Please be sure to not take in too much stressful material; click here if you need help relaxing.
Should you need support working through a loss, I offer my condolonces; in addition, related resources may be found on the Coping and Recovery page.
WIshing you health and peace of mind,
4) Current News
5) Ways to Help
The M.D. Anderson Cancer Center has no ties or relation
to Kalamazoo Hope or its founder
The Rush University Medical Center has no ties or relation
to Kalamazoo Hope or its founder
If available, telehealth provides the opportunity for one to interact with a healthcare provider (such as a counselor, psychiatrist, or physician) from a service location or home. This option may be covered by one's insurance; to learn more, please contact your insurance company, as well as your medical specialist, to see what options exist.
Telehealth: Technology meets health care (Mayo Clinic)
What are Telehealth and Telepsychology? (American Psychological Association)
Medicare-related links (please note: Medicare has made changes to its telehealth coverage in response to COVID-19.
Coding and Reimbursement (American Psychiatric Association)- Medicare billing codes for psychiatric services
Telehealth Insurance Coverage (Medicare)
Telehealth Services (American Psychological Assocation) - Medicare billing codes for counseling services
If you need support but are unable to connect with a service provider at this time, Support Services are listed on the Immediate Help page.
Prescriptions can be obtained by mail, depending on factors such as one's insurance provider or pharmacy; below are a few which allow one to have their medicine delivered or mailed straight to their home! For additional information, both for individuals and service providers, please read below, or contact your insurance company or pharmacy.
Sources for Prescriptions by Delivery/Mail
3) CVS Pharmacy
6) Kalamazoo Long Term Care Pharmacy - offers prescription delivery services to FACILITIES that provide ongoing care for individuals; for more information, please contact Beth at (269)-388-4850, x224
In relation to quarantine-related safety in Michigan, employment has been significantly impacted; Kalamazoo Hope's Employment and Finances Booklets will hopefully be able to aid in securing financial stability. The booklets are below, and are also available on KHOPE's Booklets and Directory page (along with other resource booklets), and contain information related to various areas, including obtaining benefits, working from home, prescription assistance, and tuition.
For information related to Economic Impact Payments (sometimes referred to as stimulus checks) please visit the website of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).
A sense of helplessness can greatly increase one's stress; it is hoped that these options will provide a way for one keep busy, regain a sense of control, provide support to others, and save lives!
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and related materials are desperately needed by health care workers at this time, including masks, gloves, and cleaning materials; please see the following for specifics.
Of note: scented cleaners may cause an allergic reaction with some individuals - please ask the organization you wish to donate to if they accept such items.
Reaching Out - Being involved in the local Kalamazoo County area can provide a life-changing service at this time. Some of it can be done on one's own from home, while others can be integrated into a weekly shopping tripping, or worked on online with others.
Being there (figuratively, if not literally) - with most people staying at home, things can get lonely; a great thing one can do for virtually nothing is to call, text, email, or otherwise contact individuals one knows, and just touch base with them for a little bit. A quick hi, asking about their day, sharing a funny meme, or going up against them in online gaming can provide a type of soothing comfort, recognition, and touch with humanity that can't be purchased.
Expressing appreciation - people who are at work right now have a significant likelihood of exposure; thanking them, whether it is in person, or simply by calling up a service you like (a local grocery store, a government office, or transportation service, for instance), and simply thanking them for their working is quite a lot, and lets individuals know that they are being thought of, and providing a reminder of how important they are.
Mix in donation shopping - while one is out on a run for supplies, perhaps something might be spotted that isn't needed, but could be invaluable to a local medical service (please see above), or could be provided to a distribution organization that is helping people stay supplied at this time. Some extra paper towels, food, or other items can make an amazing difference, especially for those who have difficulty getting around in general and/or have resource limits.
Showing Patience and Understanding - during this time, a significant and continuous amount of stress is present; trying to keep this in mind, and giving a bit more leeway, as well as showing more patience, can mean quite a lot (also important - be sure to do this with yourself!).
Work with others (safely!) - Various community groups have developed to help address issues that have arisen in relation to COVID-19 needs; one may have outlets that appeal to your interests and could use skills you possess.
2) The SWMI Protective Gear Project unites individuals in helping to make and distribute masks to those who need them.
3) Volunteer for COVID-19 Relief Efforts (Gryphon Place) - a listing of various volunteer opportunites.
Should one feel safe and comfortable doing such (as some individuals may react aggressively, even violently, cost a business income, or an employer may choose to retaliate against an employee), addressing situations where individuals and services choose to not follow or enforce legally required mask, distancing, and other safety protocols can have a tremendous impact on helping control the spread of COVID-19 in the Kalamazoo County area.
Something to keep in mind, however, is that there ARE some individuals who, for health reasons, genuinely cannot engage in some of these protocols and are are legally exempt. Moreover, many services do not have staff specifically for handling aggressive and violent individuals, and individuals intervening in such situations might put themselves not only at immediate risk, but in a situation where an aggressive individual (or individuals) knows where they work, and could return later, or wait until the person's workday ends.
(Please note: At the time of this writing, (11/9/2020) directives related to these matters are handled by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services; should further information be sought, they can be reached at (517)-241-3740). However, due to the fluidity of how COVID-19 is being handled, it is strongly recommended that both local, state, and national information be checked regularly).
a) let a person know their mask has slipped, or ask them to wear it around you/your family, or ask to respect a six-foot distance from you (someone may not have noticed it drop, forgotten to put in on when entering a building, or not realized how close they are to you).
b) contact a service supervisor to speak with the person
c) Regarding businesses who are not enforcing required mask protocols, the following steps can be taken:
- For stores that require a general business license (such as a retail store), one can contact local law enforcement (specifically, the general number, not 911). To obtain the general number for one's local law enforcement, one can dial 411.*
- For establishments which require a health license (such as restaurant or body art shop), one can contact the Kalamazoo County Health and Community Services Department at (269)-373-5200.*
d) this article touches on certain aspects such as HIPAA or certain Constitutional rights which individuals may invoke when asked to wear a mask.
e) for those working at a service, aggressive responses regarding COVID-19 health protocols can be concerning; if affordable, installing security cameras (or even fake ones) and mentioning/making it obvious that they are present can also have a significant impact on how an individual responds to such a discussion
f) if a service can afford such (and admittedly, this may not be an affordable option), Kalamazoo County has various security companies available.
g) regarding law enforcement and masks not being worn, how such situations are handled may vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction (Kalamazoo, Portage, etc.); however, if an individual is not wearing a mask, is asked to, and refuses, they can be considered trespassing and law enforcement can be contacted to address said matter.
For Individuals and Services:
h) reaching out to a service's district, regional, or main department/headquarters
i) contacting the Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Association (MIOSHA); this can be a source for various types of information, including protocols on how one can proceed if they are being expected to perform activities that put themself or others at risk of COVID-19.
j) visiting the Facebook group Kzoo Masks/No Masks (a private group; one must ask to join); one can report (either through a post, or anonymously through an Administrator/Moderator) the conditions of a local service in terms of mask-wearing (such as people wearing them and policies being upheld); the group will then pass on the information to the appropriate individual(s)/organizations(s).
Again, these actions can involve notable risk. However, addressing situation where a mask is not worn or related policies enforced is akin to reporting a wildfire, not inconveniencing someone; COVID-19 has an impact on an individual, community, national, and international level. Please do not feel shamed or that it is wrong for wanting to do something that save lives and keeps one's business and community functioning long-term.
One may tell themself (or others) to just mind their own business; however, COVID-19 affects people, directly or indirectly - someone not wearing a mask or enforcing other life-saving health protocols is your business, and it does involve you - the health of you, your family, friends, and the long-term safety and stability of your community.
It's understandable to feel pushed to your limits right now - but I think it's great that you're working to stay informed, involved, and care for yourself as best you can. How about some time for yourself, now? You could probably use a recharge, and here are some possibilities: