The mounting number of COVID-19 cases across Canada, and the declaration of a state of emergency in Ontario, are alarming for all of us. As the fear of the spread of the virus threatens to isolate and divide us, it is more important than ever to show up for ourselves, take care of our bodies and minds, and find ways to remain connected with one another.
As an agency that serves marginalized and isolated clients, the health and well-being of our community remain our priority. Amidst the current pandemic of COVID-19, we are also actively responding to the existing gender-based violence pandemic. We know that survivors of gender-based violence are most at-risk of violence in their own homes. While “self-isolating at home” is a critical response to our current public health crisis, it is also the most common location of harassment, violence and lethality for women and children experiencing and or at risk of gender-based violence. Therefore, we will be especially vigilant in addressing the needs of clients in high-risk situations.
Acting upon the advice of Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer, Dr. Theresa Tam, the Schlifer Clinic is taking action to help slow the spread of COVID-19, but also ensure the continuous provision of its essential services. At Stage 2 of our COVID-19 Emergency Preparedness Plan, Prevention we have:
- Cancelled group counselling and special programming sessions, and
- Posted qualifying considerations at the door for individuals to self-assess before entering. Clients will need to confirm their health with reception before being granted access and will be directed to use hand sanitizer upon entering the Clinic.
Although a number of our staff will be working remotely, our offices will remain open and available to our clients, as required, until directed otherwise. As always, we remain fully available to our clients by phone and email. As circumstances surrounding this pandemic are evolving by the hour, we will continue to review our approach daily and provide updates as appropriate.
If you have questions please be in touch and email us. We will respond as quickly as possible.
Thank you and stay safe,
The Barbra Schlifer Clinic Team