Throughout the pandemic, CMHA Ottawa has been working hard for its clients while observing all safety precautions
When the pandemic hit the nation’s capital, the team at CMHA Ottawa knew they would have to pivot toward COVID-safe practices while maintaining exceptional service standards for their clients.
By late spring, CMHA Ottawa’s management team, staff, peers and clients had hit a groove – balancing an exemplary adoption of universal safety precautions and the on-boarding of virtual care with continued outreach, case management and a full roster of programs.
Now as 2020 draws to a close, the numbers are in:
- Direct Service (Case Management, Outreach, Dual Diagnosis, System Navigation):Between the months of April and November, direct service staff made a combined total of 55,198 face-to-face and telephone contacts with their clients.
- All CMHA Ottawa programs (Direct Service, Counselling and Treatment, Peer, Increased Access to Psychotherapy, Rent Supplements):Between the months of April and November, CMHA Ottawa staff made a combined total of 63,295 face-to-face and telephone contacts with their clients.
These numbers are based on CRMS data from CMHA Ottawa. The increase is particularly noteworthy because the agency has closed its offices to unscheduled visitors and advised its staff to each use their home office as their base of operations.
So, how is that possible?
By decreasing some of the time spent on the road (between appointments, driving clients from A. to B., etc.) and with shorter visits with clients to mitigate the possible infection of COVID-19, direct service staff have been able to increase the frequency of contact with their clients.
But make no mistake: on-the-ground outreach has been in effect throughout the pandemic, as well.
The people of CMHA Ottawa have come together while maintaining physical distance during trying times – or they connected virtually or while wearing masks.
Stay tuned to CMHA Ottawa on social media through the months ahead as we drill down on our numbers and contextualize them. You can expect some compelling success stories from staff and clients about how services have changed during COVID-19, including:
- A retrospective of the pandemic so far with CMHA Ottawa’s nursing manager
- A collaboration with partners in Ottawa to identify a network of safe meeting locations throughout the city (in development right now)
- A closer look at how CMHA Ottawa distributed more than 150 smartphones to its clients – and counting
- One peer’s testimonial about the benefits of attending virtual groups
- One client’s success story after hospital outreach through the Familiar Faces program (all during the height of the pandemic)
- An interview with a psychotherapist from CMHA Ottawa’s Concurrent Disorders program about onboarding virtual care
- Many more stories of extraordinary resiliency, dedication and innovation