An Ongoing Surveillance and Knowledge Mobilization Plan

The Healthcare Salute project is designed to support the mental health and well-being needs of Canadian healthcare workers serving throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. By utilizing healthcare providers’ experiences, this project will develop evidence-based resources for affected and at-risk healthcare workers.

The COVID-19 pandemic increased rates of mental health challenges, including depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress (PTS), and moral injury amongst healthcare providers (HCPs). Healthcare Salute has been contributing to emerging research by studying the unique experiences, mental health, and wellbeing impacts of COVID-19 on Canadian HCPs. This project has also identified risk and resiliency factors contributing to the development of psychological injury (e.g., depression, anxiety, etc.), moral injury, decreased daily function, and thoughts of leaving the workplace.

The results of this study will provide foundational information for the creation of appropriate and effective tools for HCPs and their supporters. These tools will allow individuals to recognize the known mental health outcomes of working as providers during the pandemic — as well as how and when to find support.

Project Resources

These introductory courses are designed to help healthcare providers (HCPs) cope with challenges that have been experienced during the pandemic. Each module is designed to familiarize HCPs with new ideas and provide language that helps describe difficult feelings.

CIPHER Webinar Series: Healthcare Salute Showcase (Full Webinar)

In February 2024, CIPHER hosted a webinar focusing on the challenges of the healthcare community during COVID-19 and the future changes that must occur. Representing the Healthcare Salute team, Dr. Margaret Mckinnon shared her insights into the project. If you missed this session and would like to learn more you can watch the full-length presentation here.

Healthcare Salute Audiogram

As we near the end of the funding period, we take a moment to recognize and celebrate the dedicated efforts of the Healthcare Salute project. Explore the unique focuses of Healthcare Salute and discover the invaluable resources they have developed.

The ACT Matrix and You

The Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) Matrix serves as a valuable exercise for gaining perspective during challenging moments. By acknowledging discomfort and aligning with personal values, the Matrix empowers you to initiate positive changes and progress toward the life you want. This video provides a comprehensive description of the ACT Matrix and will explain how to effectively use this tool  

Coping with Moral Injury and Moral Distress

This course covers topics including moral injury (MI), moral distress (MD), grief, and how to progress forward after experiencing MI and MD.   

Coping with Stress, Trauma, and PTSI

This resource covers why trauma, PTSIs, and stigma occur and how an individual’s mood, emotions, cognitions, problem solving ability, social relationships, and physical health can be impacted.

An Introduction to Trauma-Informed Care

This course provides practical guidelines to help increase the competency and awareness of healthcare providers (HCPs) who wish to engage in trauma-informed care. This information is applicable to patients and other HCPs who may have experienced trauma.

Mental Health Assessment Tool

The Mental Health Continuum Model provides a self-assessment tool to gauge mental health levels. Helpful resources are provided after the assessment is complete.

Organization Recommendations

This module contains recommendations and strategies for healthcare organizations to foster positive change within their sector.

Stories of COVID’s Hidden Crisis

Over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic, Healthcare Salute conducted their initial research project “COVID-19-Related Stress, Moral Injury, and Minority Stress in Healthcare Workers and Public Safety Personnel in Canada.” The struggles, heartbreak, courage, and resilience of healthcare providers (HCPs) inspired Healthcare Salute to build on their research. In 2023, the National Interview Series began sharing the stories of HCPs with the wider public to raise awareness of COVID’s hidden crisis.


Intensive Care Nurse

“We need to fix some of the fundamental flaws in our system that is absolutely crumbling. Now.”

Factsheets for Healthcare Providers

Access factsheets made for healthcare providers.

Moral Injury and Post-Traumatic Stress

Top 10 Pandemic Stress Indicators

What can I do to Take Care of Myself?

Virtual Events

 Access Healthcare Salutes virtual events to hear directly from frontline workers and researchers.

Past Symposium's

These are 2-hour events

Symposium 1: COVID’s Hidden Crisis

Researchers present the impact of moral injury and moral distress on both Canadian and global healthcare providers and how they are studying risk and mitigation factors. Healthcare providers share their thoughts and experiences during a panel discussion.

Symposium 2: The Path Toward Recovery

This symposium highlights the firsthand experiences of healthcare providers during COVID-19 and how researchers are using the ACT Matrix and other methods to investigate risk and resiliency among HCPs.

Past Town Hall's

These are 1-hour events

Town Hall 1: Everybody Hurts

Researchers provide a brief overview of moral injury and moral distress, share early research findings, and have a panel discussion about the pandemic’s effects on healthcare providers.

Town Hall 2: Work Life, Home Life

Healthcare providers and researchers discuss the impact of healthcare providers’ role on family and interpersonal relationships during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Town Hall 3: Finding our Footing

This town hall discusses how healthcare providers are coping with the stresses of COVID-19 with stories from healthcare providers and insights from mental health researchers.

Healthcare Salute Snapshots

Get a snapshot of Healthcare Salute’s findings.

Lessons Learned

“Healthcare Salute is an opportunity for us to remember why we became healthcare workers, in the first place because we signed up for these professions to help others.” 

Hear from Dr. Margaret McKinnon about the lessons that Healthcare Salute learned.

COVID-19 and Healthcare Providers’ Mental Health

Connect with Healthcare Salute

Project Team

Dr. Margaret McKinnon — Principal investigator, Trauma & Recovery Research Unit, McMaster University

Dr. Andrea Brown — Research Associate, Trauma & Recovery Research Unit, McMaster University

Andrea D’Alessandro-Lowe — Graduate Student (PhD), McMaster University

Christina Chrysler — Clinical Research Lead, Trauma & Recovery Research Unit, McMaster University

Dana Waldern — Administrative Assistant, Trauma & Recovery Research Unit, McMaster University

Emily Sullo — Research Assistant (MMASc), Trauma & Recovery Research Unit, McMaster University

Dr. Kim Ritchie — Research Associate, Homewood Research Institute

Mauda Karram — Clinical Research Assistant, Trauma & Recovery Research Unit, McMaster University

Mina Pichtikova — Clinical Research Coordinator, Trauma & Recovery Research Unit, McMaster University

Sangita Singh — Clinical Research Coordinator, Trauma & Recovery Research Unit, McMaster University

Dr. Senay Asma — Research Associate, Trauma & Recovery Research Unit, McMaster University

Sherain Harricharan — Graduate Student (PhD), McMaster University

Sophia Roth — Graduate Student (PhD), McMaster University

Yuanxin Xue — Research Assistant, Trauma & Research Recovery Unit, McMaster University

Additional support from external researchers and professionals:

Dr. Alexandra Heber — LCol (Ret’d) Dr Alexandra Heber MD FRCPC CCPE; Chief of Psychiatry for Veterans Affairs Canada (VAC); Associate Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioural Neurosciences at McMaster University; Co-Chair of the Canadian Military Sexual Trauma Community of Practice

Charlene O’Connor — Senior Manager of Research and Innovation, Homewood Research Institute

Dr. Dayna-Lee Baggley — Registered Clinical Psychologist; Director, Dr. Lee-Baggley and Associates

Dr. Hygge Schielke — Trauma Services Development Lead, Homewood Health Centre

Dr. Jaimie Lusk — Clinical Psychologist; Professor, Oregon Health Sciences University

Dr. Jenna Boyd — Staff Psychologist, Anxiety Treatment and Research Clinic, St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton

Dr. Lorraine Smith-MacDonald — Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Alberta

Dr. Nicholas Carleton — Professor of Clinical Psychology; Registered Clinical Psychologist; Scientific Director, Canadian Institute for Public Safety Research and Treatment

Dr. Randi McCabe — Professor, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioural Neurosciences at McMaster University; Registered Clinical Psychologist

Dr. Suzette Brémault-Phillips — Occupational Therapist; Professor, University of Alberta