Taking Care of Our Community: A Response to COVID-19  ​ ​  

Dear friends,    

Since our beginnings in 1946, we have weathered challenging times together. Through it all, we have remained a community of care and a steadfast resource for support for those who need it most. 

Our deepest commitment has always been, and will always be, to our community.

When it became apparent that "social distancing" was the safest route toward the health and safety of those for whom we provide services and for our staff, as well as being a strategy that is in our control, we took action. 

We immediately moved toward delivering services via telephone or through our sophisticated tele-health video platforms, which were already in use. As regulations were modified, we rapidly expanded our capacity, prepared our staff, and communicated with clients, enabling us to quickly move most of our services to remote delivery. Staff remain in contact with those who are served in non-clinic programs. Our clinic sites throughout Westchester and Rockland counties remain open for services that cannot be delivered remotely.   

It is your steadfast support of our work that positioned us to move so rapidly and efficiently to adapt to these challenging times.

Our clinical staff - social workers, psychologists, psychiatrists, nurses, substance use counselors, care managers and peer support specialists - are the most visible of our front line staff. Their flexibility and willingness to continue this work while managing the personal challenges of this time continues to inspire us. Supporting them are our less visible departments. From our IT department that provided the hardware and tools for expanded tele-health, to our compliance department that trained staff in continuing to provide services while protecting client privacy, to our training department that assures that staff remain proficient in best practices, to our facilities department that assures we adhere to strict safety and cleaning protocols, to our communications department that will be posting tips for maintaining emotional balance during these times – all are essential for us to nimbly and flexibly respond to the unprecedented and unpredictable needs of our community. 

I am proud of the unwavering dedication of our team. Through these times, they continue to provide care that is professional, sensitive and responsive to the rapidly changing circumstances of clients. They continue to demonstrate the values we hold dear.  

Just as our staff remind the individuals they work with that it is natural to feel worried during these uncertain times, they are helping them strengthen their personal "toolboxes" to manage those feelings. We remind people of the tried and true tools: maintain routines as much as possible, stay active and remain connected to friends, family and community supports.   

Of course, how we use these tools looks different today than it did just a short time ago. For many of us, our routines have been modified as we work from home. Staying active may now mean a virtual yoga class at home. And remaining connected might be a cup of coffee with a friend over FaceTime or Skype.  

Many of us are also wondering what we can do to help our neighbors. There are many helpful gestures and worthwhile causes. As always, we are grateful when you support our work. During this period of uncertainty and challenges, your gift to MHA is more important than ever. Your contribution helps us respond quickly when our neighbors need us, swiftly adapting our work to deliver the very care that is so critical at times like this.  

Thank you for renewing your promise - that you believe #MentalHealthMatters - and standing with us in support of our community. 

Charlotte Signature
Charlotte Ostman, LCSW-R
Chief Executive Officer
The Mental Health Association of Westchester

Additional Resources & Information

If you have questions about COVID-19, please call one of the hotlines below:

  • People under self-quarantine or exposure to known case: (866) 588-0195
  • NYS Department of Health COVID19 Hotline: (888) 364-3065
  • Westchester County COVID19 Information: 211

Talking with Children about COVID-19 (CDC)

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Westchester County Information

New York State Department of Health