Gateway Centre of Excellence in Rural Health Receives $275,000.00 from the Ontario Government to Study the Impact of COVID-19, Mental Health and Substance Use on the Workforce in Huron and Perth Counties
The Launch of the “Be Well, Work Well” research project at Gateway Centre of Excellence in Rural Health (CERH) could not come at a more important time. As we all know, COVID-19 has placed an incredible, direct economic impact and social stress on businesses and communities worldwide.
Rural communities and local businesses in Huron and Perth Counties have been uniquely impacted. Gateway CERH has joined forces with the University of Guelph and other local partners in conjunction with the Ontario Government to understand the impact of COVID-19, mental health and substance use on rural workplaces.
On November 1st, a short survey will be distributed across both Counties to explore workplace experiences, identifying both economic and social impacts throughout the pandemic. The project will aim to strengthen Huron-Perth rural communities by ensuring that the voices of local employers and their employees are heard and reflected in the solutions. By joining communities together through roundtable discussions and focus groups, the project will support the resiliency of local businesses, employers and employees into the future.
Gwen Devereaux, President of Gateway CERH, expressed her support for the project, suggesting, “it is very important that this project will be anchored in the current conditions of the COVID-19 Pandemic as it is crucial that we take the time to listen to the unique experiences of rural businesses, employees and residents of Huron and Perth Counties.”
Ultimately, the project will be driven by the voice of businesses in Huron and Perth Counties — to develop strategies that optimize local assets, build resiliency to address business needs and improve the well-being of rural business and our local communities.
Lisa Thompson, MPP Huron-Bruce, reiterated the importance of this project, “This is indeed a very timely and important project. I always try to put a rural lens on various issues and topics as they arise and I am sure such an approach — using local business owners and residents — will be invaluable to this study.
For more information on this project, please reach out to the Project Leads, Bonnie Baynham (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Matthew Maynard at (email@example.com).