A Call for Action – Reducing Psychological Distress in a Pandemic

Marc Aiello
A Call for Action – Reducing Psychological Distress in a Pandemic
Illustration by Vivien Zeng

HIROC is supporting a pan-Canadian research project funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) to explore the psychological distress experienced by Environmental Service Workers during the COVID-19 pandemic. Please reach out to covidem@montfort.on.ca to learn more about how your organization can participate.

Healthcare’s Environmental Service Workers play a critical role in the fight against COVID-19.

Throughout the pandemic, they have put themselves at risk on the frontline alongside all their healthcare peers and have worked tirelessly to ensure the safety of patients and hospital staff.

In November 2020, the COVIDEM project was pilot-tested in Ottawa at the Hôpital Montfort and aimed to:

  1. Measure the psychological distress of Environmental Service Workers;
  2. Identify the various institutional and non-institutional factors that influence psychological distress; and
  3. Inform health institutions about strategies and processes that may help minimize or prevent psychological distress in Environmental Service Workers during a pandemic. 

This project is now being scaled up at a pan-Canadian level and they are looking for organizations to participate in a national survey that will be launched at the beginning of April with a second survey planned for May.

“Healthcare safety and building resilience are absolutely paramount,” said Trevor Hall, HIROC’s Vice President of Safety and Risk Management. “It’s why HIROC is committed to working with our partners to support COVIDEM as it expands across Canada and continues to provide support in scaling the learnings.”

A Call for Action – How can you help?


Please email covidem@montfort.on.ca to learn more on how your organization can participate in this impactful study that aims to help minimize or prevent psychological distress during a pandemic.


By Marc Aiello, Communications and Marketing Coordinator, HIROC