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CSAC finds new ways to serve

ADDISON COUNTY — While social distancing rules keep the Counseling Service of Addison County from offering most face-to-face encounters between therapists and their clients, the Middlebury-based institution is continuing to serve people via telehealth with video or by telephone. 
“We have spent the last two weeks transforming our entire service delivery model so that we can support people remotely,” said CSAC Executive Director Rachel Lee Cummings. “We continue to staff our residential programs and provide some face-to-face supports for essential services. We continue to accept new referrals and are doing remote intakes.”
CSAC offices are closed for all office-based appointments. These locations include 89 Main St., as well as 67 and 109 Catamount Park. Cummings acknowledged that remote work and support are challenging, but she said staff and clients are adjusting. 
“Our volume remains steady, but we are anticipating a surge in calls as the reality of the governor’s order to stay home sets in,” Cummings said.
While CSAC fully supports the concept of social distancing, which Cummings called “critical to flattening the curve,” she is concerned about the impact of social isolation on people, especially kids and older adults.
CSAC has worked with Porter Emergency Department to establish workflows and guidelines on remote support and assessments and continue to support the Emergency Department. 
“We are redeploying some staff to our Emergency Team,” Cummings said. “We are working on creating a ‘warm’ line for the community to access in case they need immediate help.”
Counseling Service of Addison County is available at 388-6751 or 24/7 Crisis Support at 388-7641. CSAC continues to provide essential services to clients. All therapists, psychiatric providers, case managers, community support staff, and other staff are equipped to offer telemedicine or telephone appointments and support.
Specific information can be found on the CSAC website at csac-vt.org . You can also call 388-6751.
“I’m immensely proud of CSAC,” Cummings said. “Many staff are working while caring for family and have stepped up to the challenge this crisis poses. Our way of working and supporting clients and the community has changed dramatically. 
“We are a people service,” she continued. “This new landscape of remote support is strange for staff, but they continue to do a fantastic job and have stepped up.”

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