Our team in South Auckland and the Far North have been working to provide support to whānau in our communities - many of whom aren't coping with the tension and isolation caused by the COVID-19 situation. The lockdown has added pressure to the already vulnerable families in these communities, and within a week of lockdown, we already observed an increase in conflict in the home, significantly increasing the likelihood of domestic violence for high-risk families. We've also seen an increase in depression and anxiety related to the isolation and disconnection of the lockdown and the fear of COVID-19 – increasing the risk of suicide in a community where this is already an issue of high concern.
COVID-19 3-Stage Service Response
Our COVID-19 3-stage service delivery response has been effective in providing support to our clients during this lockdown period, and is well-suited to progress throughout any ongoing restrictions.
Stage 1: Crisis Prevention
We have created a digital group for our clients where we post daily videos and messages created by our team as a resource to address the main challenges faced by our community during the lockdown period - to prevent some of the conflicts and behaviours that increase the risk of domestic violence and depression & anxiety.
Stage 2: Crisis Escalation
We are engaging with our clients daily via video call or phone call to directly address the challenges they are facing in their homes. This has been especially useful for resolving conflicts between partners, and providing counsel and support to directly address the increase of anxiety & depression during this time.
Stage 3: Crisis Intervention
As we are an essential service during the Level 4 lockdown period, we are able to conduct face-to-face counselling sessions on-site with high-risk clients i.e those showing domestic violence or suicidal tendencies, or on the verge of a breakdown. We are also able to facilitate the delivery of emergency supplies of essential items such as food to families in need.
We are noticing that families in our communities are struggling to access basic essentials such as food, most have reduced connectivity (i.e no phone or internet access), as well as higher utility bills during the lockdown period.
As the COVID-19 situation progresses, we will continue to operate as an essential service - while taking strict precautions to protect our clients and our team. We will provide counsel, support and crisis intervention to reduce the risk of domestic violence and suicide among vulnerable families, as well as advise and navigate families to access basic essentials from other community partners such as food banks and initiatives providing low-cost internet access and utilities.
Stay safe during this time and please get in touch if you have any questions.