The latest news and updates from LifeWorks of Sonoma County • June 2020
Dear LifeWorks Community,

It has been a challenging last few months as our schools, public spaces, and community have closed down. We are in awe of how the community has come together yet again, united for the health and safety of all. We hope that you have had time to take care of yourself and your loved ones.

We are committed to remaining focused on our mission: building s trong, healthy communities from the inside out and improving access to quality, bilingual mental health services for children, individuals, couples and families.

Like you, we are adapting to meet the moment. See below for current updates and opportunities. We will be in touch as we continue to explore and expand our services to meet your needs in this unprecedented time.

Take care of yourself and each other and please stay connected.

-The LifeWorks Team
Mental Health Support and Community Resources
Mental health treatment for today's challenges
LifeWorks is providing six free mental health support sessions for essential workers and those impacted by COVID-19.

COVID-19 Resources
With the help of local partner agencies, we have been working diligently to compile a list of resources for available to our community during this time.

Check out LifeWorks's coronavirus resource page, full of mental health resources and more!

Noche de Carnaval Event Postponed
It is with heavy hearts that we need to cancel this year’s event. In this uncertain time, we want to confirm to all of our supporters that LifeWorks of Sonoma County is continuing to work in the community at a distance as our community's needs continue to increase.

We look forward to celebrating our 25 year anniversary with you all in 2021!
LifeWorks Non-Event:
2020-2021 Monthly Calendar
Have you seen stuffed animals in windows around town? It’s part of a game meant to entertain children (and adults) during this prolonged period of lockdowns and social distancing. The game is being played in countries around the world, from Australia to Japan to the United States. It’s like a scavenger hunt suited for social distancing: People put teddy bears and other stuffed animals in windows, on porches, in trees and on parked cars. Then, when children go for walks or drives with their families, they try to spot as many as they can.

Doug Martin, husband of LifeWorks board member Merrill Vargo, has been photographing some of these stuffed animals in our local area and we have been working with him to create a 16-month calendar (September 2020 to December 2021) with these images to commemorate this difficult time.

Stories From the Field
Providing therapy services during a pandemic is no easy feat! LifeWorks transitioned to video therapy back in March. This involved training staff, developing procedures for consent and assessment, ensuring access to technology for clients and keeping families engaged from afar. Fortunately, we have been able to continue all five unique LifeWorks programs with the help of our talented and dedicated staff.

We asked our LifeWorks staff to share some of their experiences providing virtual therapy during this pandemic and here are some of the stories we received.
"During Covid-19 Shelter in Place order, the procedures and ways to reach out and provide psychotherapy services for clients have changed in significant ways, both positively and negatively.

On the negative side, we have been struggling with unpredictable changes in scheduling, appointments, and a slower intake process. Everything takes more time to do; we need to explain intake forms with parents by phone and help them set up and use the telehealth services.

Covid-19 has stressed families financially and with unavailable childcare. This adds and increases tension in the families we work with, on top of the emotional and mental difficulties they are already going through. Because of this, family priorities change and they are focused on surviving; even though they desperately need counseling, they cannot put their energy into it.

The lack of face-to-face contact has also blocked some of the natural relationship connections that happens when humans meet in person, making it more difficult to create trust and build rapport with clients and families.

On the positive side, in some cases, we have been able to go deeper into the client/family dysfunction by using Covid-19 as an example of how trauma affects us and how we need to take care of each other more so in times of struggle. We have also developed more awareness and force ourselves to be more present with clients than ever, due to not having face-to-face contact and not seeing body language.

We have seen more collaboration between agencies and colleagues and better teamwork within our program and agency. Another positive thing is that we have been given more information about community resources and there has been a lot of support from the community to help our families with rent assistance, childcare, paying bills, and getting food."

-Adrian Elizondro Hinojosa, LMFT
El Puente
Only the efforts of generous volunteers can provide non-profits with passion, vision and sustainability! Thank you Cathy for all of your years of service on the Lifeworks Board of Directors!

In addition to the COVID-19 pandemic, as a society we are on a trajectory toward powerful social change. Wherever you stand, we all play a role in shaping the outcome. The graph above shows some of the roles we can play that impact social change. To learn more about each role, see the full article. What roles do you fill?

Stay safe and be well!