CLINTON — Officials with Peer Recovery Services and Vera French both believe people in need of mental health services are “Zoomed out.”
Vera French Mental Health Center in Davenport is continuing same-day access, Chief Executive Officer Rich Whitaker said this week. The facility had 180 people come through for same-day access for in-person visits in April, he said.
The number decreased to 125 people in May. Whitaker said the visits were done with personal protective equipment and screening at the front door to ensure that staff and clients were safe. Vera French is offering telehealth in every way possible.
“For the most part, services are holding,” Whitaker said. “But I think there are some people that are getting tired. They’re telling us that they’re a little Zoomed out and wanting to do face to face. Because for some, the teleconference is just not doing it,” he said.
“But most of our clients are actually ok with it and we’ve been pursuing that.“
The Vera French website says Vera French continues to take social distancing precautions for in-person appointments. The facility has spaced out waiting rooms and take temperatures and ask screening questions at the front door.
The staff asks anyone entering one of the Vera French facilities to wear a cloth mask. A mask may be provided if an individual does not have one.
Masks are to be worn by clients and staff in hallways and open areas.
Life Connections Peer Recovery Services Director Todd Noack believes the organization’s virtual numbers were higher in the first month of the pandemic and has since gone down. He concurred people are ”getting Zoomed out” and want to come back.
“We haven’t even gone through one pandemic, and we have another one going on,” Noack said. “So I think people are just wanting to stay home right now. Maybe enjoying the weather, who knows?
“I also believe it has a lot to do with some of the folks that want to come back. They don’t want to come back and follow the guidelines. And one of them is wearing a mask.”
Noack added that Rhonda’s House, a peer-run respite center operating in on the grounds of Genesis Hospital in Dewitt, is now accepting two guests at one time. Rhonda’s House will accept guests for a stay of up to seven days.
Anyone wishing to stay at Rhonda’s House will be required to wear a mask and go through screening, Noack said.
The Life Connections website says staff and guests of Rhonda’s House are following the recommendations of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and state authorities by taking extra precautions, including constant hand washing, surface cleaning, social distancing and wearing masks.
Rhonda’s House has three bedrooms where approved visitors needing mental health assistance stay anywhere from 24 hours to seven days.