An inspirational response

Viraj Mehta selfie

As a psychiatrist, Viraj, thought he would need to mentally support those close to him including his family and friends. He knew circumstances at work would be challenging and he would be running on little sleep. 

What he didn’t anticipate was that his wife and parents would be a constant source of motivation and support to help him through the COVID-19 crisis. In addition to the support at home he was also impressed by the way his colleagues have stepped up to meet the challenge of providing exceptional patient care during the pandemic.

“The way our physicians and staff have responded has been inspirational,” says Viraj, Site Chief of St. Joseph’s Mental Health Care Program. “Everyone focused on supporting patients and each other, maintaining these two priorities regardless of the challenges we faced. Rather than expressing frustration, they responded by finding opportunities.”

Virtual care has proved to be an important tool to support patients and families in an era of physical distancing and many patients have been able to continue appointments virtually.

“It is extraordinary how well patients have adapted to the circumstances,” says Viraj. “We have seen patients demonstrate their capacity for recovery and many have maintained, or made progress, despite the pandemic.” 

Viraj is very much looking forward to the return of face-to-face interaction; he misses the day-to-day visits with patients and colleagues. “Until then, all of us will continue to rely on each other to help us through the tough times.”

Back to all Stories

Other Stories

Christina Seely behind the mask

Good food, better health

“You are what you eat,” says Christina Seely, Registered Dietitian at Parkwood Institute. “I often tell patients that our bodies don’t plug into the wall—they rely on the essential nutrients we consume to function.” Working in the Mental Health Care Program for 14 years, Christina is the dedicated...
Read more
Stacey Tarkowski behind the mask

Kneading a helping hand

Stacey gets emotional when she thinks about what life has been like over the past year. Living through the pandemic has given her a newfound appreciation for her family, friends, health and career. It reminds her not to take anything for granted and help others whenever possible. Stacey is a...
Read more
Makayla Huffman behind the mask

A simple exchange

Makayla was feeling quite overwhelmed and anxious when the pandemic began. She was aware the pulmonary function clinic was going to be closed temporarily, and that she was going to be sent to work in another area, but she didn’t know where. “Our team became closer as we were all going through...
Read more