Canadian Hearing Services (CHS) is excited to announce it has reached an important milestone – 200,000 virtual clinical visits provided since the COVID-19 pandemic led to a national lockdown in March 2020.
The pandemic challenged us to find innovative ways to continue to support our diverse community, while ensuring the safety or our staff, clients, and their families. Ensuring that we would always be there for our clients was never in question, it was just a matter of how we would be there. The solution: move as many of our services to a virtual medium so that clients and CHS staff could continue to engage while also complying with the Public Health guidelines around social distancing and reduced contacts.
One such CHS client who received virtual services over the past year is Phyllis Salem. She requested virtual counselling services to help her cope with her hearing loss, and the challenges she was facing as a result of COVID-19 restrictions.
“I tried to get assistance through other means in the past, but was unsuccessful, which left me feeling defeated, stressed, and thinking that hearing loss was something I just had to live with,” said Phyllis.
Through the CHS Hearing Care Counselling Service, Phyllis was able to express her challenges around hearing loss including what aspects of her hearing loss were causing her stress and anxiety, and her needs to continue to lead a fulfilling life.
Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, Phyllis worked with a CHS Hearing Care Counsellor to help her find ways to manage stress, how to respond to challenging listening situations and practice new communication strategies until Phyllis felt confident communicating with others. And she is just one of the many that CHS has helped to serve and support virtually over the past 10 months!
Now, more than ever, clear, accessible communication is crucial and impacts so many aspects of our daily lives. Through our virtual service model, Deaf and hard of hearing Canadians have the support they need to keep them informed, connected and safe.
CHS offers a suite of virtual services including:
- Interpretation and Translation Services: Our highly skilled interpreters use sign language and spoken language to provide clear two-way communication between Deaf and hearing people at scheduled meetings and appointments, and in unforeseen emergency situations.
- Hearing Care Counselling: If you are 55 or older and have a hearing loss, we offer free counselling services to help you improve communication with family and friends, stay involved in social activities, and remain safe and independent at home.
- CONNECT Mental Health Counselling: Our professional counselling services to Deaf and hard of hearing individuals, ages 16 and older, and their families, who are living with mental health issues, addiction, relationship problems, domestic violence or other challenges.
- Employment Services: Our employment consultants specialize in the unique needs of adults aged 16 and over who are Deaf or hard of hearing to help you find a job and succeed at work.
- General Support Services: Provides assistance to manage everyday life events from completing government forms to attending court and coping with hearing loss.
In addition, CHS’s Deafblind Services provided by our North Bay, Sudbury, Sault Ste. Marie and Timmins offices will continue to provide community-support services by appointment only.
A big thank you to our staff, clients, and their families. Our staff, who are continuously Raising the Bar, have remained committed to delivering high-quality service and care.