On May 14, 2020, Ontario Premier Doug Ford announced first steps in opening up the Ontario economy. Included in his announcement was the statement that “in-person counselling” can resume. Further clarification of this direction was then provided by the Ministry of Health noting that the Premier is permitting “…regulated health professionals to gradually resume in person counselling (and other mental health and addictions service), if public health pre-conditions are met. Wherever possible, however, virtual service delivery continues to be encouraged.”
In-Person Counselling :
Over the course of the pandemic the CMHA Grey Bruce Mental Health and Addiction Services has continued to provide in-person counselling when absolutely needed, if it can be done safely in keeping with public health guidelines. In light of the Premier’s direction, the CMHA Grey Bruce will be considering how we can provide in-person counselling safely on a more regular basis when needed. Please note that our ability to do this will be limited by our:
- physical space,
- supplies of personal protective equipment, and
- staff who are able to provide in-person service
Given this, our capacity to provide in-person service will continue to be limited. Hence, those who are in the greatest need will continue to have priority for the in-person service.
Video and Telephone Based Counselling:
As further directed by the Premier we will also continue to offer counselling via video and telephone wherever possible. I am pleased to report that these methods are working very well and that many clients have been surprised and pleased by how effective online and telephone therapy is for them.
Other Mental Health and Addiction Services:
For our other mental health and addition services such as housing, social recreation, case management as well as our recovery home and residential services to name a few; we are considering if and how we could resume and/or increase our level of service given the new direction provided by the Premier. In each case we are proceeding with an abundance of caution and considering:
- Best practices for safety for both clients and staff
- Precautions, protocols and practices that need to be developed and implemented
- Guidance and recommendations from the Ontario Ministry of Health
- Our need to be able to respond quickly if/when the government reimposes a lock down
It is important to remember that although businesses and services are reopening, the pandemic continues, and restrictions remain in force. That said we will continue to do all that we can to connect with, support and serve you.
Show them you care, keep your distance