Like many essential services, SSI last week faced a decision about how to protect our staff and clients from the growing COVID-19 pandemic without disrupting our delivery of critical support to vulnerable communities.
Effective from today, Monday 30 March, 2020, we’re moving to an entirely remote work model for all staff. This means that all staff will be working from home and our offices will be closed.
This situation is unprecedented. Like other organisations, SSI is navigating through uncertain times, and I don’t know when we’ll resume operations as usual.
Despite working from home, we will continue to deliver essential services to our clients and communities. Our priority is to ensure participants continue to receive adequate support and to limit disruptions.
I have faith in our capacity to overcome the challenges ahead because of how our staff members have responded to this crisis and the measures we have introduced so far to protect staff and client wellbeing.
At a time of such uncertainty, I am reassured by the care, empathy and respect I see displayed in our offices each day – the perfect balance of compassion and common sense.
We know that SSI is not alone in trying to find the best path forward at a time of unprecedented disruption. As a client-centred organisation, we are currently developing a suite of resources for our clients and the community to navigate the challenging time ahead. These are available here.
This pandemic is like nothing I have experienced in my lifetime. I’m not immune to the sense of fear and anxiety in the wider community.
Something that has helped me is asking myself, what do I have some control over? It helps me to feel that I can adapt to my current situation when I can identity even little things I can control. Things like calling a friend to see how they’re coping or offering to do some shopping for an elderly neighbour.
Looking at ways we can take control in our own environment can help to stop that emotional contagion from taking hold. We can cope with threats and feelings of fear and anxiety without letting them takeover.
I believe there will be further challenges ahead as we see out this pandemic. Despite physically distancing, we must remember to say socially and emotionally connected. That’s how we’re going to come out the other side of this – by sticking together and looking out for one another.