Federal and provincial governments need to prepare for a swell in mental health problems caused by the coronavirus pandemic, which one expert warns will pose a “severe” challenge in managing.

In an interview with The West Block‘s Mercedes Stephenson, the CEO of the Canadian Mental Health Association said while some larger provinces have been acting to shore up supports for mental health resources, her organization is seeing signs the smaller ones might not have enough money to do so.

“There’s a real recognition that the mental health impacts are going to be severe,” said Margaret Eaton.

“It’s the smaller provinces that we’re actually more worried about right now that may not have the big budgets that would allow them to invest in mental health in the same way some of the deeper-pocketed provinces have.”

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Eaton pointed to Nova Scotia as an example of one of the places where her organization is seeing a spike in the number of people asking for mental health help.

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She said while branches in that province would normally see around 25 phone calls per day,