613-237-2144
Toll free (in Canada):  1-888-472-0657

“Psychology Works” Fact Sheet: Guidance for Psychology Faculty and Researchers as Relates to COVID-19

COVID-19 is not only impacting everyday life; it is also impacting faculty and research teams in many ways, from how to transition to online classes, how to work and best support students remotely, how to adapt current research projects while ensuring the welfare and safety of research subjects, and how to pay salaries/stipends and other costs that may be modifying or halting research.

With the transition to virtual education, researchers and faculty are working diligently to protect their research participants and animal subjects, their students, their scholarship, and in some cases, their careers. In the interim, below is some information that may provide helpful guidance in navigating these difficult times.

More detailed information specific to Canada’s research funding support and information from the funders can be found in the CPA’s Fact Sheet on Research Funding Information as Relates to COVID-19 (https://cpa.ca/corona-virus/cpa-covid-19-resources/).

Working Remotely

Since mid-late March, most people have been working remotely. This has required faculty, staff and researchers to ensure they had all mission critical information with them; they were using university-approved security protocols to analyze and store data off-site; and they had a laptop, charger, webcam, contact information for team members and access to any electronic materials that would have been needed.  Knowledge of Skype, Zoom, Hangouts/Google-Meet and other video-conference software has become a must to stay connected virtually.

Maintaining Research

Given COVID-19, research that brings people physically close together or in large gatherings has been most impacted. Policies regarding how to conduct research during emergencies are university specific, and you should follow your institution’s emergency or disaster-preparedness policies for guidance to deal with COVID-19’s impact on your research and career/degree-completion impacts.

Information from Canada’s Tri-Funding Agencies

Canada’s tri-funding agencies (Canadian Institutes for Health Research – CIHR; Social Science and Humanities Research Council of Canada – SSHRC; Natural Science and Engineering Research Council of Canada – NSERC) are closely monitoring the evolution and impact of COVID-19 and are taking necessary actions to support its grant, scholarship, fellowship, and awards recipients; support its applicants and peer reviewers; protect their staff; and modify their operations.

Each agency is also regularly updating their websites with messages from the presidents and updated information for the research community.

Check in with your program officer

While Canada’s funding agencies have extended deadlines, it is nonetheless important to think creatively about how to sustain your research over at least the next three to six months. Stay in regular touch with your university’s program officer and share how the crisis is affecting your work and how you plan to keep making progress.

Maintain communication with your research team

Frequent communication is important to sustaining research projects, assessing how your team members are coping, and maintaining social connectedness. Consider daily or weekly video-meetings to set goals and/or action items. Reassure your staff that it is okay to not be as productive during these challenging times. To the extent possible, cross-train staff, deploy them to work on other tasks, and if not already done, have calls forwarded to a project staff person’s cellphone.

Modify your research and analysis

With the stoppage of face-to-face human research or temporary closure of research labs, researchers who rely on face-to-face interaction or in-lab work to collect data have had to either pause their research or transition their research to online.  If you are shifting to remote data collection and storage, keep in mind that changing methodologies may you require that you notify your institution’s review or ethics board and potentially, updating consents to participate. Modifications to methodologies in the midst of a study will have to be accounted for in future analyses.

Supporting Students and Trainees

Students and trainees are most vulnerable right now due to stressors arising from financial uncertainty; pressure to graduate within a given time frame and before funding runs out; managing research and teaching responsibilities; disruption in academic work and transition to remote learning;  cancelled or altered co-op placements, internships, and residencies; and lost conference presentation/attendance opportunities. If you are able, help them progress toward their goals and be flexible about deadlines.

Encourage students to visit the Government of Canada’s website for information on its emergency support for students and recent graduate impacted by COVID: https://www.canada.ca/en/department-finance/news/2020/04/support-for-students-and-recent-graduates-impacted-by-covid-19.html.

Encourage them to visit the tri-agency’s websites for information on extensions for training award recipients and competition deadline information pertaining to the Canada Graduate Scholarships, Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarships, Banting Postdoctoral Fellowships, and NSERC’s Undergraduate Student Research Award – to name just a few.

If students have been awarded funding from sources other than the tri-agencies, direct them to contact the funding provider to obtain information on impacts to deadlines.

Stay in touch with your students and have conversations with them about how they plan to carry on their work during this new reality, while reminding them that it is okay to feel that they do not have the mental or emotional capacity to produce knowledge or continue their research during these challenging times.

More detailed information specific to COVID and psychology students can be found in the following CPA Fact Sheets: Guidance for Psychology Students as Relates to COVID-19 and Student Wellness during COVID-19 ((https://cpa.ca/corona-virus/cpa-covid-19-resources/).

Supporting Junior Colleagues

Junior colleagues are also particularly vulnerable right now. If possible, senior faculty may be able to offer data sets they can work with or provide opportunities to collaborate on existing research projects.

If you are an early career researcher yourself, document how the crisis is affecting your research and talk to your chair about potential impacts on your tenure path. With the cancellation of most in-person conferences, seek opportunities to network virtually, participate in the work of your national or provincial psychological association, or participate in other scholarship activities (e.g., online continuing education, serving as a peer reviewer).

Self-care

While this is a very challenging time for everyone, it is important to remember that all of your department colleagues and research peers are in the same position.  Eventually, research activities will resume, as will in-person classes. In the interim, it is important for faculty and researchers to take care of themselves.

During this time, some psychology faculty may have increased demands to provide mental health services and supports to their students in ways that might otherwise not have been expected to before COVID019. Check in with your department and your university’s counselling services for information on available resources for students, while ensuring you have the necessary supports for yourself.

Be cognizant of the impacts of too many virtual meetings and too many emails. With the transition to working remotely, there has been a vast increase in the number of virtual meetings; while virtual meetings are effective at maintaining connectedness and communication, many are feeling overly fatigued by the number of video-conference meetings that now are required to deal with issues that once would have been addressed via an in-person meeting or by walking to someone’s office.  The same can be said of email.

In addition to supporting students, research staff and transitioning to remote learning, many faculty and researchers are also juggling the responsibilities – and fatigue – of being educators to their children who may also be at home.

Conferences and COVID-19

Given the state of the pandemic globally, in-person knowledge mobilization and sharing events such as conferences are being cancelled or postponed; in some cases, in-person conferences are being transitioned to virtual events to enable both the delivery and sharing of research findings and continuing education activities.  This is the case for the CPA’s 2020 Annual National Convention which was scheduled for May 2020 in Montréal, QC, but will be delivered as a virtual event over the summer of 2020.

A poster or presentation that was peer reviewed and accepted to a conference can still be included in your CV, even if the conference was cancelled. The CPA has a recommended format for citing cancelled presentations; this information was sent to all individuals that had a presentation accepted for inclusion in the CPA’s national conference (see below).

For individuals OPTING TO participate in the CPA’s virtual event, the format is as follows:

Surname, Initial. & Surname, Initial. (2020, insert dates of virtual event).  Title of accepted submission. [specify type of presentation – poster, Gimme-5, 12-minute talk, etc.]. 81st Canadian Psychological Association Annual National Convention, Montréal, Quebec, Canada. [insert link to virtual event when available]

For individuals OPTING NOT TO participate in the CPA’s virtual event, the format is as follows:

Surname, Initial. & Surname, Initial. (2020, May 27-30).  Title of accepted submission. [specify type of presentation – poster, Gimme-5, 12-minute talk, etc.]. 81st Canadian Psychological Association Annual National Convention, Montréal, Quebec, Canada. [insert link to Abstract Book PDF when available] (Conference cancelled due to COVID-19)

If the conference at which you were scheduled to present is not being transitioned to a virtual event or you are unable to participate in the virtual event, you can consider sharing your poster and/or presentation through the Open Science Framework (OSF). For more information, see OSF meetings.

Making the Transition: Moving your Course to a Virtual Environment

The need for a rapid transition from in-person instruction to online platforms has necessitated a steep learning curve for many faculty. It is important to remember that although effective, there are significant differences between in-person and online delivery of education:

  • Most adult education research shows that the maximum length of an online session should be less than two hours: attention spans begin to wane after as little as 15 minutes and engagement is challenging through a computer screen. Longer lectures should be broken up into more digestible portions.
  • There are some techniques that can help keep learners engaged; for example, some webinar or e-learning platforms provide the ability to create polls that will encourage participants to pay attention and answer topical questions in real time.
  • In creating lesson plans, keep in mind that topics and learning objectives should be kept focused and self-contained in order to maintain clarity and continuity. Schedule time for a brief recap at the start of each session but keep the path well-defined and easy to follow.
  • Consider adding more self-directed elements if possible; short projects, additional readings, and putting students into small groups to discuss material virtually can add value between sessions and contribute to the overall goals of the course while placing the onus on students to engage with the material.
  • Most importantly, stay connected to your students. If this is the first time you are delivering material online, take this opportunity to learn from your students regarding what does – and does not – work. Maintain your goals, clarify your benchmarks, and be open to learn and experiment.

The following is a list of some valuable resources to assist you in your transition.

Resources Provided by the APA

Staying Professionally Active

Recognizing the emotional and mental toll that the pandemic may be taking on some individuals, others may want or need to stay professionally active during this time. Below are some ways in which individuals can stay professionally involved.

  • Take a Continuing Professional Development course from the CPA’s online offerings, from a provincial/territorial association, or from other relevant professional associations.
  • Create and/or review your individual professional learning plan.
  • Expand your learning of research methods – quantitative and/or qualitative – or statistical applications, particularly those offering downloadable software at no cost.
  • Take the opportunity to read new journal articles; the CPA’s three journals (Canadian Psychology, Canadian Journal of Behavioural Science, Canadian Journal of Experimental Psychology) are available to all CPA members via the CPA’s members only portal.
  • Subscribe to the APA’s PsychNetGold database through the CPA and have access to the following: PsycINFO, PsycARTICLES, PsycBOOKS, PsycEXTRA, and PsycCRITIQUES.
  • Submit articles for publication consideration.
  • Volunteer to serve as a reviewer for one of Canada’s funding agencies.
  • Start working on grant applications.
  • Attend virtual conferences.

 

Where do I go for more information?

To obtain  important and up to date information about COVID-19, visit the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) website at https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/2019-novel-coronavirus-infection.html

Provincial, territorial, and some municipal associations of psychology often maintain referral services. For the names and coordinates of provincial and territorial associations of psychology, please visit:  https://cpa.ca/public/whatisapsychologist/PTassociations

This fact sheet has been prepared for the Canadian Psychological Association by Dr. Lisa Votta-Bleeker, Deputy Chief Executive Officer, Canadian Psychological Association.

Date: May 7, 2020

Your opinion matters! Please contact us with any questions or comments about any of the Psychology Works Fact Sheets:  factsheets@cpa.ca

Canadian Psychological Association
141 Laurier Avenue West, Suite 702
Ottawa, Ontario    K1P 5J3
Tel:  613-237-2144
Toll free (in Canada):  1-888-472-0657

BMS Article: Considerations When Resuming Practice

BMS logoBMS is producing an ongoing series relating to COVID-19.

This article includes an overview of considerations for health professionals who are able to re-open their businesses. There are also links to provincial resources and information relating to liability.
Considerations When Resuming Practice 05/07/2020

See all of the articles here.


Articles & Resources from BMS

BMS logoBMS is producing an ongoing series relating to COVID-19.


Psychology Foundation of Canada Webinar & Digital Workshop Series

<img src=”/docs/Image/PsychologyFoundationOfCanada.png” style=”float:left; max-width:150px;” />
<h2 style=”display:inline-block;”>WEBINAR and DIGITAL WORKSHOP SERIES</h2>
<p>A Parent’s Guide To Staying Sane During the COVID-19 Pandemic (May 6th) <a target=”_blank” href=”https://bit.ly/3aUrjUN”>https://bit.ly/3aUrjUN</a></p>
<p>Past Webinars <a target=”_blank” href=”https://bit.ly/3fbuvPk”>https://bit.ly/3fbuvPk</a></p>
<p>Kids Have Stress Too (Digital Workshop) <a target=”_blank” href=”https://bit.ly/3fiC6LV”>https://bit.ly/3fiC6LV</a></p><hr />

Federal Emergency Response Programs

The federal government has announced a series of programs to address disruptions in employment income and business revenue.  Most recently the CPA was pleased to see changes in the Canada Emergency Business Account [CEBA], which expands the payroll threshold from $50,000 to $20,000 to be eligible for a maximum loan of $40,000.  The CPA remains concerned that members in private practice are still not eligible for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit [CERB], the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy [CEWS], and Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA) programs and has communicated with the Minister of Finance and Health (see letter). In coordinating its efforts, the CPA has worked closely with the Extended Health Care Professionals Coalition.


CIHR Call for Applications – Knowledge Synthesis: COVID-19 in Mental Health and Substance Use.

On April 23, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Minister of Health Patty Hajdu announced a $115 million investment in Canada’s rapid research response to COVID-19. This includes the first funding opportunity in the COVID-19 and Mental Health Initiative, Knowledge Synthesis: COVID-19 in Mental Health and Substance Use. Launched yesterday, this funding opportunity will support the immediate health services needs through rapid knowledge syntheses and knowledge mobilization plans for existing mental health and substance use services in the COVID-19 context. The application deadline for this funding opportunity is May 7.

For questions related to the COVID-19 and Mental Health Initiative, please email COVID19MH-COVID19SM@cihr-irsc.gc.ca.

CADDRA’s Virtual ADHD Conference and Research Day 2020

October 23-25, 2020

CADDRA
    Location: Online (Virtual Event)
    Phone: 416-637-8583
    Email: carol.simpson@caddra.ca
    Event Website and Registration: https://caddra.societyconference.com/v2

    CADDRA 2020 is the largest ADHD health practitioner gathering in Canada and showcases the latest scientific, clinical and practical information on ADHD. Delegates can look forward to engaging sessions, innovative workshops and expert analysis over 3 days (October 23-25) highlighting important research and practice-changing science and education from ADHD knowledge experts across the globe.

    Preceding the conference, CADDRA brings together the top ADHD researchers at the 7th Annual ADHD Research Day on Oct 23, 2020. Research Day has become the largest gathering of ADHD researchers in Canada, drawing some of the best minds – and hearts – in ADHD research.

    The CADDRA Conference and Research Day is an opportunity to network and connect with health practitioners and community partners who share a deep concern about ADHD and who are striving to ensure that all people with ADHD have the opportunity to reach their full potential.

    CADDRA members qualify for a 20% conference and research day fee discount making now the ideal time to sign-up as a member and register.

    To register for the conference and research day, please click here:
    https://caddra.societyconference.com/v2/


Federal Government’s Priorities

  1. Ministerial Mandate Letters – reviews the 2019 Mandate Letters that were issued by the Prime Minster to ministers of the crown that are relevant to the priorities of the CPA.
    Ministers Mandate Letters February 27 2020.pdf
  2. Overview of Federal-Provincial-Territorial Bi-Lateral Funding Agreements for Mental Health and Addiction Services – provides a detailed look at the series of Federal-Provincial-Territorial bi-lateral agreements (i.e., the $11 billion over 10 years for home and community care, and mental health and addiction services) that were signed in 2017.  It also identifies the key priorities to be addressed by each province and territory.
    FMHA Overview 2017-18 to 2021-22 March 30 2020.pdf

CPA-CCPPP-ACPRO Statements regarding COVID-19

On behalf of the Association of Canadian Psychology Regulatory Organizations (ACPRO), the Canadian Council of Professional Psychology Programmes (CCPPP), and the Canadian Psychological Association Accreditation Panel (the CPA Panel): The global COVID-19 pandemic has had an unprecedented impact on individuals, communities, our health care systems and on health providers themselves.

We, ACPRO, CCPPP, and the CPA Accreditation Panel also recognize that this pandemic has had, and continues to have, a significant impact on the operation of professional psychology training programmes, and on their faculty, staff, and students.

Attached, you will find a statement from ACPRO containing their response to licensure concerns amid the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as a statement from the CCPPP and CPA Accreditation Panel regarding their responses to accreditation- and training-related concerns. With these statements, our organizations want to communicate our commitment – to the extent possible – to minimize the disruptions that the pandemic has on students’ training, on programme operations, and ultimately on the availability of competent practitioners to meet the public need for mental health services at this time, while also maintaining the highest levels of integrity in our training, licensing, and accreditation processes. We also want to reassure our stakeholders of our commitment to maintaining an open dialogue among our organizations as this situation unfolds to ensure that we continue to be responsive to all of your needs.

Should you have any questions about the content of these statements, please do not hesitate to contact us at the coordinates below.

Wishing you all good health.

Sara Hagstrom, President, CCPPP, hagstros@tbh.net
Catherine Costigan, CCPPP, costigan@uvic.ca
Karen Messer-Engel, Chair, ACPRO, registrar.skcp@sasktel.net
Stewart Madon, Registrar of Accreditation, CPA, smadon@cpa.ca

CCPPP CPA ACPRO Statements COVID-19.pdf

Chronic Pain and COVID-19 Study

Do you suffer from chronic pain?
Your pain has been present for more than 3 months?
And interferes with daily activities?

The COVID-19 pandemic affects everyone.

Tell us how it is impacting your pain, its treatment and your well-being!
Please complete our online questionnaire: https://fr.surveymonkey.com/r/covid19-pain

Enter for a chance to win one of 10 prepaid Visa® $100 gift cards

For more information:
Audrée Janelle-Montcalm
audree.janelle-montcalm.chum@ssss.gouv.qc.ca

Principal investigator:
Manon Choinière, Ph.D. manon.choiniere@umontreal.ca

Information Fact Sheet: COVID-19 Government Support for Employees

During the current Covid-19 Pandemic, a number of Canadian Governments have announced programs designed to support employers, with the specific goal of mitigating some of the economic consequences of Canada’s response to small business.

As a result of social distancing and other policies, economic activity in Canada has dramatically slowed.  This has resulted in financial stress for those businesses that continue to operate, often resulting in the need lay off some or all of their employees

The government initiatives continue to evolve in real time, and this fact sheet will be updated on a regular basis to keep up with the changes.

While this Fact Sheet focusses on the Federal initiatives, the reader is encouraged to check with their provincial and municipal governments for additional support which may be available

Federal Government

Canada Emergency Response Benefit

What is it? This taxable benefit would provide $2,000 a month for up to four months for workers who lose their income as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Please note: This benefit replaces the previously announced Emergency Care Benefit and the Emergency Support Benefit.

Who can apply? CERB will cover Canadians who have lost their jobs, are sick, quarantined, or taking care of someone who is sick with COVID-19, as well as working parents who must stay home without pay to care for children who are sick or at home because of school and daycare closures.

It will apply to wage earners, as well as contract workers and self-employed individuals, who would not otherwise be eligible for Employment Insurance (EI), and who have not worked for 14 days

How to apply: The federal government announced that an application portal will be available by the week of April 6th. Applicants will also be able to apply, via an automated telephone line, or via a toll-free number.

This information will be updated.

For more information: https://www.canada.ca/en/department-finance/economic-response-plan/covid19-individuals.html#new_canada_emergency_response_benefit

Employment Insurance – Sickness Benefit

What is it? Employment Insurance sickness benefits can provide you with up to 15 weeks of financial assistance if you cannot work for medical reasons. You could receive 55% of your earnings up to a maximum of $573 a week.

Who can apply? Those who are sick, quarantined or have been directed to self-isolate due to COVID-19.

How to apply: Complete an online application as soon as possible after you stop working. As part of the COVID-19 response, the government of Canada will waive the requirement to provide a medical certificate to access EI sickness benefits, as well as the one week waiting period.

For more information: https://www.canada.ca/en/services/benefits/ei/ei-sickness/apply.html

Employment Insurance – General Benefits

What is it? Employment Insurance (EI) provides regular benefits to individuals who lose their jobs through a shortage of work or lay-offs and are available for and able to work, but can’t find a job.

Who can apply? Employees who were employed in insurable employment, lost their job through no fault of their own, and have been without work for at least seven days, and have worked for the required number of insurable employment hours in the last 52 weeks.

How to apply: Review the requirements and collect the necessary information at the following link, and click on the “Apply” link to begin your application.  https://www.canada.ca/en/services/benefits/ei/ei-regular-benefit/apply.html

For more information: https://www.canada.ca/en/services/benefits/ei/ei-regular-benefit.html

Key Links:

Finance Canadahttps://www.canada.ca/en/department-finance/economic-response-plan.html

Canada Revenue Agency (Income Tax Issues)https://www.canada.ca/en/revenue-agency/campaigns/covid-19-update.html

Employment and Social Development Canada (Employment Insurance Issues) – https://www.canada.ca/en/employment-social-development/corporate/notices/coronavirus.html

Canadian Payroll Association – Frequently Asked Questionshttps://payroll.ca/PDF/Resources/Payroll-and-Covid19-Infoline.aspx

 

This fact sheet has been prepared for the Canadian Psychological Association

Date: April 15, 2020

Your opinion matters! Please contact us with any questions or comments about any of the CPA’s Fact Sheets: factsheets@cpa.ca

Canadian Psychological Association
141 Laurier Avenue West, Suite 702
Ottawa, Ontario    K1P 5J3
Tel:  613-237-2144
Toll free (in Canada):  1-888-472-0657

Information Fact Sheet: COVID-19 Government Support for Employers

During the current Covid-19 Pandemic, a number of Canadian Governments have announced programs designed to support employers, with the specific goal of mitigating some of the economic consequences of Canada’s response to small business.

As a result of social distancing and other policies, economic activity in Canada has dramatically slowed.  This has resulted in financial stress for those businesses that continue to operate. 

The government initiatives continue to evolve in real time, and this fact sheet will be updated on regular basis to keep up with the changes.

While this Fact Sheet focusses on the Federal initiatives, the reader is encouraged to check with their provincial and municipal governments for additional support which may be available

Federal Government

Temporary Wage Subsidy for Employers

What is it? The Temporary Wage Subsidy for Employers is a three-month measure that will allow eligible employers to reduce the amount of payroll deductions required to be remitted to the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA).  There was an earlier version of this program that has been replaced.

The subsidy is equal to 75% of the remuneration you pay between March 15, 2020, and June 15, 2020, up to $1,375 per employee and to a maximum of $25,000 total per employer.

Who can apply? Eligible employers include non-profit organizations, registered charities, or Canadian-controlled private corporations (CCPC).

How to apply: This subsidy can be calculated to reduce the amount of current remittance of federal, provincial, or territorial income tax that you send to the CRA by the amount of the subsidy.

For More Information: https://www.canada.ca/en/revenue-agency/campaigns/covid-19-update/frequently-asked-questions-wage-subsidy-small-businesses.html

Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS)

What is it?  The CEWS provides for reimbursement of up to 75% of an employee’s wages (maximum $847/week), for a 12 week period (March 15- June 6)

Who can apply? Eligible employers which include individuals, public and private taxable corporations, partnerships consisting of eligible employers, registered charities and NPOs, who have a experienced a 30% or more year over year decline in revenue (comparing March 2020 to March 2019) or a 15% year over year decline (for April and May)

How to apply:  Businesses will be able to apply on-line through the My Business Account CRA portal or as a web-based application, expected to be open by end of April

For More Information: https://www.canada.ca/en/department-finance/news/2020/04/the-canada-emergency-wage-subsidy.html

Supplemental Unemployment Benefit Program (SUB)

What is it? Employers can use a Supplemental Unemployment Benefit (SUB) plan to top-up their employees’ weekly earnings when they are unemployed due to a temporary stoppage of work. Payments are not considered earnings and are not deducted from EI benefits.

Who can apply? Employers undergoing a temporary stoppage of work due to training, illness, injury or quarantine.

How to apply: SUB plans are registered by Service Canada. Plans must be registered before their effective date. Officers from the SUB program assess employers’ SUB plans against the requirements set out in the EI Regulations. SUB program Officers also help employers develop SUB plans that meet the requirements of the EI Regulations.

For More Information: https://www.canada.ca/en/employment-social-development/programs/ei/ei-list/ei-employers-supplemental-unemployment-benefit.html

Work-Sharing Program

What is it? Work-Sharing (WS) is a program that helps employers and employees avoid layoffs when there is a temporary decrease in business activity beyond the control of the employer. The program provides EI benefits to eligible employees who agree to reduce their normal working hours and share the available work while their employer recovers. Work-Sharing is an agreement between employers, employees and the Government of Canada.

The Government of Canada has put in place Work-Sharing (WS) temporary special measures for employers affected by the downturn in business due to COVID-19. This includes

Who can apply? Typically used for forestry and steel workers, this has program has been extended to all employers from March 15, 2020 to March 14, 2021, and the maximum possible duration of an agreement has been extended from 38 weeks to 76 weeks.

How to apply: Employers must submit an application to a work-sharing agreement and a Work-Sharing Unit Form to the relevant regional Service Canada office. (See more: https://www.canada.ca/en/employment-social-development/corporate/notices/coronavirus.html#h4.04)

For more information: https://www.canada.ca/en/employment-social-development/corporate/notices/coronavirus.html#h4.02

Business Resources

Support for Financing and Business cash flow

Business Credit Availability Program (BCAP)

What is it? The Business Credit Availability Program (BCAP) is intended to help Canadian businesses obtain financing during the current period of significant uncertainty.

How to apply? Employers seeking support through BCAP should contact the financial institutions with whom they have a pre-existing relationship, so that the financial institutions can assess their case.

For More Information: https://www.canada.ca/en/department-finance/programs/financial-sector-policy/business-credit-availability-program.html

In the March 27 2020 Federal Announcement, two additional programs were announced, but the details are lacking.  This includes:

Federally guaranteed loans for small business  $40,000 in government guaranteed loans to small businesses and not-for-profits to help cover operating costs during a period where revenues have declined due to COVID-19. These will be interest-free.

Federally guaranteed loans for SME’s  $40 billion dollars available to the EDC and BDC to aid SMEs with operational cash flow requirements of small to medium-sized enterprises.

As more details are available, this Fact Sheet will be updated.

Other Programs

Flexibility for Businesses Filing Taxes

What is it? The deadline for businesses to pay any income tax amounts that become owing or due after March 18, 2020 and before September 1, 2020 has been extended to September 1, 2020. This means you will not be assessed any penalties or interest if your balance due is paid by September 1, 2020.

For more information: https://www.canada.ca/en/revenue-agency/campaigns/covid-19-update.html

 

This fact sheet has been prepared for the Canadian Psychological Association


Date: April 15, 2020

Your opinion matters! Please contact us with any questions or comments about any of the CPA’s Fact Sheets:  factsheets@cpa.ca

Canadian Psychological Association
141 Laurier Avenue West, Suite 702
Ottawa, Ontario    K1P 5J3
Tel:  613-237-2144
Toll free (in Canada):  1-888-472-0657