This is a copy of an open letter which I sent three weeks ago to the Langley Stepping Stone Society, and the impact COVID-19 is having on the more vulnerable members of society. Although I have yet to receive a formal response, I felt it was important to share to create conversations around mental health support. I thank you in advance for your consideration.
To Whom it May Concern,
I just want to take a moment to thank you for your efforts in the community these past many years. You may or may not remember me, but I struggled with mental health issues for a long time. Thankfully, the Langley Stepping Stones Community Clubhouse was very much a part of my recovery.
I was surely fortunate, in this, as I was gifted with many other points of support. Family was primarily one.
Now, however, COVID-19, which has been ravaging around our world for over the last year has made it difficult beyond measure. Many places are no longer allowing in person visits or connections, once so vital to recovery. I am also continuing on my own recovery in another light, having been sober the last four years. I used to have a community support worker through the clubhouse that would come to my home and visit me to help. Or, alternatively, to assist me, we would meet for coffee as required if I felt up to it.
Which brings me to my next question for the Langley Stepping Stone.
Now, with COVID-19 globally since last March what measures or safety protocols are in place which Community Support Workers abide by to help clients through these extremely challenging times? Does the Fraser Health Authority (through Langley Mental Health) also have input into these guidelines which govern how yourcommunity support workers perform their duties? Are in-home visits (and wellness checks) continue to be regularly done if a client is struggling?
I have a friend who works in the industry as a home-care worker, so in order to complete work for her clients, she dons (all supplied by the employer) a mask and gloves in order to complete work these tasks as needed.
Also, a number of my close friends are finding it difficult to cope and maintain their mental health and well-being. I am thus deeply concerned, even frustrated when I hear their ongoing stories. I do hope there are options actively in place to try and continue to assist them.
Again, thank you for the work you do, and look forward to your soonest response.
Shauneen Pattinson, Willoughby
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