We recognize that you must all have concerns as our society shifts to new social distancing norms, and community services slow. We want to share with you some of the precautions and changes we're putting in place to ensure the safety of our clients.
First, for physical safety, we are consulting daily with my brother, Dr. Adrian Gardner, who is a Brown/Harvard educated Infectious disease specialist with 20 years experience in Kenya (
). He is providing us with insight and guidance as the landscape changes. He is also consulting on procedures for assessing any risks associated with accepting new members into our community.
MORE AND DIFFERENT STRUCTURE OFFERED
Last week we started offering recovery meetings in the house each night for our community members, so our clients can choose to avoid meetings with greater chances of exposure; as you may be aware, most recovery meetings in the area were suspended last week, and almost all meetings have now moved online; there are many online meeting resources, which have also been made available for our clients.
All of our clients have seen work hours suspended and most outpatient programs are being suspended, or have moved to virtual groups. For the benefit of our client's mental health and recovery work, starting this past Monday, we modified the schedule at Tharros, offering recovery groups twice a day (11 am and 3:30 pm M-F), as well as our morning meeting at 9 am and an in-house recovery meeting at 7:15 pm. We also continue to offer our evening reflection meeting at 9:30 pm. We are covering a variety of topics in our group discussions, including step work discussions, mindfulness, relapse prevention, and 12 step alternative recovery group tools. For telehealth appointments, we have purchased a new laptop and clients have access to this to ensure that they have privacy. We are also incorporating a number of safe outdoor activities when weather permits.
We have done some education around the virus through the use of matterial provided by Dr. Adrian Gardner. With a focus on hand hygiene, we are reminding clients to wash hands many times per day, and hand sanitizers are provided at the entry to Tharros and Teras, as well as in our vehicles. All public surfaces in the house (including light switches, door knobs, etc), are being disinfected a minimum of 2x per day by our team.
FOOD AND OTHER ITEMS
Our primary chef, Steven Brand, is cooking dinner each night at Tharros. Dinner is prepared with ingredients from Wilson's Farm, as usual. As we maintain a healthy supply of most non-perishables and cleaning supplies, we are not finding current store shortages to be an issue.
We are set up in both homes to provide isolated spaces for those who may experience symptoms. We have N95 masks, as well as gowns, and other protective gear, allowing us to provide meal services to anyone in isolation.
As you're all aware, each of our clients is with us because of mental health and addiction issues which have put their lives and futures at risk. With increased anxiety, we are particularly aware that the risk for relapse may be increased, which is why we're focused on increased support and community engagement within our community.
We have also implemented standards for our team which do not permit them to work with any cold/flu symptoms, and they are all being asked to observe the same hygiene and safety standards in their daily lives.
I am available for your questions or concerns. We appreciate the opportunity to support your family member, client, or referral through this important phase of their recovery and we take that responsibility seriously.
Founder and Director, Tharros House