Social services, such as mental health and addiction counseling, are in demand now more than ever, but coronavirus restrictions can make it difficult to access critical services. The Dayton Metro Library is responding to this community need by making space and technology available for clients to safely and privately connect with providers.
“We’re hearing from both agencies and clients that connecting right now is a challenge,” said Jodi Long, Associate Director of Montgomery County Alcohol, Drug Addiction and Mental Health Services (ADAMHS). “While tele-health is a good option for some, many people don’t have reliable internet access or a phone plan that allows them to take advantage of tele-health options. They may also lack the privacy they need to have meaningful conversations.”
Dayton Metro Library is dedicating a small room on the first floor of the Main Library, fully equipped with telephone connectivity and technology, so that clients can connect with service providers either by phone or laptop and webcam. Library staff will ensure that the space and equipment are sanitized and the computer is re-booted between appointments to comply with patient confidentiality.
Four organizations will begin scheduling appointments the week of October 6: Eastway Behavioral Health, OneFifteen, Goodwill Easter Seals, and Addiction Services of Public Health - Dayton & Montgomery County. Appointments must be scheduled directly with the providers.
“The health and safety restrictions we’re all dealing with have been a motivating force for creative solutions,” said Diane Farrell, DML’s Director of External Relations and Development. “We’re pleased to be able to leverage our partnership with ADAMHS in order to multiply the impact. The Library offers convenient and welcoming space as well as the necessary technology, our local mental health professionals provide the expertise. Everyone benefits.”
The program may be expanded to other agencies at more Library locations in the future.