We know that everyone at Telecare has been working diligently to engage & empower program members as we adapt to life in a pandemic situation.
At Cordilleras Mental Health Center in Redwood City, CA, staff have taken engagement to the next level and created an actual group to help residents and staff embrace mask-wearing in order to keep their community healthy. After just a few weeks of group meetings, dialogues, and diligent practice, residents are now dedicated to wearing their masks to keep the community safer. They’re also proud to be doing it!
Below, you’ll find the full description of this outstanding, creative, and healthful group!
What is Mask Wear & Care group?
Mask Wear & Care group is an opportunity for residents to learn how to wear and care for their cloth masks, troubleshoot mask problems, and talk about adjusting to this new way of life. In some groups, resident "supermodels" share their new, fabulous handmade masks and teach peers how to properly wear them. Residents also learn how to hand-wash and hang-dry their cloth masks and share their questions and thoughts.
What has been the response from residents?
Mask Wear & Care groups have had a resoundingly positive response from residents. Often, residents come to the groups with concerns or frustrations about their masks — their face feels hot, the mask fogs up their glasses, or their mask is dirty or isn't fitting right. Mask Wear & Care is a chance for residents to troubleshoot with staff to make wearing a mask more comfortable.
How has the group helped the program as a whole?
In these groups, staff also work to normalize the social and emotional challenges that sometimes come with wearing a mask. Some people may feel anxious in a mask, have a harder time communicating, or feel alienated by the "facelessness" of themselves and the people around them. Bringing these topics into the open has led to humorous and uplifting discussions about communication during a time of social distancing and face coverings. Staff and residents make silly faces under their masks and practice reading each other's eyes, tone of voice, and body language.