The Envision Counselling and Support Centre wants to help bridge the distance between people, through expanded services to provide more interaction for those who need it.
Bridging the Distance, a program that was piloted in Estevan, has increased its delivery area to include rural areas and Weyburn within the service area of Envision. This program specifically offers support and connection for individuals 55 and over experiencing isolation in southeast Saskatchewan.
If a family member or individual would like counselling, or just to talk, they can call the office to connect with a counsellor. To limit challenges, this program can be accessed from the comfort of your own home via telephone or video chat.
“When people don’t have enough social connection, we have seen decreases in overall well-being as well as greater susceptibility to anxiety and depression,” said Christa Daku, executive director of Envision.
“With fall arriving, we recognize that there is a greater chance for isolation as the pandemic continues and anxiety around the future grows.”
Common issues such as stress and mental health struggles are often intensified in silence and isolation. Such issues have been exaggerated by COVID-19 which has increased disconnection and barriers for those seeking support for these and similar issues.
“This initiative will provide additional counselling support and connection to this vulnerable population, who are experiencing reduced quality of life during this crisis,” says Daku. “We want to help those struggling with stress, loneliness, mental health or other issues.”
Bridging the Distance is an addition to regular programming at Envision Counselling and was made possible thanks to federal emergency funding, and to United Ways in Estevan and Regina.
Changes from the piloted program consist of intensifying communications to include newspaper and radio advertisements throughout the southeast to promote this program to as many people as possible in the fall and winter.
“We are seeking to connect with all individuals, 55-plus, who may be living alone or have no one else to talk to or to support them during this intense time of uncertainty,” said Daku.