In response to the COVID-19 crisis, we have experienced an increased demand for professional mental health support services, including our individual and group counseling. To meet this demand, we have increased our provision of individual and group telemental health services. We have also been offering an additional weekly support group, at the request of—and to meet the ongoing needs of—our survivors.
In addition, we are offering sessions and workshops on anxiety, stress management, and loving and grieving. Our partners continue to include the International High School for Health Sciences, Frank Sinatra High School and the Queens Public Library.
Our deep roots in Queens and our small size enable us to assess and respond to emergent needs quickly and effectively. A recent example are the three emergency support groups we offered on March 23, 25, 27 as the COVID-19 PAUSE was just getting started. We have continued these support groups weekly each Friday since. These remote support groups were created to provide continuity, comfort, creativity, community and access to trustworthy support and information in a time of chaos. In addition, many of our members are older and unfamiliar with technology. It is an indicator of their need and their trust in us that we were able to inspire them to access social media. Here are some quotes from recent thank you emails:
Thank you so much for the zoom group, I really need it and its wonderful! Really appreciate how quickly you got it up and running!
Thank you so much for hosting the group meetings this week. It was great to connect with the group.
It was great to be able to see everyone. I’m so proud of myself for being able to join on Zoom without any glitches. Thanks for all your help. I told the rest of the gang how much I enjoyed it.
Thanks for another great session—these ZOOM gatherings have been so helpful.
Thank you so much for all you’re doing for all of us. It’s impossible to express the difference you have made and continue to make in our lives.
Members of our community are among the most vulnerable during this COVID-19 pandemic. Risk factors we see on a daily basis include: compromised immunity due to cancer treatment, underlying illnesses such as diabetes and COPD, advanced age, and high numbers of survivors living alone, or with other high-risk individuals. Some have had their cancer treatment put on hold, because their increased risk of getting COVID while in the hospital or during recovery.
Along with increased physical risk, our isolated members are at increased risk for mental illnesses including clinical depression, complicated grief, anxiety and PTSD. Many are facing the same traumas that our collective NYC/Queens community has been experiencing. Our members have lost loved ones to COVID-19, are worried about family members on the front lines, job loss, and have to cope with ongoing, indefinite self-quarantine and social isolation. Our group and individual counseling interventions include evidence-based interventions geared to help our community reduce risk, isolation, anxiety, depression and trauma.
Even when PAUSE restrictions are reduce, until there is a vaccine or cure for COVID, the populations we serve will continue to need to self-isolate because of their high risk-status and suffer increased stress. Many in our community will continue to face unemployment and financial hardship.
SHAREing & CAREing will continue to further our mission by assessing and addressing the needs of our local communities. If you or someone you know needs support, please do not hesitate to reach out to us via our website or email.