Four corporations, including two life insurers, have banded together with some community organizations and developed a mobile app and website that offers all Canadians access to a range of free resources to support their mental health during the COVID-19 epidemic.

Called WellCan, the collection of digital resources will be accessible, free and available to everyone in Canada online and in app stores this week. As an online hub of free mental health services offered to Canadians, WellCan will continuously be refreshed with the latest information and resources.

Four corporations and five community groups join

The four corporations involved are Morneau Shepell, Canada Life, Sun Life and Bell Canada/Bell Let’s Talk. Community and public sector partners are WE,, Strongest Families, EHN Canada and the Mental Health Commission of Canada.

While the COVID-19 virus is feared for its potential to overwhelm the Canadian health-care system, the toll on the mental health of Canadians is also expected to be severe, both now and in the coming months, and potentially years, says the group.

Significant decline in mental health

Morneau Shepell’s monthly Mental Health Index indicates there has already been a significantly negative change in the mental health of Canadians because of COVID-19. The largest negative change was seen in the measure of anxiety, followed by helplessness, lack of optimism and isolation.  

“As Canadians, we're proud of how our governments, health-care workers, and community organizations are putting the health and safety of Canadians first in grappling with COVID-19,” the groups said in a statement. “By launching this mental-health initiative through WellCan, our hope is to make an ongoing contribution to a critical yet under-served dimension of this crisis that affects all Canadians.”