Independence Center News September 2020


A United Effort

Independence Center is now a proud United Way Safety Net partner!

Our region faces complex challenges, and it takes a united effort to improve outcomes and impacts across our community. As a United Way Safety Net partner agency, Independence Center is part of a network of local nonprofits that are working to build a stronger and healthier St. Louis region for us all.

Made up of more than 160 local nonprofits serving people across 16 counties in Missouri and Illinois, these Safety Net partner agencies help our neighbors stay healthy, access education, ensure their basic needs are met and become financially stable.

Our mission to support adults with severe and persistent mental illnesses represents a vital thread in the safety net, helping provide our community with all of the services and resources needed to manage one’s mental health symptoms, find belonging and purpose, and gain the independence to live a healthy, quality life.

United Way has nearly a century of experience mobilizing our community to care for our neighbors. In addition to providing funding to support our services, our partnership with United Way connects us with community problem-solvers and capacity-building opportunities.

During times of crisis, United Way also aggregates our region’s resources and services to help communities and individuals recover.

We are excited to be part of this network. We are all united to help the St. Louis region and work to build a better tomorrow.

Now, more than ever, we need to stand united. Our St. Louis community has stepped up to be there for each other – even while staying apart. And United Way will continue to show its support for our region through its annual campaign which begins this month. Stay tuned on our social media for more information about how you can help.

Mental Health Effects of COVID-19

It is no secret that we are currently living in an extraordinarily stressful time. There are so many unknowns surrounding COVID-19 and our world has been turned upside down. Lifestyle changes, like social distancing, are necessary to reduce the spread of COVID-19 but they can also threaten our mental health.

According to the CDC, “The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic may be stressful for people. Fear and anxiety about a new disease and what could happen can be overwhelming and cause strong emotions in adults and children. Public health actions, such as social distancing, can make people feel isolated and lonely and can increase stress and anxiety.”

Worldwide, countless people are feeling the damaging effects of the pandemic on their mental health, but people with pre-existing mental health conditions, like our members, are especially vulnerable.

Now, more than ever, our members rely on the socialization, structure and services that Independence Center provides. We have transitioned our life-sustaining services to be digital and home-based in order to best serve our members, meet their basic needs, and prevent social isolation and loneliness. But we need your help to make it happen.

Providing our essential mental health services while also keeping our members physically safe, has been a challenging and costly endeavor. We need your support to help our members through this unprecedented time. Your donations will go towards providing masks to members in need, providing meals, providing cell phone plans to homebound members so they can stay connected with the Independence Center Community, and more.


Reopening Phase II

After months of figuring out how to best proceed with our services while keeping our members’ physical and mental health in mind and the success of our first phase of reopening, we have moved forward to Phase II of our reopening plans. This phase allows for more in-person Clubhouse activities that provide the social interaction our members rely on while also continuing online service options.

The below guidelines have been established based on a consensus from Clubhouse members, staff and Board of Directors.

Work-Ordered Day hours are Monday-Friday 8 A.M.-3 P.M. We are continuing to offer virtual clubhouse programming to all members although the schedule will continue to change based on participation, interest, and on-site meetings/classes/discussions. We will also continue to hold social program activities including virtual and in-person activities based on the nature of the event on Thursday evenings (5-7 P.M.) and Saturday afternoons (2-4 P.M.).

All members and staff are screened outside, under a canopy at the main entrance. Screening include temperature readings using a touchless thermometer. Members are encouraged to arrive between 7:45 and 8:45 A.M. to avoid waiting in line, to participate in unit meetings and to ensure lunch orders can be placed.

Face masks are still required at all times in the Clubhouse building and 6-foot physical distancing is practiced. We have also increased cleaning protocols and offer cleaning stations throughout the workspace.


Read More About Phase II