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Q&A – COVID-19 Update

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How are we keeping clients safe? 

We’re closely monitoring the guidelines provided by BC Centre for Disease Control and HEABC to ensure we take immediate action to protect our clients and staff.  

Coast Mental Health has activated its emergency procedures to keep clients, family and staff informed.  Updates will be provided on Coast Mental Health’s website and circulated via social media.   Additionally, site managers are in contact with clients on a regular basis to share updates. 

Prior to opening, each site worked with WorkSafe BC to establish a safety plan and will continued to be monitored by staff and health agencies.

Regular cleaning duties remain a top priority across every facility. This includes accessible hand-sanitizer liquid at each site, public education notices on proper hand washing and respectful coughing and sneezing etiquette.  

Staff continue to monitor clients for flu-like symptoms and have isolation procedures in place to manage on a case-by-case basis at each site. 

Employees are also asked to self-monitor for flu-like symptoms and stay at home if they feel sick. 

We’re asking visitors to take precautions when visiting one of our facilities, as some of our clients have compromised immune systems. If a guest is unsure whether they’re sick or not, and what they may unknowingly carry into the building, we suggest rescheduling your visit or plan for another way to connect, such as FaceTime or Skype.  If you’re unsure, please call ahead and speak to the site manager.  

How are we keeping family members updated regarding their loved ones who are living at one of our sites? 

A family member or friend may contact the site manager directly to inquire about a resident, but we will also provide updates on our website. 

 

Is Coast Mental Health accepting visitors at its facilities? 

To keep clients safe, we’re asking guests to take precautions and think twice before visiting one of our facilities.  Many clients and tenants have compromised immune systems and are much more susceptible to contracting COVID-19.

We kindly ask family and friends who may be unsure of their health status and potentially a carrier of COVID-19, to please reschedule any upcoming visits.  Instead, we suggest staying connected using digital platforms such as your mobile phone, Skype and FaceTime.

Isolation protocols will be activated at a site if a person is either tested with COVID-19, or someone they have been in contact with has been diagnosed with the virus.   The individual will be asked to self-isolate for 14 days.  Coast Mental Health staff will continue to provide health care supports during the isolation period. Visitors will be restricted to prevent the further spread of the virus.  

If you have any questions or concerns about a resident living at one of our facilities, please call and speak with the site manager.

Thank you for your understanding and patience during this challenging time. 

 

How are we keeping clients informed?

We’ve been in contact with many of our clients using a three-pronged approach: face-to-face conversations, a home delivered notice, and by posting information in common areas to educate and remind everyone to practice proper hand-washing hygiene.  We also boosted our cleaning protocols in common areas to include disinfection of spaces and items before and after each use.

Also, we’ll continue to ask guests to think twice before entering one of our facilities. When possible, we’re recommending to family and friends to reschedule their visit and stay connected by telephone, FaceTime, Skype or email.  

 

Should I expect any changes in service delivery at Coast Mental Health? 

Our top priority is to protect clients and staff during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

As part of Phase three of the BC’s Restart Plan, we’re cautiously opening some of our sites. Head Office is open to visitors, but as a precaution, it’s by appointment only. We’re asking people to call ahead to schedule an appointment with a member of staff. By limited the building capacity we all stay safe.

The Resource Centre and Clubhouse have also opened its doors with limited services and building capacity. Please note that the hours of operation at these Centres have changed.  We encourage members to call ahead and schedule their appointments with staff. For the time being, the meal-to-go programs at both sites will continue.  

For more information, please contact the following sites: 

Clubhouse: T 604-675-2357 
Hours of Operation:
Monday, Tuesday, Thursday & Friday 9:00 a.m. to 3:45 p.m.
Wednesday 9:00 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

Resource Centre: 
Hours of Operation: Monday – Thursday 2 p.m. to 4p.m. and Friday 2 p.m. to
3:30 p.m. (closed Saturday and Sunday)

Outreach services: T 604-669-2447 
General Information: T 604-683-3787  M 604-603-9151 
Honourarium work: T 604-683-3787  

The Social Crust Café hours of operation are Monday to Friday 8:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. However, the catering services will be limited as we adjust our priorities and thoughtfully manage our funding requirements across the organization.

Culinary Training Program
We’re accepting applications for the next cohort for the young adult Culinary Training Program scheduled for September 2020. To learn more, please visit our website.

All our community homes and supported housing facilities will remain open and continue to provide 24 hours, 7 days a week client care. Some sites still have visitor restrictions, so please call ahead to check before heading out on your trip.

Head Office: Please call ahead to schedule your appointment with a member of staff.

 

How do I access services from Coast Mental Health’s Trust Program? 

 During office closures, electronic deposits and mailed cheques will continue as regularly scheduled. If you’re not able to use electronic deposits, cheques may be picked up at our office Mondays and Thursdays between 2 p.m. and 3:30 p.m.  To pick up a cheque please come to the front entrance at 293 East 11th Avenue and ring the bell. A staff member will be at the door to assist you.  

For general inquiries, please contact us at trust@coastmentalhealth.com

 

I’m concerned for my friend who may feel isolated and not able to access the mental health supports they need. How can I help them or who should they contact?

We recognize that some clients may be feeling overwhelmed during the pandemic and unable to access the supports they need to manage their mental health. Our staff continue to connect with clients using virtual platforms or during our daily meal-to-go programs. However, if you’re in distress and need extra supports, we encourage clients to connect with a member of our team. If you don’t have a contact, you can also make an appointment with a counsellor at the Resource Centre or Clubhouse, either by phone, email, Zoom conferencing, or in-person.

If you require immediate assistance, please contact the Crisis Centre (free external resource), which provides 24 hrs./7 days a week confidential and professional counselling services to people in need.

Contact numbers provided below:

Clubhouse: T 604-675-2357 
Hours of Operation:
Monday, Tuesday, Thursday & Friday 9:00 a.m. to 3:45 p.m.
Wednesday 9:00 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

Resource Centre: 
NEW Hours of Operation: Monday – Thursday 2 p.m. to 4p.m. and Friday 2 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. (closed Saturday and Sunday)

Outreach services: T 604-669-2447 
General Information: T 604-683-3787  M 604-603-9151 
Honourarium work: T 604-683-3787  

Crisis Centre – 24/7 Distress Phone Services:

Greater Vancouver T: 604-872-3311
Toll Free T:1-866-661-3311

1-800-SUICIDE 1-800-784-2433

TTY (deaf and hard of hearing)  T: 1-866-872-0113

Crisis Centre – Online Distress Services
YouthInBC.com
CrisisCentreChat.ca  

 

How is Coast Mental Health advocating for and supporting people with substance use disorders during the pandemic?

The BC Coroner’s Report for May 2020 states 170 deaths related to drug poisoning, incidentally this is also the highest month of causalities since the opioid crisis began in 2016. We also observe an increase in overdoses across our sites. Often, these people are managing complex health issues that may include both mental health and substance use disorders. Today, the opioid crisis is compounded with a global pandemic. A situation that encourages people to use illicit drugs when isolated at home; a behaviour we strongly discourage across our 52 sites. However, we also believe in providing clients with the dignity and respect to make their own decisions. That said, we believe that no one should be left behind. When it comes to substance use this mean helping people where they’re at in their recovery, even if they have a substance use disorder. Our goal is to lift people out of a difficult situation through wraparound mental health support services.  For someone recovering from substance use and living in a home operated by Coast Mental Health, this may include regular client check-ins and room inspections. And, where appropriate access to a safe room and harm reduction supplies. Our staff are also trained in life saving CPR techniques and the administration of Naloxone.

Our front- line workers are doing their absolute best to keep clients safe during the pandemic. But, we know there’s still more work to be done. As an organization, we continue to share our real-world observations with government influencers in an effort to advocate for policies and practices, such as safe supply, more community-based consumption sites, and treatment options to assist people with opioid dependency.

We also believe that substance use and addictions is a health issue, not a criminal justice issue. We need to decriminalize substances and substance use as a means to reduce harm. Our sentiments echoed in the Canada Centre on Substance Use and Addiction 2018 policy brief, Decriminalization: Options and Evidence, which examines options and evidence of the decriminalization of substances and a range of principles, policies and practices for harm reduction. Like many other likeminded individuals, we support the decriminalization and the removal of many criminal sanctions associated to substance use. We also look for opportunities to promote harm reduction practices and more access to community-based holistic treatment options. This includes vital programming in mental health to encourage healing and sustained recovery through social connections, education and employment opportunities.  

Just recently, The Provincial Health Services Authority, in partnership with regional health authorities and Lifeguard Digital Health, launched Lifeguard App, a harm reduction practice that directly links people to emergency responders if an overdose occurs. We wholeheartedly support this innovative approach, and PHSA’s response to the opioid crisis, but as suggested in Canada Centre on Substance Use and Addiction’s policy brief above, it’s not a single approach to intervention that will get us through the opioid crisis, but a range of harm reduction principles, policies and practices that support the health and wellbeing of a diverse group of people who live in our communities.

The Lifeguard App can be downloaded at both the App Store and Google Play. 

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Courage To Come Back Month:

Each year, over 1,500 people gather at the Vancouver Convention Centre to celebrate the annual Courage To Come Back Awards. Due to the global pandemic, this year’s annual in-person awards gala, which is also a critical fundraising event for the foundation, has been cancelled.

To celebrate the courageous achievements of this year’s Courage To Come Back Award recipients, Coast Mental Health Foundation is dedicating the month of July to Courage. During Courage To Come Back Month, the stories of five British Columbians who have overcome extraordinary adversity to come back and give back to their own communities will be celebrated.

Every Thursday in July, Coast Mental Health will announce a recipient online and on their social media channels in one of five categories – Youth, Mental Health, Addiction, Medical and Physical Rehabilitation. For more information, visit: www.couragetocomeback.ca

Each year, the programs made possible through donors’ generous support at the annual Courage To Come Back Awards – which raised $2.5 million in 2019 – provide outreach services, housing support, food security, mental health support for youth and adults, peer support services, training and employment and many other programs that are vital to the long-term recovery of vulnerable people living with mental illness.

Please consider supporting Coast Mental Health Foundation – your gifts save lives.

 

 

Media Contact:

Susan Hancock
Senior Manager, Communications & Community Development
Coast Mental Health
T:  604-675-2368
M: 604-230-2267
E: susan.hancock@coastmentalhealth.com

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