COVID 19 Response
Our member organizations are working hard to support their members and the entire Calgary community during this pandemic. We are actively looking to understand not only the health challenges of COVID19 but also the profound social, psychological and economic impacts. We will be working with our members, listening and using our public voice to bring forward these issues to the people who have the power to address them.
If you need help visit our help page at: https://www.calgarycommongood.org/resources_to_help_during_covid_19
Our initial plans include:
1. Going online:
We are now moving all meetings online. All plans for larger group meetings and trainings are indefinitely postponed. We also recognize that some people may have problems attending online meetings. If this is the case, please contact the meeting organizer before the meeting so that they can help you get connected. You can also email email@example.com.
2. Supporting each other, and listening
In order to support each other we will be having weekly check in calls with our leaders to support each other. This will also be provide an opportunity to listen together to the issues that are emerging in our communities so that we can use our collective power to address these.
3. Using our collective voice to lift-up issues that are impacting our communities
We realize that in addition to the health impacts, this pandemic will have profound social, psychological and economic impacts on people. We are using our ability to be a public voice to lift these up so that they can be addressed by people who have the power to address these.
We have already been getting a reaction:
Our organizer, Ryan Andersen, wrote an opinion piece for CBC and did an interview for CBC’s Eye Opener. A link to the article can be found at:
Our Board Chair Rev. Anna Greenwood-Lee has done interview with Global News and Live wire: see the below links
Ongoing Media Coverage can be found here on our website.
We are glad to see that the government has already begun to act on some of the issues that we have raised such us lowering barrier to getting EI, protections so people do not become homeless, backing off cuts to health care workers and support for affordable transit.
4. Equiping our members to support their members
A lot of what is needed in the coming days will involve how our member organizations support their members. Over the next while we will be sending out regular emails sharing both best practices already being put in place by our membership and how organizing principles and practices can help.
A good first step is it is to build a team of people who can work with you to support your members (think core team in organizing language).
5. Finding ways to support our communities
Over the past week we have been working hard at developing proposals and strategies for how we can support the wider community. We realize that this will require more resources and we are working at finding these and we will share what we are doing as it develops.
What can you personally do?
A good first step is to break the challenge down to your block, your building or the floor you live on. Map out on a piece of paper who is vulnerable, who needs to be isolated, who is elderly and who is a potential leader or has skills and gifts to give. Then come up with a plan on how to connect with these people while keeping a physical distance (i.e. Drop off a note, make a phone call, create b Facebook page for your block and invite people to join)
Resources to Help with Mental Health Challenges
We know from the work that we have done around mental health and social isolation that this will be a challenging time for many. Remember that while you may be physically alone, you are not alone. The institutions you are a part of are there to help you during this time. Some other key resources are:
Calgary Counselling Centre: www.calgarycounselling.com or (403)691-5991
They charge on a sliding scale and when we talked with them this week they said they have the capacity to see people right now and have spots open for counselling.
Distress Centre and Mobile Response Team: (403)266-4357
The distress centre can connect you with a variety of services in our city. If you have lost your job, don’t know how you will pay rent, are struggling with your kids – give them a call and they can connect you with resources.
One of the key resources they can connect you with is the Mobile Response Team. If you or your loved ones are in a mental health crisis AHS will send out this team to help. Call the distress Centre (403)266-4357 and ask to have the Mobile Response Team sent.