Wednesday September 30, 2020

When the pandemic was declared last spring, Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge had to adjust many of their mental health recovery services. A grant from the COVID-19 Community Response Fund provided a variety of essential supports including supplying clients with taxi credits, cell phones and gift cards.

“Clients were grateful for the cell phones we provided as it helped them stay in contact with us (their workers) and their families,” reported one CMHA worker.

The grant also enhanced crisis supports for activities such as single-session counselling, providing grocery delivery to homes for shut-ins or isolated clients and covering the costs of hotel rooms for justice clients recently released from custody.

This is a good news story, but more needs to be done.

Local service providers all agree that the need for mental health supports will increase as the pandemic wears on. With traditional fundraising activities reduced or stopped altogether, funding is needed for maintaining health and safety precautions and ensuring adequate services and supports.

“Working at Safe Beds, there is a process which involves always maintaining two steps of protection to minimize spread,” reported another CMHA worker. “For example: masks and physical distancing, or Plexiglas and masks, or N95 masks for the times we are not able to place two steps of protection between clients and workers. The N95 masks have been supplied.”

This fall, donations to the COVID-19 Community Response Fund will provide grants to eligible applicants through the Vital Community Grants program – supporting the efforts of local charities as they recover from the initial impacts of COVID-19.

Please give generously – we are stronger together.