October 28, 2021, ORANGEVILLE, ON – On October 27, 2021, the Hills of Headwaters Collaborative Ontario Health Team (the Collaborative) received a ‘Bright Lights Award’ from the Association of Family Health Teams of Ontario in the category of ‘Demonstrating a Community Response During COVID-19’ for going above and beyond to care for the communities they serve.
Recognizing that the pandemic was causing significant stress and loss, members of the Collaborative launched the Mental Health and Addictions (MHA) Community Response Working Group to identify and initiate creative, innovative, and effective ways to support front-line workers’ mental health.
Leveraging online and virtual tools, the Community Response Group developed an online booking portal for counselling, provided access to community self-care webinars, and psychological PPE for health care staff. A virtual recognition event and a Remembrance event at a local nursing home mourning the loss of residents helped to acknowledge the work, challenges and impacts of the pandemic on the community.
“The MHA Community Response Working Group worked tirelessly to support those caring for the community,” said Lianne Barbour, Executive Director, Dufferin Area Family Health Team. “This work would not have happened without the amazing leadership from the team and the support of the Collaborative.”
“We are honoured to have helped play a role in supporting those who selflessly give of themselves every day,” said Alexander Lim, Transformation Lead, Hills of Headwaters Collaborative. “The pandemic has placed enormous pressures on front-line workers. The level of engagement required to develop these mental health initiatives demonstrates the enormous spirit of collaboration among health and social services in Dufferin-Caledon. The Collaborative will continue to ensure vital mental health supports are available to those working in health care and living in the community to help them stay strong.”
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About the Hills of Headwaters Collaborative
We are health and care organizations and providers working as community partners with the shared purpose of creating one community, working together to improve the health and well-being of everyone who lives and provides care across Dufferin-Caledon.