Online therapy tool for COVID-19 anxiety officially up and running in Manitoba

By | April 16, 2020

An online therapy program to support Manitobans during the COVID-19 pandemic is officially live, Premier Brian Pallister said Thursday.

The AbilitiCBT program is a virtual therapy program offering digital cognitive behavioural therapy for free to Manitobans.

The province announced the program would be coming nearly three weeks ago. More than 800 people have pre-registered for the program, Pallister said, including nearly 600 people who are already getting help.

The program is guided by professional therapists, the province said. It addresses mild to moderate anxiety symptoms related to some of the challenges brought on by the pandemic, ranging from uncertainty and stress management to physical isolation and information overload.

On Thursday, Pallister acknowledged the emotional toll brought on by the pandemic and measures to slow its spread. He mentioned specifically the need for many Manitobans to stay away from extended family members and questions about when a vaccine will come.

“I think the emotion around the uncertainty of this thing is probably one of the things that is adding to the stress levels for many Manitobans, and I understand that,” Pallister said.

It’s been more than a month since the first case of COVID-19 was confirmed in Manitoba. The province now has 246 confirmed or probable cases of the disease caused by the new coronavirus, and five people in the province have died.

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