YouthZone adjusts its operations to limit personal contact in response to COVID-19 concerns

'Tele-health' phone connections continue with youth, families

YouthZone has taken measures to limit person-to-person contact while continuing to provide its mental health counseling, prevention and intervention services to youth and their families.

“These are unprecedented times in our lifetime,” Charla Belinski, Board of Directors Vice President, said in a news release outlining service changes.

“For many of us, the closest comparison we have is the days following the attacks on 9/11,” she said. “There is one defining difference. After 9/11, people gathered. The corona virus has put us in isolation, stockpiling supplies, and desperately avoiding people.

“When humans are isolated, we are more prone to depression, anxiety, fear, loneliness and harmful behavior.”

According to the release, “YouthZone’s board of directors and staff remain in contact with schools, courts, colleagues and public health in the mutual effort to keep on top of news, directives and events surrounding COVID-19.

“Being responsible to our community means YouthZone is limiting group interactions until further notice.”

As a result, YouthZone offices are closed, except by appointment. In the meantime, telehealth and phone connections are being used to allow staff to continue working with clients.

Local courts and law enforcement are also making adjustments, including rescheduling juvenile court proceedings to later dates to limit people’s exposure to the virus, according to the release.

“YouthZone will respond as needed to these limitations,” the release states.

“YouthZone encourages everyone to do what you must to protect your health and those you love.

“The staff and board also encourage you reach out in a new way to say hello to your neighbor, order takeout, go outdoors and live your lives the fullest extent you can while taking precautions.

“Happiness, not fear, will be the best antidote as we work to keep the virus contained.”

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