The COVID-19 pandemic has detrimental impacts on all aspects of life, such as financial conditions and mental health well-being. For Chinese Canadians, the impacts have been magnified by racism and xenophobia as a result of the pandemic. We are grateful that The Government of Canada’s Emergency Community Support Fund and the Canadian Red Cross have funded the Mandarin Hotline. The hotline was launched on August 30th, 2020, under the lead of the Centre for New Immigrant Well-being (CNIW), the Wellness Counselling Centre for Youth Canada (WCCYC), and the Chinese-Canadian Mental Health Mutual Aid Platform (WeSupport).
Since being launched, the Mandarin Hotline has provided emotional and practical support for 12 hours a day, 7 days a week, and has attracted widespread attention from the Mandarin speaking community. Calls are from a diverse population, including but not limited, to widowed mothers who lost their partners during the pandemic, unemployed young adults who came from other countries without family support, parents struggling with psychological stress and conflicts with their children, patients suffering from anxiety and/or depression, and individuals who lost hope while facing the emotional and economical challenges that arose due to the pandemic.
The mission of the Mandarin Hotline is to listen to every incoming call carefully and empathetically and to provide emotional support. Additionally, the Mandarin Hotline also links callers to community resources and professional counselling services that serve to help them cope effectively with crisis and adversity. This project has significantly lowered the language barriers and financial burdens for members of the mandarin speaking community when accessing mental health support and it has greatly improved their well-being and resilience.
The Mandarin Hotline had to stop its 12 hour a day, 7 days a week service due to a lack of funds. Currently the hotline is operated by dedicated volunteers from hotline specialist team, WCCYC therapist team, CNIW team, and students from the Universities. The hotline is operating with reduced hours for 6 hours per day, 6 days per week. Monday to Saturday, 1:00 – 4:00 pm; 7:00 – 10:00 pm (Eastern time).
We urgently need your support to meet the immense community needs for mental health service. This is a great opportunity for you to join us in saving the Mandarin Hotline for Chinese Canadian community.