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Burlington Launches Emergency Preparedness Week and National Youth Week: Building Resiliency

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*Please see a media release below issued by the City of Burlington.

Burlington, Ont. — May 4, 2020 — With the current COVID-19 pandemic emergency situation, Emergency Preparedness Week’s theme of “Putting on your resiliency backpack” and being prepared for an emergency is more important than ever.

The best thing residents can do to protect themselves and the community is stay home, practice physical distancing and use online tools for social connectedness.

In an emergency, protecting yourself from mental stress and harm is just as important as protecting yourself from physical harm.

“As we reflect this week on the importance of emergency preparedness and mental health and wellness, I ask that individuals, family members and friends of all ages across our community reflect on one vision: Putting on your resiliency backpack. What could you put in yours? How could you fill your neighbours? How could you fill your family members or your friends?

These are unprecedented times and it’s still important to be prepared and take care of ourselves, which includes physical distancing, healthy habits and reaching out for health and mental health resources. Remember: in community we persevere, taking the right steps each day toward a more resilient tomorrow.  Stay healthy and be kind to one another. You are not alone.” — Amber Rushton, Community Emergency Management Coordinator

Within the page burlington.ca/covid19resources, there are several organizations offering mental health supports and resources across the City. Many workplaces also offer similar resources and supports through workplace employee assistance programs.

If you do not have access to the internet, you can dial 311 to get the number for an organization that will best suit your needs. If it is an emergency and you feel your life or someone else’s life or well being is in immediate danger, please call 911.

Tips for protecting your mental health

  • Be aware of your thoughts and feelings. It is normal to feel anxious
  • Limit the news you are watching or reading and ensure it is from a reliable news source
  • Reach out to friends and family through phone calls, video chats, texts
  • See resources and supports offered through burlington.ca/covid19resources
  • Keep healthy habits: eat healthy foods, stay active, get a good night’s sleep, drink water
  • Limit, reduce or avoid alcohol, drugs and caffeine
  • Take advantage of your employer’s employee assistance programs for mental health

National Youth Week, May 1-7

Message from Mayor Meed Ward:

National Youth Week is also May 1-7. Stress and anxiety can be high for youth during emergency situations, too. Many youths are working the front lines at grocery stores, restaurants and delivery.

There are organizations, resources and supports to support youth mental health in Burlington such as the Reach Out Centre for Kids (ROCK).

ROCK has put together resources and suggestions to help support children, youth, and families at this time of uncertainty. They are committed to live answering phone calls from the hours of 9 a.m.-5 p.m. each business day. Families will have the ability to speak directly to a ROCK staff person. They have also created the opportunity to connect families to a pathway coordinator staff who will assess and support connection to brief virtual consultation services.

  • rockonline.ca
  • Main Line: 289-266-0036
  • Crisis Line: 905-878-9785 (operates 24/7)

Youth are also invited to participate in the No Socks for Ivan daily challenges, which can be found on No Socks for Ivan’s Instagram page @burl_youthvoice. Daily challenges include posting about binge-worthy shows, books, shout-outs to essential and front-line workers, dance moves, athletic feats and more.

More information about National Youth Week, including a videos from the Burlington Teen Tour Band and Student Theatre can be found at burlington.ca/youthweek.

LINKS:

MAYOR MEED WARD’S TAKE:

There’s no better time than now to explore the issues around emergency preparedness and mental well-being. The City’s new webpage provides a wealth of information on supports and resources, and I am so impressed at how dozens of organizations from across our community collaborated to put this information together in such a short time. We are all facing resiliency challenges right now and we need these amazing local supports more than ever. I am thankful for the great work they continue to do to help our residents in these trying times.

PLEASE NOTE: To stay updated on what the City of Burlington is doing regarding COVID-19, please visit the dedicated pages burlington.ca/coronavirus (and subscribe) and bit.ly/mayormeedwardCOVID19updates, and our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page — bit.ly/COVID19BurlingtonFAQ that are updated as new information becomes available.

A Burlington COVID-19 Task Force has been created to help support our community through this unprecedented emergency — updates will be provided at burlington.ca/COVID19taskforce.

To report an incident of non-compliance with provincial emergency orders, please contact the Halton Regional Police Service COVID-19 Hotline: 905-825-4722.

We’ve also created a dedicated page to feature the local organizations and businesses that have inspired us during the COVID-19 pandemic by taking action to support our community in new and creative ways — head to bit.ly/covidwallofinspiration.

HELPFUL RESOURCES & RELATED LINKS:

*Posted by John Bkila, Mayor’s Media and Digital Communications Specialist

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Phone: 905-335-7607
Email:  mayor@burlington.ca

Constituent Assistant: Hannelie van Niekerk
905-335-7600, ext. 7689