“Having the iPad on site has been a complete gamechanger for our clients” says Leon Mvukiyehe, a community support worker student et Timbergrove.
Timbergrove is home to 50 clients who live with mental illness and often concurrent disorders or physical disabilities. Many may have been homeless or at risk of homelessness before coming to live there.
Clients are engaged at a level they feel comfortable with and that matches their strengths. They’re able to build on those, learning basic skills, setting goals, and working towards more independence. In addition to daily dinner and 24/7 access to staff, clients can participate in a wide variety of programs. These include an exercise group, healthy eating group, healthy baking group, financial literacy workshops, addiction recovery programs, bingo, karaoke, movie nights, and take-out dinner social groups.
“Prior to Covid-19, we had two old desktops for our clients to access but they’re very slow and frustrating. And because they’re located in a small confined space, access to those has been restricted since the beginning of the pandemic. So having an iPad has made a huge difference to ensuring our clients can continue to access the services they really need.” continued Leon.
Timbergrove was one of Coast’s sites to receive an iPad generously donated by Com Pro Managed Business Solutions. And having access to tech has made many day-to -day tasks for folks a lot easier. Particularly for those that don’t have a phone with internet.
Making day-to-day life easier
Many tasks that should be straightforward can become onerous and time-consuming without access to internet.
Clients at Timbergrove most often use the iPad for virtual doctor’s appointments, to access lab results, online banking, maintaining their welfare payments, or to order Handy Dart. But the uses are wide-ranging. “Last Friday, a client had lost his compass card and with the iPad we were able to get the info and order a replacement within an hour. The same client lost his compass card last year, and the same process took three weeks over the phone.” said Leon.
And at a time where staying in touch with loved ones has been harder than ever the iPad has also been crucial. “Clients can take it with them and have private video calls with loved ones. It’s been really important during Covid.” Some clients also intend to use the iPad to take on studies or e-mental health courses over the coming months.
Mike Hamfelt, Vice President at Com Pro adds “As Covid ramped up, critical services and basic socialization with loved ones became dependant on having access to technology. We reached out to Coast Mental Health to see if we could help their clients by eliminating this technology barrier and provide access to this essential need during the pandemic.”
“The iPad is really great and so much more convenient. We’re so grateful to have it! Thank you” added Kelly Bagnell, Manager at Timbergrove.
If you’d like to support the development of more E-mental health initiatives you can donate here.