Beyond Silence App Launches to Help Healthcare Workers

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Healthcare workers have been at the front-line of the COVID response; they have experienced many workload pressures including short staffing, high demands, redeployment, and unpredictable caseloads. Many are experiencing burnout and struggling to meet high standards of clinical care. The crisis in the healthcare system is front-page news and solutions are needed to prevent long-lasting damage to the mental health of our frontline providers, and to the overall healthcare system.

Sandra Moll and her team at McMaster University recently received funding from the Public Health Agency of Canada to scale up implementation and evaluation of Beyond Silence, a new mental health app designed to promote early intervention and peer support for frontline healthcare workers. The Beyond Silence app is designed to be a confidential “mental health coach in your pocket” for healthcare workers where they can access information and local resources, track wellness, set goals for change, and reach out for confidential help from a trained peer support provider, either by phone or text. Content in the app (in both French and English) is customized for healthcare providers, addressing key issues such as self-care, moral injury, burnout, compassion fatigue, stress management, and mindfulness. In partnership with Homewood Health (who specialize in mental health and addictions services), over 50 people representing a range of healthcare roles, have been trained to provide peer support via the app to frontline workers in participating healthcare organizations across Canada.

“When we were building the app, we knew we had to include peer support because of evidence for the value of connecting with someone who understands the unique challenges of frontline healthcare work, and knowing you are not alone” said Sandra Moll, occupational therapist and principal investigator of the project. This project provides an opportunity to reduce barriers to reaching out for support, by providing app users with an anonymous connection by phone or text, to their choice of peer at a time and place that works for them.

The Beyond Silence team launched version 2.0 of this innovative app in November, 2022 in partnership with several diverse healthcare organizations across Canada. They will be evaluating how the app is used by workers and explore strategies to optimize implementation and impact in the participating organizations. Beyond Silence has the potential to move beyond stigma and silence to address the urgent and critical need for accessible mental health services and supports for front-line healthcare workers.

For more information contact the Beyond Silence team at, or view the website: