In March 2020, Peak Resilience launched a free online COVID-19 support group to ensure those who needed support during this time would be able to receive it, irrespective of financial means.
When we first launched, we had NO IDEA of the massive amount of interest that would come rushing in! Our one group turned into eight separate online support groups over the last two months, including a group for Mothers during the pandemic and one for frontline support workers.
When we first organized the groups, we thought that providing ten sessions would be more than enough to provide support during COVID-19...because, of course it would be over by then (lol!). Little did we know the pandemic has been much greater than a 10 week experience, and the need for mental health services is ongoing.
Currently, we have made the challenging decision as a team to place a hold on online support groups for July, August and September. During this time, we would like to refocus on what will be required to relaunch subsequent free or by donation online support groups if or when cases of COVID-19 increase in BC and we are faced with more restrictions.
We are always thinking of ways to make our work sustainable over the long run, and taking a break from most of the group support sessions over the Summer will help us remain sustainable if there is another “wave” of coronavirus coming in the fall/winter.
What does this mean for the future of online COVID-19 support groups at Peak Resilience:
- We will be providing a relaunch of these groups in Fall or Winter 2020
- The groups will be a combination of sliding scale fees and ‘pay what you can’; this will ensure that the facilitators are partially paid for their clinical support
- We will continue to provide free consultation and support for any counselling organization (private or non-profit) who would like to launch online support groups in response to a pandemic
- We will continue to host online webinars to share knowledge and lessons learned during the pandemic, and empower members of the mental health community to ensure they are caring for themselves while also caring for others
- We will continue to connect and refer anyone who reaches out to our organization with appropriate referrals who have contacted Peak Resilience in search of free online support
We have access to Peak Resilience online support groups that are not COVID-19 related