Op/Ed

Letter to the editor: CSAC meets the COVID challenges

Despite the current crisis, the Counseling Service of Addison County (CSAC) remains open, providing all services to the residents of Addison County. The agency continues to staff residential homes and provide in-person care that is considered essential. CSAC, in cooperation with Porter Hospital, is providing remote emergency services to people in crisis. Our crisis line is 802-388-7641 and staff is available 24/7. 
The Board of Directors for CSAC wants the community to know how thankful we are for the dedication and continued work that staff has been providing to so many of our county’s most vulnerable residents. Every day, CSAC staff work to help clients live their best lives, but now, in particular, with so much of the world isolated and fearful, their heroic work is even more valuable.
CSAC quickly responded to the COVID-19 threat, understanding the seriousness of the situation and proactively moving forward with changes. CSAC acted responsively, creatively, and with underlying professionalism and commitment to providing necessary services to clients while keeping them and each other safe. 
Many CSAC clients are devastated by the loss of work, cancellation of events, sports, and public transportation; especially difficult is the loss of home visits from caregivers. For many, this is a loss of deep and necessary human connection.  
Now more than ever, the people of our community need the lift and stability of a friendly voice providing professional guidance and support. In these lonely and disorienting days of self-isolation, it’s a relief and a gift to have the hard-working staff of CSAC present, by phone or video, when clients need it most. 
We all share a great appreciation for the massive effort and adjustment CSAC has taken to change a face-to-face, hands-on operation to one that is primarily digital. Making such a tremendous change in service delivery has to be both physically and emotionally draining for everyone on the CSAC team, and each staff member deserves our gratitude and support! And to those staff who continue to provide face-to-face care and service, we are deeply grateful of your frontline work during this crisis. 
CSAC has demonstrated a commitment to people’s safety, well-being, and health by working to solve problems as they come up, to shift schedules and responsibilities, and to keep that personal connection with people alive. The staff has demonstrated commitment to the organization, the community, and the CSAC mission through hard work, flexibility, innovation, sacrifice, and teamwork. 
CSAC’s humanity is securely intact, even while shouldering an incredible amount of stress. They still listen and can laugh. The board of directors is proud of every CSAC employee and proud to be part of the organization.
CSAC Board of Directors
David Andrews, Matt Birong, Barbara Doyle-Wilch, David Hallam, Lewis Holmes, Gary Margolis, Sarah McGowen Audet, Kitty Oxholm, David Roberts, Len Rowell, Louise Sandberg, Joanne Scott, Jane Spencer and Ted Tighe

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