The difficulties and isolating effects of living during an ongoing public health emergency are impacting all of us, especially those who are trying to maintain their sobriety. Sarah* joined a JFCS online support group after a pandemic-related job loss. In her new circumstances, Sarah was concerned about her ability to stay sober because of her increased stress, anxiety and isolation.
“She had been in recovery for almost a year and wanted to stay sober for her family,” said Jessica Holloway, JFCS Family Services Administrative Manager. Jessica is often the first person community members speak to as she registers them for services or connects them with outside resources.
Support groups, held via video conferencing and led by a JFCS counselor, provide mental health guidance and offer a pipeline to additional services, inside or outside JFCS, if needed. Through JFCS Counseling Services, community members can tackle anxiety, depression, or other mental health issues that could become obstacles to sustaining sobriety or reducing harm.
“We try to be people’s last phone call,” Jessica explained. “Sometimes people search all day, or for days, to find resources. We want to be the last call as often as we can, and when we can’t, we want to point them to the resources they need.”
When it comes to addiction services, JFCS can connect community members to specialized assistance.
“I was able to share resources with Sarah to support her in continuing her sobriety journey,” Jessica said. “I also provided her guidance on how to use technology to connect with other online support groups specifically focused on addiction.”
JFCS’s support and networking groups — from mental health to career services — are all available online so clients can safely connect with essential services and community through the duration of the pandemic. There are groups for mindful meditation, parenting through the pandemic, grandparents raising grandchildren, as well as career-focused groups.
Whatever pandemic experience a person is having, JFCS is here for support and connection.
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