A Parade of Love and Support for IOL’s Youngest Patients

IOL Car Parade
Print icon

A team of 20 staff members at the Institute of Living met in the parking lot May 15 and festooned their vehicles with balloons, streamers and messages of support for patients in their Child & Adolescent Day Program and Extended Day Program. A parade was in the works.

“Depression and anxiety are on the rise, but our kids don’t have to be socially isolated,” said Melissa Deasy, Program Manager. “We need to remind them of that. We have built strong therapeutic relationships with our youth. This parade is a celebration for our kids, to let them know we believe in them!”

The vehicles formed a caravan that would take them to the homes of 15 to 20 of their patients.

The parade was the brainchild of Vanity Smith, a program caseworker. Her daughter’s school organized a similar parade and Vanity thought it would be a great way to connect with, and celebrate, the children and teens in the IOL programs.

With horns honking and passengers yelling out the windows, they approached their first stop, where mom Ashley Rodriguez and her son, Nathan, were waiting. Nathan is a patient in the program and was thrilled to see the team.

“It’s been hard to be isolated,” said Ashley. “This lifted Nathan’s spirits. When we saw them coming, we were happy and cried tears of joy.”

Because of COVID-19, the program has been using telehealth for nearly two months to communicate with patients. The program manager, clinical supervisor, administrative assistant, clinicians, caseworkers and psychiatrists were excited to plan and participate in the parade, which provided them a lift, too.

The team has been working hard to maintain connections with their patients during the pandemic. Teams have delivered care packages to patients that include activities for siblings, too. There have been pizza deliveries to families, all designed to support patients and their loved ones during a very difficult time. The staff has also started parent support groups during the week, understanding that parents are struggling as well.

The parade was one more way to offer hope and a feeling of connectedness to patients, and by all accounts, the mission was a success.

“It meant a lot. It made us cry! It showed that you guys really care,” said an emotional Rodriguez, who had a special message for the team at IOL. “Thank you for helping my son to get better. I just want to say, ‘Thank you.’”

There are openings in all programs, including Intensive Outpatient Program, Extended Day Treatment and Outpatient Therapy. Call 860.545.7200 for more information.

The Hartford HealthCare Behavioral Health Network is now scheduling virtual-health visits for mental health and addiction services. Call your provider for details. New patients can schedule a virtual visit by calling 1.888.984.2408.

Need to see your doctor? New Patient? For more information about Hartford HealthCare virtual health visits, click here.

Click here to schedule a virtual visit with a Hartford HealthCare-GoHealth Urgent care doctor.

Stay with Hartford HealthCare for everything you need to know about the coronavirus threat. Click here for information updated daily.

Questions? Call our 24-hour hotline (860.972.8100 or, toll-free, 833.621.0600). 

 


What's New

Walk on the Beach

Is it Safe to Take a Summer Vacation, Even Fly?

Distancing, both physical and social, is the buzzword of the year and one Hartford HealthCare (HHC) experts want you to remember as the state reopens and you begin venturing out of your home this summer. The warmer months, when kids are traditionally of school, are a time when many people...

COVID and Pets

CDC’s COVID-19 Update Spares Pets, Downgrades Threat of Infected Surfaces

COVID-19 spreads more person-to-person than surface-to-person or animal-to-person, according to the latest update guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The person-to-person spread surprises no one, but the CDC has downgraded the risk of  touching a contaminated surface, then infecting yourself by touching your nose, eyes or mouth....


Windham paramedic program honors 25 years

Since its inception 25 years ago, the paramedic program at Windham Hospital has saved countless lives, built partnerships with 16 fire departments and served the 400-square-mile community around the hospital. In 1995, the town of Windham recognized the need for paramedic or advanced life support services in the Windham and...

Public Restroom

Is it Safe to Use a Public Bathroom During COVID-19?

As the country reopens, state by state, is there public trust in public restrooms? Put it this way: At last check, New York’s subway system had one bathroom per 53,000 riders. In Connecticut, public restrooms remain closed at most state parks. Elsewhere, will people change their hygiene habits when in...

COVID-19 Blood

Where to Get a COVID-19 Antibody Test, And Why

During the COVID-19 surge in Connecticut, diagnostic tests  performed with a nasal swab were critical in determining who had been infected with the coronavirus. Now, as the state’s economy reopens, a blood test is helping health professionals detect an immune response in people who were infected and also identify people were...

Depression

New: COVID-Related Behavioral Health Hotline

In any catastrophe, the medical needs must be tended first, followed by a wave of behavioral health issues that can last for months and years. The COVID-19 infection rate peaked in Connecticut at the end of April and now the Hartford HealthCare Behavioral Health Network (BHN) is preparing for increased demand...

Skin Cancer

If a Spot Looks Like This, it Could be Skin Cancer

The sun feels amazing on your face after a wet, dismal spring, but just a few moments of unprotected exposure can bring even more dismal consequences. During Skin Cancer Awareness Month, Dr. Girish Mohan, director of cosmetic and laser dermatology with Hartford HealthCare Dermatology, wants to remind people that protecting...