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Quiet support for those in need

12 April 2021

Living with lockdown long-term has taken its toll on mental health and people have talked freely and in confidence about their difficulties.

As coronavirus peaked, staff were working under relentless and intense pressure and had justifiable anxieties.

Kisharon Social Worker, Asa Govrin said: “Staff were understandably concerned about their own health and wellbeing. Many needed to travel long distances for work, on public transport and had little time off. This was on top of worries about their own families and how best to support them as well as coping with the new challenges for people in our care.”

Asa and Necola Reid-Warner, Operations Manager, ran weekly sessions for staff at all Kisharon’s supported living sites.

Asa said: “Staff felt isolated and alone. Our sessions brought home that everyone worked as a team. Everyone was listened to, and in confidence. When colleagues know who among them has had a bad week, people can support each other.

“Support could be practical. Often IT could help with a communication issue or HR would ease salary worries for those who fell sick.”

When someone in Kisharon’s care was a worry, talking over a new approach with colleagues often brought a welcome breakthrough.

The families of those Kisharon supports suffered too. Having zero communication with learning disabled children was, on occasion, a tipping point, particularly when Zoom or other face-to-face calls caused distress.

Some parents were vulnerable and could not see or visit their children. Several did not see or talk to them for months until restrictions were eased.

Asa said: “For many parents, this was the main issue. Communication with supported living staff was critical during this time.”

Asa, who heaped praise on Kisharon’s ‘amazing’ staff, is optimistic at the reduced Covid infection rates, adding that even if the virus surges in the future, we are now far better prepared to deal with it.

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Pirkei Avos
“The world stands on three things: Torah, the service of G-d, and deeds of kindness.” Kisharon looks at the person not the disability, teaching Torah, Middos and Mitzvot embracing and cherishing everybody’s special talent and bringing out the best in them.