Hartford Nonprofit Looks to Provide More Survival Tools During COVID-19

NBC Connecticut

The pandemic has caused difficulty for people already struggling with addiction and mental health issues by putting a drain on services across the country.

A Hartford-based nonprofit is looking for more counselors to help provide survival tools to people who need them most.

"We're here to support anyone who is challenged with addiction or mental health, grief and loss during this time of this pandemic," Community Renewal Team's Integrated Services Project Director Casie DeRosier said.

DeRosier said the changes of the pandemic have amplified the issues their most vulnerable clients struggle with and it has taken away many of the traditional means for working through challenges.

Community Renewal Team's Integrated Services Project Director Casie DeRosier

"Attending an on-site meeting, being able to gain employment to bring structure into their lives. Being confined to a house or a home for a certain amount of days due to the COVID 19, DeRosier said. "Jobs may have been affected. Family may have been affected. So their coping skills and their safety net has definitely been disrupted drastically."

Because demand is so great, the nonprofit is seeking more professional counselors to help manage the dozens of cases their existing clinicians already juggle, which is around 40 per counselor.

"We are going through something that this generation has never gone through before. It does not discriminate. It can affect anybody. Mental health is known to decline in times of crisis," DeRosier said.

The nonprofit is hoping a new incentive and a desire to help will lead to a few good counselors who will step in and help during this unprecedented time.

"The unknown can be a very tricky and complicated emotion and we want to make sure that we have the staff in order to support the demand of increased fear, worry, mental health and substance use needs in our community," DeRosier said.

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