News Releases

News Release - Manitoba

May 4, 2020


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Virtual Mental Health Services Helping to Meet Challenges of COVID-19: Pallister

To mark Canadian Mental Health Week, Premier Brian Pallister is encouraging Manitobans to access the various mental health supports available throughout the province, such as the internet-based therapy program AbilitiCBT. The province is providing this program, launched by Morneau Shepell, free of charge to help Manitobans cope with anxiety related to the many challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Right now, many Manitobans are trying to balance some uniquely challenging aspects of this pandemic including uncertainty, isolation, grief, caring for family and community members, information overload and stress management,” said Pallister. “The AbilitiCBT program is there to offer help during this difficult time, I encourage Manitobans to continue signing up and start getting help.”

AbilitiCBT is a cognitive behavioural therapy program that provides participants with 10 modules to complete at their own pace alongside trained professionals, while having access to live 24-hour crisis counsellors. The program focuses on helping individuals cope with feelings they are experiencing because of COVID19, while building the coping skills necessary to help deal with stress and anxiety in the future.

Manitobans who are experiencing mild to moderate symptoms of anxiety can participate in the program free of charge, anytime and anywhere, by completing an online assessment. The program is available in both English and French to an unlimited number of Manitobans. To sign up for the program, visit

Health, Senior and Active Living Minister Cameron Friesen noted the AbilitiCBT program complements the current crisis supports available by a number of Manitoba organizations during this pandemic.

“Our government is working to improve mental health and addictions services throughout the province and this is another important tool in our emergency response to COVID-19,” Friesen said. “We are very proud of the partnerships we have with many trusted Manitoba organizations and are pleased to have invested over $25 million in mental health supports in recent months.”

Organizations which have been funded through the government of Manitoba including the Klinic Crisis Line, the Manitoba Suicide Prevention and Support Line and others. Many of these programs are providing support to Manitobans during the pandemic including:
•    the Klinic Mobile Withdrawal Management Services program, which is undertaking phone and in-person visits with clients seeking support to withdraw from alcohol or drugs;
•    the NorWest Youth Hub has developed the Youth Quaranteen Support Line, in addition to counsellors and other working remotely and conducting telephone sessions with clients;
•    trauma counselling programs at Klinic and the Laurel Centre, which are now being offered remotely; and
•    Rapid Access to Addictions Medication (RAAM) clinics in Winnipeg, Selkirk, Thompson and Brandon, which are taking additional precautions to screen clients and continue to provide services.

“Even as we practise physical distancing, there is a need for people to connect socially and have someone help navigate this challenging time,” said Pallister. “Many of the mental health and addictions programs we have supported in the last few months are doing important work to make sure Manitobans have access to the care and support they need,”

A comprehensive list of Manitoba government COVID-19 measures is available at:  

Manitobans can also find many of the organizations funded by the province at

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