Ottawa Public Health Update for May 4, 2023

Red Dress Day (May 5) - National Day of Awareness for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, Girls, and 2SLGBTQQIA+ Peoples

Indigenous women, girls, and 2SLGBTQQIA+ people in Canada have been the targets of violence for far too long. We acknowledge the many families affected by the loss of their daughters, sisters, mothers, aunties, grandmothers and two-spirit family and friends. Tomorrow is intended to honour the thousands of missing and murdered Indigenous women, girls, Two Spirit and gender diverse people (MMWIG2S+) in Canada by taking time to appreciate their stories, the ongoing impact on their families and communities, and the urgency to address the 231 Calls for Justice to end this targeted, gendered, and racialized violence. For many non-Indigenous Canadians, this will require rethinking commonly held stereotypes about Indigenous women, girls and 2SLGBTQQIA people, critically examining attitudes, biases, and behaviours, and confronting Indigenous-specific racism across systems.

We recognize that this content may be triggering for some individuals. If you require support, we encourage you to connect with the MMWIG2S+ support call line at 1-844-413-6649. This line is available free of charge, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Indigenous crisis counselling is also offered through the Indigenous-specific Hope for Wellness Helpline at 1-855-242-3310.

National Mental Health week

This year, the first week of May marks the 72nd National Mental Health Week. This week is also Safety and Health Week, which provides us with another opportunity to reflect on mental health, whether that be in your personal/home life or in the workplace. Workplace Strategies for Mental Health has a variety of resources that you may find helpful. For more information on the 13 factors that affect mental health in the workplace, be sure to check out our have THAT talk videos. For information on accessing mental health supports, you can go to:

If you are in crisis, contact the Mental Health Crisis Line (24 hours a day/7 days a week) at 613-722-6914 or if outside Ottawa toll-free at 1-866-996-0991. If you have a youth in crisis, contact the Youth Services 24/7 Crisis Line (24 hours a day/7 days a week) at 613-260-2360 of if outside Ottawa toll-free at 1-877-377-7775.

Perinatal Mental Health: Supporting New and Expectant Parents

Perinatal Mental Health Day is a day to raise awareness of the mental health needs of expectant and new parents. Perinatal mental health refers to the mental well-being of individuals during pregnancy and the first year after childbirth. Pregnancy, childbirth and parenting are associated with many different and varied emotions, such as joy and frustration. As well, it is a transition that can sometimes be overwhelming for parents. It is not uncommon to experience anxiety, depression, or other mental health concerns or illness during this time. In fact, according to The Canadian Perinatal Mental Health Collaborative (CPMHC), 20% of women and 10% of men will experience Perinatal mental illness such as mood and anxiety disorder. For more services in Ottawa, please visit Ottawa Public Health’s Mental Health, Addictions, Substance Use Health Services and Resources page.

Respiratory Virus Dashboard

We will continue to post on our main COVID-19 website at Our Respiratory Virus dashboard continues to be updated every Wednesday on our main respiratory virus activity webpage:

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