Update (May 19, 2020)
On May 14, 2020, Ontario Premier Doug Ford announced first steps in opening up the Ontario economy. Included in his announcement is the statement that “in-person counselling” can resume. Premier Ford was clear that in-person counselling may resume only if and when mental health organizations are fully ready.
This is welcome news for all of us!
Note that there are major safety considerations, precautions, protocols and practices that need to be developed and implemented prior to the resumption of in-person counselling and face-to-face meetings. We are working diligently, carefully and expeditiously at developing these. There are many factors to consider, especially implementing best practices for safety for both clients and staff. Be aware that our approach to resuming in-person contact will focus on caution. The pandemic is continuing. Indeed, as the economy opens up and more interaction takes place, the risks are increasing, not decreasing.
In developing plans to open our building and spaces to clients, we are following closely guidance and recommendations from the Ontario College of Social Workers, the Ontario College of Registered Psychotherapists, colleague member agencies at Family Services Ontario, and the Ontario Ministry of Health.
Shalem continues to offer online and telephone therapy—and that is working very well. Many clients have been surprised and pleased by how effective online therapy is for them. As you know, Shalem, like other mental health services, was declared an “essential service” at the beginning of the pandemic. Thanks to online possibilities, we have remained open throughout COVID-19 and continue to serve. We are eager to connect with you.
We will keep you posted! And we look forward to seeing you face to face, when it’s safe.
Update (March 17): Because the reduction of social contact is the most effective tool we have, please be advised that all counselling sessions will now be virtual (by phone or video counselling), effective March 18, 2020. Our office will be closed to the public until further notice. This is in keeping with what our partner mental health agencies are doing around Ontario.
We have prepared a list of helpful resources to help us all cope during this time. You can read about them here.
Please see our website or Facebook page, or call our office if you wish to book a virtual counselling appointment, to ask questions or to speak with our staff.
To read our full statement in response to COVID – 19, view this document.
As always, if you have any concerns or questions, please do not hesitate to contact us at [email protected] or by calling 866.347.0041