Helping to get us through . . .

INFORMATION & RESOURCES DURING COVID-19

Table of contents for this page 

  • Featured Picks! 
  • A Message to Families
  • Taking Care of Ourselves and Others
  • Connecting with Others, Building Community
  • Local Supports, Windsor and Essex County Resources
    • Food Security and Assistance
    • Mental Health Supports
  • More Resources for Mental Health and Well-Being
  • Trusted Information Sources about COVID-19

Note: Scroll down to the topics you are interested in. Click on the blue titles/links below for more information or to open a resource.  Updates and new resources will be added from time to time. 



Featured Picks!  

Things to do during the cold of winter – January thru March 2022!                                                We encourage you to take a look at Windsor-Essex Family Network’s December 2021 Newsletter. Don’t be fooled by the title, two-thirds of the newsletter has ideas for individuals and families to do ‘after the holidays’ while hunkering down over this most unusual winter.  Some examples: We could hook up with out ot town relatives or grandparents and play some virtual card or board games together! Instead of an ugly holiday sweater contest or backdrop for one of your gatherings – what about doing ‘ugly winter sweaters’. Ask people to get imaginative and attach weird things to their sweaters! Or kids could get something vintage out of their parents’ drawers and tell a story about it.  How about planning a virtual trip to a cool museum, aquarium or far away country. Each week someone else could take a turn choosing the place! It’s all inside the newsletter! So check it out, get inspired and come up with some of your own ideas (maybe even share them with us by email). We could all use some distractions right now! 

For Anyone Who Needs to Hear This:  It’s OK to Just Exist Right Now                                      “Social distancing and quarantines have become increasingly crucial, resulting in many of us being confined to our homes. During this time, we might be tempted to feel guilty and anxious about not being productive enough . . . .  I’ve come up with the term and action plan of being a ‘full-time human being,’ which could help me take care of myself better and chip away at my guilt and shame associated with doing nothing and taking time for self-care”.  Quotes above are from this article, a must read for anyone struggling with anxiety about their day-to-day productivity and how they are spending their time.  



Message to Families

Families living with disabilities, have a great deal at stake with the corona virus pandemic. Often loved ones with disabilities could be harder hit, and isolation is more difficult. As families living with disability during this unprecedented time in history, we wanted to share information and resources keeping you and your family in mind . . . family-to-family. 

Staying home, staying safe, washing hands, physical distancing, cleaning and disinfecting more frequently is becoming our new norm – yet have any of us really completely adapted. Day-to-day routines have changed. Many of our children, teens and adults don’t understand why they can’t go out, and are frustrated. Worries are heightened for others because of their loved one’s medical and complex needs. Some families have taken on the role of teacher with on-line processes that are unfamiliar, also increasing stress levels. As we take in news each day many of us are experiencing increased anxiety with our families continuously at the forefront of our mind. 

It’s okay to feel out of sorts. As resilient and flexible as we are as families, this is not easy.  While trying to stay positive, we will have good days and bad; let’s be forgiving on the bad days. To raise our spirits consider listening to this amazing anthem of resilience and hope written by a song writer from Nova Scotia. Sung by a choir of women physicians, it is called Rise Again .

Navigating through endless streams of resources is overwhelming. Our goal with this page is to offer some  tips, links and resources that you can go to easily as needed.  Where we found something done well, we decided to just point you in that direction.  . . . . Stay Safe. Be well. And continue being kind to yourself and others.



Taking Care of Ourselves and Others

Many articles have been written on ways to take ourselves. We put together a simple list of what  the experts are saying to us: 

  • Eat right, exercise, get plenty of rest
  • Get outside for some fresh air or open a window
  • Limit the amount of time we watch the news, choose reliable information sources
  • Watch something funny or do something you are interested in every day
  • Put some structure or a routine into your day that works for you
  • Stay connected with others, take care of your mental health
  • Take deep breaths; consider a mindfulness practice
  • Reach out and help others with things you can do while isolating
  • Show gratitude, be thankful where we can.

We have chosen a few resource links to help with a few things on this list.

Four things to do to enhance sense of community and personal well-being                                 A wonderful article written by John Lord with insightful thoughts on enhancing our relationships and our well-being. John Lord has been an amazing resource and support to Windsor-Essex Family Network and others in this community over many years. He has worked hard for inclusion over decades so that people with disabilities and others who are vulnerable would be included in their communities. He lives in Waterloo.   

Sleep hygiene to fight COVID-19                                                                                                              A good read with excellent ideas in this article written by Dr. Diane McIntosh, Chief Neuroscience Officer with Telus Health.  “Good sleep is essential to maintain physical and mental health, but it’s also critical for learning and retaining new information . . .”   

30 ideas to entertain yourself during physical distancing                                                          Brain Injury Canada did a great job putting this page together; there is something here for all of us. “It’s easy to get bored and feel lonely. To combat boredom and keep yourself entertained and happy, check out this list of ideas and activities. .  .”

Compassion Series Colouring Pages – for all ages                                                                             Amazing downloadable colouring pages on various themes including: COVID-19 pages: I love and miss you, and Thank you; Honour Drum pages; Am I safe? pages; Who’s your Hero? pages; and more. Think about colouring a page for a neighbour, friend or even yourself! Put some some up in your windows or inside your home to cheer others up.  

COVID-19 Disability Resources                                                                                                          Inclusion Canada is sharing disability-related resources regarding the COVID-19 pandemic on this page, pulled together in one spot for individuals and families. They are continuing to update the page throughout the pandemic so that people with intellectual/developmental disabilities and their families can easily find important information.  The page also highlights some plain language info by People First and other groups.

Windsor Essex COVID Care Coalition                                                                                                  This Facebook group was established out of the immediate changes and needs that developed in Windsor and Essex County due to COVID-19.  Everyday citizens and organisations are sharing what they are doing to support people, what gaps exist and/or what is needed. 



Connecting with Others, Building ‘Community’

Reaching out to our personal networks and relationships at this time is a good thing.  Staying connected while physically distancing is very important. It keeps us more grounded and helps us fell less isolated.  It is something we can do for our own well-being and for others. It builds community, capacity and resilience. The easiest ways we might connect are by: phone, email, texting, or Facebook messaging. Never underestimate the power of a regular phone call when reaching out, or an old fashioned note for someone who lives nearby.  Other ways people are using to connect with family and friends, for those who know the technology might be: Facetime, Skype, Zoom, etc.  Check out some of the articles and information below. 

10 ways to stay connected while staying at home                                                                        Good ideas for all of us we found on the Brain Injury Canada website. . . .”Physical distancing means we’re all spending a lot more time at home. Many of us are missing those person-to-person connections. It’s easy to feel lonely. But there are plenty of ways you can stay connected with your family and friends while physical distancing.”

Intentional Inclusion: Cultivating Circles of Support                                                                 Circles of Support, relevant even now. This may be the best time to consider who to ask to participate on a circle of support.  This webinar by Think College is well done and timely. . . . .           “Hear from a parent (Janice) and sibling (Emma) about how they have used Circles of Support with their son and brother, and how it’s also a model that has been used in schools and communities around the country . . . . Learn what (and who!) makes up a Circle of Support.  . . . Get valuable tools to invite people, host Circles gatherings, and keep things going.”

Staying socially connected during the global pandemic                                                                    A tip sheet Published by PLAN (Planned Lifetime Advocacy Networks), sourced  from the website of Partners for Planning, a PLAN affiliate in Ontario. This tip sheet starts with the following statement:  “Make a list of people you are concerned about and make a plan to stay in touch with them.”  It then presents five good ideas to get you started.

The Sibling Collaborative                                                                                                                             The Sibling Collaborative unites and strengthens adults who have a brother or sister with a developmental disability. “We do all this through stories, meet-ups, peer-to-peer mentoring, workshops, learning opportunities, online communities, research and advocacy . . . We envision a Canada where people with disabilities – together with their siblings – experience wellbeing.”  What better time to connect than now! Sisters and brothers can make contact through email, join the private Facebook group, follow on twitter, and/or participate with on-line events.



Local Supports during COVID-19                                                    Windsor & Essex County Resources 

Food Security and Assistance          

WINDSOR DRIVE THRU/WALK UP FOOD HUBS – Updated January 2022         

  • UHC – Hub of Opportunities:
    • 6955 Cantelon Drive, Windsor, ON N8T 3J9
    • Phone: 519-944-4900;
    • WALK-UP HOURS: Mon, Wed, and Fri. – 9:30 am to 2:00 pm
  • Adie Knox:
    • 1551 Wyandotte St. West, Windsor, ON N9B 1H6
    • DRIVE THRU/WALK-UP HOURS: Tues. & Thurs. from 11 am until supplies last
  • Food Hamper Deliveries or Referrals:
    • Available for those who are unable to leave their home or do not have access to transportation. Please call UHC’s Food Assistance Helpline: 519-944-4900, extension 3, between 8:30 am and 4:00 pm to arrange for a delivery of a food hamper. 

WINDSOR ESSEX FOOD BANK ASSOCIATION LIST (with Hours & Locations)                                   Go to the link on this web page for the list with updated information. It is recommended that you call ahead in many cases before visiting a food bank to be sure about the hours. Social distancing and safe hand hygiene practices are in place at the sites.


Mental Health Supports

Regional Children’s Counselling Clinic Telephone Service      519-257-KIDS                            Quick confidential access to mental health services for children, youth (up to 18) and their families.  Available Monday to Thursday 8 am to 8 pm, and Friday’s 8 am to 4:30 pm. For more information:  https://www.hdgh.org/rccwalkin

Windsor-Essex Counselling Support Line    519-946-3277 or 1-877-451-1055                     Available to provide telephone counselling services 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The Support Line is available to EVERYONE in Windsor and Essex County, including individuals, couples, seniors and families. The Support Line is meant to assist people experiencing mild to moderate distress.

Community Crisis Centre    519-973-4435                                                                                         24/7 telephone crisis response service for those with severe mental health conditions or experiencing a crisis who require immediate assessment, psycho-social intervention, and support.  (For emergencies call 911)

Mental Health and Addictions Urgent Care Centre   519-257-5111                                              This new service is intended for individuals aged 16 years or older who are experiencing a mental health or addictions crisis who cannot safely wait for community mental health and addiction support. The ‘centre’ will also serve those who are in or who are at risk of a worsening mental health condition that may require hospitalisation. Location: Canadian Mental Health Association Windsor-Essex County Branch, 1400 Windsor Ave., Windsor.  Hours of operation & services:       

  • Mon    11:30 am-7:30 pm    Brief Psychotherapy and Psychosocial Support
  • Tues    8:30 am-4:30 pm      Urgent Psychiatric Assessment and Consultation
  • Wed    11:30 am-7:30 pm    Medical Assessment and Monitoring
  • Thur   11:30 am-7:30 pm     Connection to community-based services
  • Fri       8:30 am– 4:30 pm     Addiction Management Services

Kids Help Phone   1-800-668-6868



More Resources for Mental Health & Well-being

ARTICLES, BLOGS, RESOURCES & PUBLICATIONS

How to Talk to Your Anxious Child about Covid-19                                                                              Children’s Mental Health Ontario has published a good blog with seven ways to on how to talk with children and youth, as well as how to deal with things as parents. More resources are listed at the end of the blog.

Am I safe? Exploring Fear & Anxiety with children                                                                                In response to the current COVID19 pandemic, the Compassion Series team is offering a measure of hope, care and compassion to children and the grown-ups in their lives with resources and free access to view and read the book  Am I Safe? Exploring Fear and Anxiety with Children.

We are Heroes: A Plain Language Guide about Covid-19                                                                This guide is a good resource to explain some of the changes in our lives. It is written and produced by Autistics for Autistics Ontario (A4A) an autistic-led organization.

Covid-19 Youth Mental Health Resource Hub powered by jack.org                                                 A hub of resources to help you take care of yourself and look out for the people you love during this challenging time powered by jack.org.   All the information needed in one easy-to-access hub so that youth mental health remains top of mind, and our communities are able to easily access the education, tools, support and reliable information they need. 

A guide for mental health during COVID-19                                                                                      While we may feel stressed, it’s important that we all do what we can to create a positive frame of mind and take care of our mental health and well-being – and remember to pay attention to the mental health of others.” To support mental health and well-being, Brain injury Canada has created this guide to help. 

Guide to living with worry and anxiety amidst global uncertainty                                                  Worry and anxiety are common problems at the best of times, and when it takes over it can become all-encompassing.  Psychology Tools has put together this free guide to help you to manage your worry and anxiety in these uncertain times.  


ON-LINE SUPPORTS       

Mental health, wellness and addictions support                                                                            Information from the Ontario government COVID-19 web page                                                             

Coping with stress and anxiety                                                                                              Information from the CAMH: Centre for Addiction and Mental Health website 

Parents for Children’s Mental Health                                                                                                   To connect with a family peer support volunteer please email: support@pcmh.ca                   Please note this is a volunteer, peer lead support email.  They DO NOT provide crisis or clinical services of any kind.  Emails will be answered within 48 hours.  If you, or someone you love is at immediate risk please contact your local emergency services or dial 911.  

Kids Help Phone     1-800-668-6868                                                                                                        For children or youth between the ages of 5 and 20. Open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Free, anonymous and confidential. 


On-line resources from the Canadian Mental Health Association website




Trusted Information Sources about COVID-19

Get the most up-to-date on-line information about the virus straight from the source.


If you are not feeling well, and/or think you have symptoms of the virus call your primary care provider (family doctor/nurse practitioner), or call Telehealth Ontario:  1-866-797-0000


TIP SHEETS/POSTERS

Reduce the Spread of COVID-19, Wash Your Hands                                                                    Poster by the Government of Canada

What you should know about COVID-19 to protect yourself and others                                         Tip sheet by Centers for Disease Control and Infections (CDC), USA.

Caregiver Mental Health During COVID-19 Outbreak                                                                           Tip sheet by the Ontario Caregiver Organization

10 things you can do right now to reduce anxiety, stress, worry related to COVID-19                 Tip sheet by the Canadian Health Association (CMHA) BounceBack program