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Providing essential mental health care during a pandemic
Carol LambieProviding essential mental health care during a pandemic
Carol Lambie, President and CEO

The changes we've all experienced over these last few months will be long lasting - some are welcome, and some perhaps less so, but one thing is for sure, we're all going through this together. 

Here at Waypoint, our caring environment has not stopped. Our staff have worked tirelessly to continue to provide essential mental health care to our patients and clients, albeit somewhat differently than we have in the past. 

When the pandemic hit, we adjusted our inpatient programs and suspended the voluntary Georgianwood mental health and addiction program because of physical spacing needs. We also increased the use of the Ontario Telemedicine Network (OTN) from approximately 300/month pre-COVID to almost 1,100/month to meet the needs of our patients and clients virtually.2

As restrictions continue to lift and we prepare for a potential second wave, our focus is now on safely re-establishing services and supports that were suspended or modified because of COVID-19. 

This work requires changes to services and care delivery processes, as well as use of space to meet public health measures like physical distancing. Before the pandemic, some units had six patients per room and we must make changes to meet government guidelines of four or less patients per room.

We know that prolonged isolation and worry about the pandemic has begun to take a toll on mental health. We are undertaking research to understand the impact of the pandemic on the mental health of frontline workers, and to study the effectiveness of mindfulness training for frontline staff, youth, and the community at large. Both projects are in partnership with Georgian College and we are pleased to have Mindfulness Without Borders as an additional partner. 

To address these significant challenges and respond to the emerging needs because of the pandemic both in the hospital, and in the community, Waypoint is launching the COVID-19 Mental Health Relief Fund. 

If we are to accomplish our goals, we need your help! With your support, we can make physical improvements to the building to re-open beds as soon as possible, explore innovative solutions to better support people who need mental health and addiction services including online tools and virtual care, and expand our research to better understand the impact of the pandemic.

You can also support the COVID-19 Mental Health Relief Fund if you are a member of the philanthropic group GBay Gals Give. We are thrilled to have been nominated to receive the funds from this amazing event that could have such an incredible impact on our hospital and the patients we serve.

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the Waypoint COVID-19
Mental Health Relief Fund