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EDITORIAL: Kindness does wonders for mental health

Who can honestly say this pandemic hasn’t messed with their head? But there are ways to fight the malaise

There’s nothing like a pandemic to separate self-deluded tough guys from the rest of us who are able to honestly admit that these past few months have been more than a little rough on our mental health.

Much has been said, and will continue to be said, about the desperate need for a vaccine to vanquish this disease.

But let’s not forget we also need a remedy for the mind, particularly as we venture into the unknown as B.C. has a go at reopening businesses in an effort to jump-start the economy.

RELATED: B.C. employers worry about safety, cash flow, second wave in COVID-19 restart

Some maintain this effort didn’t happen soon enough, while others think the re-opening was done much too early and that we will reap dire consequences of that decision in the weeks to come.

Fear of the unknown is a powerful thing. But it’s soothing to know, if you let yourself give hope a chance, that we are not alone and that there is help available. And as worthwhile social contracts go, it is just as important to give as it is to get.

There’s a reason why Dr. Bonnie Henry, provincial health officer, implores us to be kind. It’s not just Sesame Street she’s espousing.

Kindness, empathy and sympathy beget hope, which gives us all who are down a fighting chance to get back up.

In a “digital town hall” meeting last week, Chris Back of WorkSafeBC spoke at length about safety plans and offered some sage advice for employers who are undoubtedly experiencing some sleepless nights of their own, fretting over the global economic disaster zone this microscopic organism has produced.

Back’s is an important message for these times, particularly during this week and in weeks to come.

He noted that it’s “really important” to remember that mental health “is just as important as physical health, and employers should take measures to support mental well-being and help for their workers.”

And outside work, it’s OK to share a smile, to say hello, when we’re out for a walk. Let’s support one another.

Wherever we go, and whatever we’re doing, kindness will pay dividends.

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