During this public health crisis, United Counseling Service (UCS) continues to provide comprehensive mental health, substance use, early childhood, and developmental disability supports for individuals and families in Bennington County. From the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, I have seen our staff rise up like never before. They are filling in where and when needed and often working in areas they have never worked before, they are going into the community so others caring for clients do not have to, they are calling people for no other reason than to check in to make sure they are ok. Staff are taking extra time and extra care to help those clients that rely on us most.
Staff are working with community partners to provide support that are needed at this time, including setting up a rapid Employee Assistance Program for health care workers at Southwestern Vermont Health Care. We know it is critical to find ways to support all our frontline workers.
An increase in the use of technology allows us to provide services remotely and follow the protocols for social distancing. Staff are finding creative ways to connect with our community virtually. We set up a Warm Line that is available to anyone in the community who need support. If we cannot provide services, we will do our best to identify alternative resources.
UCS staff have demonstrated resilience and flexibility while finding ways to serve our clients, families and community partners. I want to thank all UCS staff for the often unnoticed, yet essential work they are doing to support the community during this unprecedented time.
Lorna Mattern, Executive Director of United Counseling Service