SERV employees get creative in efforts to boost morale during crisis

arts and crafts paint set

As the novel coronavirus continues to spread across the nation, our state’s call for social distancing has meant a lot of canceled plans—from visitation at our residential program sites, to all community outings for consumers. 

But even though social distancing and isolation have become the norm, SERV consumers and staff are not letting it prevent them from having fun and enjoying everyday life. 

Last week, the dedicated staff at our residential sites turned to art therapy as a way to boost morale and keep consumers busy during this crisis. They also encouraged consumers to read and ventured outside to dance and sing along to some of their favorite songs. This week, the staff says, they’ll work on vision boards.

The staff at our youth program site have been getting creative, as well. This past weekend, with the sun beaming down on them, consumers went for a short stroll around the neighborhood, getting their fill of fresh air before heading back inside for an ice cream party. 

Art therapy. Game nights. Ice cream parties. These are just some of the ways to stay busy during this crisis. Our staff has done a great job keeping consumers occupied thus far, and we are encouraging them to keep flexing their creative muscles to come up with new ideas.

You can now schedule a “virtual visit” with your loved one using ZOOM Cloud Meeting!

We know that these are challenging times for our SERV families.  But we are excited to let you know that we are now able to facilitate free virtual visits with your loved one using ZOOM Cloud Meeting.

ZOOM Cloud Meeting is a free, online video and audio conferencing tool that you can access via iPhone, Android, and computer. Please contact your loved one’s program site for instructions and to provide your email address. You can also schedule a time for a virtual visit. 

video chat

A message from CEO Regina Widdows, March 20, 2020

Dear SERV family members and loved ones,

Amidst the disruption and uncertainty related to the COVID-19 outbreak, please be assured that SERV remains committed to our mission and focused on providing the best possible care for your loved ones.

Over the past week, we have instituted several measures to slow the spread of COVID-19 and protect our staff, the consumers and the community. This includes restricting visitation at our residential program sites and discontinuing all community outings for consumers—except those for health and safety—until further notice. We have also reduced all nonessential personnel foot traffic and are taking steps to ensure proper, frequent sanitation practices in our facilities.

We will continue to evaluate our visitation policy daily as this situation evolves. In the meantime, we are encouraging consumers to take full advantage of telephone and video chat services, which will soon be available at all sites.

There’s no getting around it: these are challenging times. But our dedicated staff is working tirelessly to boost morale and maintain an upbeat, positive environment for your loved ones. Recently, we purchased a variety of recreational items and games for our residential program sites, which has resulted in a lot of encouraging feedback. Another way we are keeping the consumers occupied and engaged is through activities such as arts and crafts.

Please know that we are in this together, and that our staff is here to guide you and your loved ones through these trying times. Our organization will continue to closely monitor the COVID-19 pandemic and inform you of any updates in the weeks ahead.

Thank you for trusting SERV. Stay safe.

Sincerely,

ReginaWiddowsSignature

Regina Widdows

President and CEO 

COVID-19 Response Letter, March 16

Dear SERV family members and loved ones, 

I am writing to provide you with an update regarding our response to the COVID-19 outbreak. We have been closely monitoring the situation and are in contact with State and Federal agencies. 

All of our residential programs will remain open. However, effective immediately, we have discontinued all community outings for consumers—except those for health and safety. 

SERV is also restricting all visitors to our residential program sites. We recognize that this will be very hard on the consumers and their families. We are working to provide “virtual visit” capability in all homes and will continue to evaluate our visitation policy each day. 

Effective March 17, 2020, the following SERV Behavioral Health System day programs will be temporarily closed until further notice: 

SERV Centers of New Jersey: 

Clifton Behavioral Healthcare

Adapt Partial Daycare Mercer County

Adapt Partial Daycare Hudson and Passaic Counties

SERV Achievement Centers of New Jersey: 

Mercer County Progressive Achievement Centers

Union County Progressive Achievement Centers 

Our first priority is to keep everyone safe and healthy. Thank you for your support as we navigate this global pandemic.  Please continue to visit our website (www.servbhs.org) for updates. 

Sincerely, 
 ReginaWiddowsSignature
Regina Widdows
President and CEO