Welcome to the WCMHS COVID-19 Resource Page
Where hope & support come together, now more than ever.

Hope and support. More than words, it’s what we offer and guides us in serving the Washington County community and anyone that needs our support with their mental health and well-being.

WCMHS is committed to the health and well-being of clients, staff and community. Now more than ever, during these challenging times, we’re here to help navigate the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and its affect on our community. This page, and the links from it, have been developed to provide both hope and support by offering information that can aid our neighbors and friends in finding calm during this these turbulent times and if necessary, access our services.

We are still open, making every effort to maintain normal operations and program services where possible, recognizing Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Vermont Department of Health (VDH) guidelines and mandates. Our staff, the heart and soul of our agency, is doing what they can to be available even if working remotely, in our offices or in the community. We’re still here.

On this page and the links from it, you’ll find information about Coronavirus and ways to prevent the spread of the virus. You’ll find also tips on self-care, kid-care and family-care as well as helpful hygiene techniques…everything that can keep you and your loved ones healthy and safe.

We are all in this together and no one needs to be or should be alone.

What is Coronavirus and COVID-19?

  • Coronaviruses are a type of virus. There are many different kinds, and some cause disease. A newly identified type has caused a recent outbreak of respiratory illness now called COVID-19 that started in China in 2019.
  • COVID-19 is a severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS)-type disease caused by the coronavirus.
  • COVID-19 symptoms include cough, fever and shortness of breath.
  • COVID-19 can be severe, and in some cases, particularly among vulnerable or at risk populations, has caused death.
  • The new coronavirus can be spread from person to person. It is diagnosed with a laboratory test.
  • There is no coronavirus vaccine, yet.

What is a pandemic?

Pandemics happen when new (novel) viruses emerge which are able to infect people easily and spread from person to person in an efficient and sustained way. Because the virus is new to humans, very few people will have immunity against the pandemic virus, and a vaccine might not be widely available, yet. The new virus will make a lot of people sick. How sick people get will depend on the characteristics of the virus, whether or not people have any immunity to that virus, and the health and age of the person being infected. 

Prevention

  • Prevention involves frequent hand-washing, coughing into the bend of your elbow and staying home when you are sick.
  • What is social distancing and why?
    • While it may be disappointing to hear that so many sports events, cruises, festivals and other gatherings are being cancelled, there is a public health reason for these measures. These cancellations help stop or slow down the spread of disease allowing the health care system to more readily care for patients over time.
      • Cancelling events that are likely to draw crowds is an example of social distancing. Social distancing is deliberately increasing the physical space between people to avoid spreading illness. Staying at least six feet away from other people lessens your chances of catching COVID-19.
      • Other examples of social distancing that allow you to avoid larger crowds or crowded spaces are:
        • Working from home instead of at the office
        • Closing schools or switching to online classes
        • Visiting loved ones by remotely using electronic devices like smartphone, tablets, and laptop and desktop computers instead of in person
        • Cancelling or postponing conferences and large meetings
      • View this great video metaphor about social distancing and how it can work to stop the spread of coronavirus.

  • What is the difference between Isolate and Quarantine?
    • Isolation means the separation of a person or group of people known or reasonably believed t0 be infected with a contagious disease and potentially infectious from those who are not infected to prevent spread of the communicable disease. Isolation for public health purposes may be voluntary or compelled by federal, state, or local public health order. (CDC)
    • Quarantine in general means the separation of a person or group of people reasonably believed to have been exposed to a contagious disease but not yet symptomatic, from others who have been so exposed, to prevent the possible spread of the communicable disease. (CDC)
  • Making a Mask for Protection
    • US Surgeon General, Jerome Adams, offers instructions on making a protective mask.
    • Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center instructions for making a protective mask.

Taking Care – Good Stuff for Mind, Body and Soul

News About COVID-19 and the WCMHS Community Role

Community Acts of Kindness – Have any? Send them to john.caceres@wcmhs.org.

“Our youngest resident expressed with sadness on Tuesday that it felt as though the apocalypse was here. We decided to turn that into a themed ice cream sundae party with multiple flavours and toppings.
That same resident also made a variety of signs with uplifting messages and drawings to post house wide.
Thank you.” – Mona Karia, Single Steps Coordinator

Yesterday because I am moving, Jordan came to my home and loaded up bedding, curtains, fans, heaters, lamps, air mattress, iron….to distribute to our clients as they get placed into permanent housing.  This was a HUGE help to me personally and I am delighted that our clients will benefit from his efforts.” -Cordially, Kris

I figured out how to input [donated vacation time] into this form so here it is.  I would honestly give all of my time right now to help folks out.  I have 8 vacation days left that I need and then lose a bunch of it on 6/30.  I also have around 1200 hours of sick time as well. This job has blessed me for over 10 years now through thick and thin.” – Errol

Under the Radar – It would appear that candy, chips and a thank you note were left for the WCMHS housekeeping staff, anonymously, in one of the Admin offices. Tina and her team have been doing an incredible job in keeping us all safe from the spread of germs and ultimately keeping us from getting sick, disinfecting individual offices and common areas at main locations. To the anonymous person(s)…thank you for doing such a gracious act!

The Sunrise team has been ordering food from VT Food Bank for delivery to clients unable to get groceries. As a part of that effort, The Manghis Bread in Montpelier has offered to donate 48 loaves of their fresh-baked bread. It’s an incredible testimony as to the giving nature of this unique bakery!

Toilet paper has become somewhat of commodity. In fact, many stores are rationing the sales of the new “white gold.” Recently, the Mad River Barn, an inn and restaurant located in Waitsfield, donated 240 rolls of toilet paper to the Sunrise Recovery Center for distribution to its most vulnerable WCMHS Community Support Program clients.

Recognition in any line of work, is welcome, particularly the unsung heroes working in mental health services. Three Spring Farms, of Waitsfield, growers of fruits, vegetables and medicinals recently acknowledged the WCMHS Community Support Program with 14 gift bags for team members that keep showing up to take care of their clients.

Fun Stuff to Help Pass Time

Education

Fitness

Recovery Resources (Online AA, NA and other 12 Step-focused Meetings)

With social distancing the ability to gather and meet at regular meetings is being suspended, there exists a great potential for relapse. Stay connected. It’s the key to enduring sobriety for many folks in recovery from substance use disorder.  Below you’ll find ever-growing lists of online meetings that are global, regional and state-wide. Many require use of the ZOOM app, which is available free on most app stores.

  • InTheRooms.com – A Global Recovery Community for all 12-Step Programs
  • UpperValleyAA.com – CT River Valley and Beyond Online AA meetings & Other Resources (eg., Al-Anon)
  • AAVT.org – Vermont-wide Area 70 AA Meetings with a growing list of online options.

Helpful Support Links

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