Jubilee House Current Covid Response – updated August 2020
Throughout this global pandemic, a very difficult period of time in the world, Jubilee House has continued to provide mental health services for our community through the use of telehealth counseling. We are pleased to be able to continue providing these video/audio sessions for our clients. And for those without the needed technology to access these services, we are providing telephone sessions.
Jubilee House strives to comply with Governor Pritzker’s Restore Illinois Plan, we are currently unable to fulfill the requirements listed as necessary by the governor for the reopening of a business, which is to provide our services in a way that is safe and protects our clients and staff that might be at higher risk of infection. The CDC Workplace Decision Tool also helped to determine whether or not we could reopen to our previous operational status, or even a modified operational status. (https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/downloads/community/workplace-...)
This decision to keep our facility closed for the time being for face to face counseling sessions is a difficult and sad one for our counselors and staff at Jubilee House. We value the work we do in the sacred spaces between client and counselors in our comfortable environment. Sessions with masks and face guards that would be a necessary requirement if we were meeting face-to-face, would definitely have a negative impact on the counseling process. Another consideration for us, as multiple scientific findings have shown, is that while proximity is a factor in the spread of the covid 19 virus, equally important and implicated for the spread of this virus is the environment (inside vs outside), combined with the amount of time spent in an enclosed environment. The nature of counseling is that it takes place in an enclosed space, indoors, for an extended period of time. All of these factors make this activity, as it has previously been practiced, higher risk. Finally, paramount for us at Jubilee House is the protection and maintenance of confidentiality while providing services. Enclosed spaces are important for our service.
The good news is that telehealth services avoid all of these risk factors, provide an excellent platform for face-to-face, virtual communication without cumbersome masks, and are confidential. Phone calls, while not virtual, can still provide a very therapeutic mode of communication between counselor and client, and have been beneficial to many people over the last couple of months. For the present, and into the fall and winter months, telehealth will more than likely make up the bulk of our counseling services until more wide spread testing, a vaccine, or other safeguards are more readily available.
Finally, with changing weather, Jubilee House has been able to actively pursue the provision of ONE face-to-face counseling venue in the form of a privately located tent placed behind the building. This is currently used for cases that are deemed necessary for in person services. Seating is distanced more than 6 ft. Masks are worn as deemed necessary to protect both clients’ and counselors’ unique situations and comfort levels.
Please do not hesitate to contact Jubilee House with any questions or concerns. Our phones are remotely checked, daily, and calls are responded to within 24 hours or the next business day. In these times of high anxiety and uncertainty, we want to help and walk alongside anyone in need of our services.