Vernon CMHA switching its services online - InfoNews

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Vernon CMHA switching its services online

CMHA Vernon executive director Julia Payson.
Image Credit: CMHA Vernon
March 17, 2020 - 1:50 PM

To help against the spread of COVID-19 the Canadian Mental Health Association Vernon and District Branch is moving the majority of its services online and by phone.

"Everything we stand for is about connecting people to community. The circumstances we are facing will not stop us from doing that, but it will change the way we do things for now," Canadian Mental Health Association executive director Julia Payson said in a media release. "With growing anxiety and increased precautions unfolding across the landscape, we need to stay unified as a supportive community, and rethink how we can offer support to ensure the health and well-being of our participants, staff, volunteers and supporters."

According to the release, the CMHA Vernon is now offering online and phone support in replacement for its drop-in and group activities which include the Men’s Shed, fitness and recreation, peer support as well as educational courses for youth and adults.

Participants of the group's Kitchen and Nutrition program will now be provided with take-out lunches instead.

"By transitioning many of our in-person services to online and phone support, we can continue to help those most vulnerable in our community. People who have been marginalized due to illness, need to know they are not alone and are still connected to people and a community that deeply cares for their well-being," Payton said.

The release says the Good Morning daily check-in for isolated individuals and the 24/7 Crisis Line and Online Crisis Chat will continue as normal.

"These programs are especially important during this time with fears and uncertainty taking hold," Payson said.

The CMHA store, the Georgette Thrift Shop, is now closed to the public until further notice. The organization has also cancelled an upcoming Mental Health First Aid training course.

The organization is also asking everybody to reach out to people they know but haven't spoken to, who live alone or have health conditions.

"There is no risk in phone calls, emails or texts… and we need to keep our community connected.”

The Crisis Line service remains operational 24 hours a day, seven days a week at 1-888-353-2273 (CARE).

For more information go here.

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