Navigating Relapse During COVID-19
Toscha Blalock: You know, I think when people think about Head Start programs and Early Head Start programs, their mind immediately goes to the children. And of course, we love serving the children, and that is part of the heart and soul of the program. But those children are nurtured by those families.
Robin Gersten: We are here to support them because that way, if something comes up, we're familiar. They know us. They're comfortable with us.
Kaitlan Baston: A lot of our clients either had a temporary pause in their job or lost their job. They have a lot more time on their hands. They feel bored. And those are all things that can really lead to people going to substance use. Pretty much across the board, we've seen our clients saying that they're struggling, in general, a lot with the isolation, with not being able to get the same kind of connection.
Matthew Stefanko: You're social distancing. You're not able to go to gatherings, et cetera. And then you layer on the challenges of getting together with the group of people that do support you.
Kaitlan: Whether it's group or individual therapy, the things that before helped them feel like they had purpose and stay in long-term recovery.
Matthew: You know, how that then begins to play and layer on top of that existing isolation in a really challenging way. Many people won't feel comfortable talking to their employer about what they're going through. Many people aren't going to feel comfortable telling their family and friends. We know that.
Maria Page: So, when someone reaches out to you, that means something. They're asking for help. It's an open window to do something.
Jamilah Miller: If there's a moment of relapse, let's acknowledge it. It happened, but let's not stay there. Let's start from ground one, and just work our way forward, and just try it again.
Maria: The first step to it is really making sure that the client understands the resources are available.
Brenda Hewitt: Every community is different. All the resources are different as well.
Maria: So, my action will be, “OK, let me reach out to be PIW. Let me reach out to WRAP, Inc., set up the appointment.” “Are you available? Can I send this patient?” “Of course.”
Once they are connected, they will be transported to the different clinics that are available in the city or inpatient program. So, that type of detail, attention, and action, I think that's the way to do it now because some folks feel alone. Some people feel desperate, abandoned. So, we have to really support our community.
Social distancing and isolation have put Head Start parents who are impacted by substance use at greater risk for relapse. In this video, learn how specialists are navigating these issues and providing a framework to help families get back on the path to recovery.