The term “Health and Wellness” typically causes thoughts of nutrition, exercising, and overall physical health, but mental health and wellness is also a very important part of that equation. Last year and this year especially, more and more people are recognizing the importance of taking care of their mental health. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, people in general are reporting more feelings of loneliness, isolation, and stress and anxiety than ever before.
For over 50 years Zumbro Valley Health Center, in partnership with Fillmore County Social Services, has been helping Fillmore County residents with their mental health needs. They are a Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinic and the services they offer include therapy, case management, skills training (youth and adult) and peer support to children, adults and families. They also have three Rochester locations that are accessible to Fillmore County residents, where they offer services like a primary care clinic, substance use services, on-site pharmacy, dental clinic, psychiatry and housing, among others. Youth and adults experiencing a mental health crisis can utilize their 24/7 Crisis Response Service hotline which also includes, if needed, access to crisis beds and longer-term residential treatment.
“A couple years ago, we expanded our services to children and families by offering school-linked services in the Kingsland school district (K-12),” states the staff of Zumbro Valley Health Center. “Service consists of a full-time therapist in the school who is able to meet with students for therapy during the school day to help reduce barriers, such as transportation.”
The COVID-19 pandemic has altered many things, especially face-to-face contact. Zumbro Valley Health Center was able to keep seeing patients via telehealth to make sure that everyone’s mental health needs were met.
“As a whole, this pandemic has had an impact on everyone, therefore we have seen an influx in individuals reaching out for services to help them cope and remain healthy during this time,” shared the staff. “Our offices have remained open with appropriate precautions in place.”
Kris Reynolds has worked for Zumbro Valley Health Center for 24 years and currently works as Fillmore County’s targeted case manager/ARMHS worker. She says that the biggest challenge they have had to face due to the pandemic was moving to the online platform.
“Our agency instantly went into Skype/Zoom telehealth services mode within one day so staff could continue providing support and resources to all our clients,” explains Reynolds. “The biggest challenge is knowing how important our in-person services are to all the people we work with, yet understanding the safety precautions we must take in order to keep ourselves and our clients safe from COVID-19.”
Zumbro Valley Health Center recommends these helpful tips for navigating the pandemic as well as other stressors.
1. Be intentional about the choices that you do have during times of uncertainty and distress.
2. Choose to focus your thoughts and energy on what makes you feel healthier as well as the positive aspects of your life and the situation you are going through.
3. What things can you do now that you may not have otherwise been able to do without the pandemic, for example eating meals as a family, play board games together, write a letter to a friend and send it via snail mail, take up a new hobby, etc.
4. Limit your exposure to anything that does not feel healthy for you, and instead find opportunities to learn and adopt new lifestyle skills that promote your goals. This is also a time to reach out to your support system, this may include family, friends, faith communities, neighbors and professionals, etc…
“We value our connections in the community, want to offer access to health services close to where people reside and have formed working relationships with local providers and community members,” states the ZVHC staff.
Zumbro Valley Health Services is located on Main Ave. in Harmony. To inquire about services or schedule an appointment, call (507) 289-2089 or visit their website at www.zvhc.org.
To reach their 24/7 Crisis Response Services, call (844) 274-7472.