Granite Wellness Centers continues to focus on helping people with substance abuse, mental health issues during pandemic | TheUnion.com
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Granite Wellness Centers continues to focus on helping people with substance abuse, mental health issues during pandemic

Submitted to The Union
From left, Granite Wellness Centers’ Adolescent Team members Ann Hawken, Stephanie Sadhu, Nancy Taylor and April White.
Submitted to The Union

Granite Wellness Centers (GWC) has been at the forefront of the COVID-19 pandemic, providing critical safety net services to some of the community’s most vulnerable populations — those with substance use disorders and related behavioral health issues, a news release states.

Each night nearly 200 women, children, and men sleep under a GWC roof in residential treatment or transitional supportive housing, and daily hundreds of adults and teens access outpatient and medication assisted treatment services. Without these supports, many might find help in local emergency rooms, or would experience homelessness. The most immediate need of the population GWC serves is connection and access to substance use disorder (SUD) treatment.

In the height of the pandemic response, a White House dispatch on April 24 by Jim Carroll, director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy, affirmed, “During these uncertain times, it is important that we not lose sight of the very vulnerable population suffering from SUDs. This pandemic has affected every aspect of our lives and our health care system. It is critical that those undergoing treatment for SUD continue their treatment, and it is critical that the health care professionals who provide this care are able to continue to do so during this time. We are working through many different avenues of communication to ensure that these crucial services remain available.”

CRITICAL NEED

COVID-19’s social disruptions and economic destruction are already causing widespread fear and anxiety, a sense of isolation, post-traumatic stress symptoms, depression, and grief. Mental health and addiction must be a key priority in our response to this pandemic, so services provided by Granite Wellness Centers and organizations like them are critical. Granite Wellness Centers reflects on its commitment to adapt to meet the growing needs of the teens, children and families facing challenges.

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“While this has been tremendously challenging, it’s exciting to see how quickly we have adapted, learned new service delivery systems, and found creative ways to connect with people and maintain access to treatment,” said CEO Ariel Lovett in a release. “We have seen such resiliency in our staff, great support from partners like Nevada County Behavioral and Public Health, and gratitude from clients as they are able to secure residential treatment, or housing, telephone support, and safe in-person services.”

Granite Wellness Centers has spent the last several weeks working day and night to keep services available to those needing support most in these times while maintaining safety for clients and staff alike: creating policy, procuring supplies, establishing new systems, training staff, and keeping clients as informed and safe as possible. Although many organizations have closed, GWC has kept the doors open for those who are most in need.

The organization says teens, parenting women, and people receiving Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) for opiate-use disorders have needed special considerations during this time.

“When COVID-19 first hit our area, our team jumped into action by immediately reaching out to our families and teens to see how we could support them during these difficult times. Our clients had the same message, ‘Please keep your doors open and continue in-person services to support our child’s mental health and substance struggles!’ said Stephanie Sadhu, Roseville adolescent SUD coordinator. “We ensured our clients that the spaces they would inhabit would be clean, sanitary and safe. We were able to provide masks for all of our teens to allow them to receive service in person. We have also been able to support our parents who are struggling in these times with weekly Zoom meetings. Our clients have shown gratitude that we were able to continue services without missing a step.”

OPEN, ACCESSIBLE

Granite Wellness welcomes community support to keep programs open and accessible, and to support clients, staff, and the community. GWC welcomes financial support or material donations:

• Masks (paper and cloth), child and adult sizes

• Other personal protective equipment (PPE) (gloves, gowns, shields), so clinicians can provide direct services to people in residential treatment — people who are detoxing from substances, often experiencing homelessness, and at risk of other health issues

• Approved cleaning products such as hand sanitizer, bleach and toilet paper/paper towels

• Financial support toward costs of implementation of technology to continue connecting with clients remotely — laptops, pads, microphones, software, bandwidth

• Art supplies to support residents while in isolation (GWC has suspended all visits to congregate care)

• Daily operational costs to maintain safety net services

People can help by visiting http://www.granitewellness.org/donate to donate to the COVID-19 Family Relief Fund.

Granite Wellness Centers, formerly Community Recovery Resources, or CoRR, is a nonprofit public benefit corporation with the mission to support wellness and quality of life. Granite Wellness Centers provides comprehensive prevention, intervention, and treatment for substance use disorders and related behavioral health services. Visit http://www.granitewellness.org or call 530-273-9541.

Source: Granite Wellness Centers


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