Letter to the General Public
Letter to the General Public, Clients, and Hoyleton Family and Friends,
During this time of uncertainty, it is clear that we will continue to serve our clients and our communities while maintaining a healthy workplace for our employees. While communication is very fluid and the local, state, and federal governments are communicating continually, Hoyleton wants to do the same with you, our clients, supporters, and families.
We will continue to support you as Hoyleton has in the past. Hoyleton was started 125 years ago because of the pandemic of the Cholera Outbreak, and we will continue services during this COVID-19 pandemic crisis. We know that these days everyone is feeling anxious and are unsure of how each day looks from our regular ‘normal,’ but we WILL succeed in supporting each of you to the best we can in the days and weeks to come.
We have identified several-staff that can work from home and still be able to support their clients. Our 24-hour residential sites will remain open. We will adhere to CDC Guidelines as we continue planning to provide service to our children and families.
What is Hoyleton doing:
- Avoiding close contact and keeping groups to 10 or less to accompany the tasks to serve you.
- We are instructing our staff to stay home if they are sick.
- We are continuing and increasing the cleaning and sanitizing of our offices and facilities.
- We are washing hands often.
- We are using tissues when sneezing and coughing.
- We are sanitizing flat surfaces in common areas.
- And we are practicing social distancing.
Over the next few days and weeks, we will be working to provide you multiple resources that will hopefully be tools for you to continue to support you and your families during this difficult time. We will be sharing information that families can get meals for their children, resources to help keep children occupied while at home, and support you when and where you need Hoyleton.
For our Foster Parents, please know we are continuing board payments as scheduled. Your Case Manager will be contacting you directly this week to help with immediate needs that you and your children may have.
For our donors, this is the time when we need you more than ever.
To our clients, while the delivery of our service might look different, we maintain our commitment to serving you and your family.
CDC Guidelines: (this is an active link to the CDC)
Take steps to protect yourself
Clean your hands often:
Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry.
Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
Avoid close contact:
Avoid close contact with people who are sick
Put distance between yourself and other people if COVID-19 is spreading in your community. This is especially important for people who are at higher risk of getting very sick.
Take steps to protect others
Stay home if you’re sick:
Stay home if you are sick, except to get medical care. Learn what to do if you are sick.
Cover coughs and sneezes:
Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze or use the inside of your elbow.
Throw used tissues in the trash.
Immediately wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not readily available, clean your hands with a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
Wear a facemask if you are sick:
If you are sick: You should wear a facemask when you are around other people (e.g., sharing a room or vehicle) and before you enter a healthcare provider’s office. If you are not able to wear a facemask (for example, because it causes trouble breathing), then you should do your best to cover your coughs and sneezes, and people who are caring for you should wear a facemask if they enter your room. Learn what to do if you are sick.
If you are NOT sick: You do not need to wear a facemask unless you are caring for someone who is sick (and they are not able to wear a facemask). Facemasks may be in short supply and they should be saved for caregivers.
Clean and disinfect:
Clean AND disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily. This includes tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets, and sinks.
If surfaces are dirty, clean them: Use detergent or soap and water prior to disinfection.
Now that the stress of finding the perfect Halloween costume for your kid is over, you can focus on spending quality time with your kiddos before the business of the Christmas season kicks off. Sometimes, it can be challenging to travel far with kiddos, so here are some fun (and inexpensive) fall activities you and your family can enjoy together!
Halloween Candy Exchange
Friday, November 1, 2019 | The Lode Indoor Wave Pool | 4 – 8 PM
Cost: FREE with registration and 1 pound of candy donated by each registrant
The purpose of this event is to help families be healthier this Halloween and trade their candy for a pass to The Lodge Indoor Wave Pool on November 1. Where does the candy go? To the USO of Missouri for our troops. This is an event that you will want to register for, because it may sell out!
Autumn Harvest Festival
Saturday, November 2, 2019 | Eckert’s | 10 AM – 4 PM
This is an event fun for all ages! Your family can enjoy apple picking, along with free activities and rides for your kids. No registration required.
Saturday, November 9, 2019 | Saint Louis Zoo | 9:30 AM
Cost: Tickets for Sensory Saturday and all Wild Wonder Outpost sessions are $2 per person for Zoo members and $3 per person for non-members. Children under one year are free.
Sensory Saturday sessions feature dimmer lighting, reduced sound and a sensory-break area with fidgets (self-regulation tools to help with focus, attention, calming, and active listening), pillows and other accommodations. Zoo staff members are experienced in working with children with special needs.
Free Family Night @ MADE
Friday, November 15, 2019 | The Magic House –on Delmar Boulevard | 5 – 8 PM
This is a night free of charge for you and your family to get together and enjoy some fun! The free admission is up to two adults and four of their children.
The Great Green Adventures
Saturday, November 16, 2019 | Missouri Botanical Garden | 10:30 – 11:30 AM or 1:30 – 2:30 PM
Cost: FREE for Garden members or $3 per child (with Garden Admission) for non-members
Great Green Adventures are drop-in activities that explore a special part of the Garden each month. You and your child will learn about plants, nature and green living through hands-on activities, journaling, stories, and games. This is an event that you do not have to pre-register for!
We hope you’re able to enjoy some fun fall activities with your family this year! While doing so, remember you are creating memories with your children that your family will cherish forever.
Tips for Safe Trick-or-Treating
One last house,
‘Trick or Treat”
~Rusty Fischer, Authour
Well, it this that time again, my friends. A time when the lights go dim, and the neighborhood witches, ghosts, and goblins set off in search of tricks-or-treats. That is correct, Halloween is upon us all! However, before you send your little candy monsters out into the wilds of your neighborhood, be sure to keep them safe with these tips…
Keep it Safe on the Streets...
- Halloween is a time to take in the sights, sounds, and wonders of the night, so pay attention and put away electronic devices.
- Keep heads up and focused on the street while walking. Be mindful of zombies and cute spiders when crossing the street. Remember to look both ways and no running across the street.
- Use sidewalks when possible. If not, walk facing traffic and keep to the left.
Witches are Cute, but…
- The screeching sounds from witches should be from joy and not pain. Remember to make sure your child is wearing a flame-retardant costume. With candle-lit jack-o-lanterns lighting their paths, let us make sure that no little witches are dropping and rolling in ditches.
- The students from Gryffindor will be out and about waving their magic wands. To keep all wizards safe, make sure that all costumes fit properly to prevent trips and falls.
- Masks are wonderful at transforming children into phantasmic characters; however, masks can become uncomfortable and obstruct your child’s vision. Consider using make-up to add flair.
- As the sun dips below the horizon, and the night descends, remember to make sure your little one is visible to others. Using reflective tape or wearing lighter colors will go a long way in helping others to see your sweet pumpkin.
Let’s Make Halloween Fun For All…
- Halloween should be a fun event for all in our communities, and with a few accommodations, Halloween can be enjoyed by all.
- For trick-or-treaters with physical limitations, consider moving your candy bowl down to the sidewalk as steps can be difficult for some individuals to climb.
- Being patient goes a long way when sharing Halloween with children with developmental delays. Allow children to process the moment. It might take some time for a child to respond. And be prepared to help a child choose their treat or place it in their bucket if necessary.
- Some homes may feature colored pumpkins, or you might notice a trick-or-treater carrying a colored pumpkin. Blue pumpkins are used to represent autism — teal pumpkins for children with food allergies.
- Having alternatives to candy is a great way to include all in the festivities. Consider stickers, wheat-free play-doh, coloring books, or other small items.
Halloween is a time to enjoy the fall evening with friends and neighbors. These useful tips will make the evening enjoyable for all. Have a ghostly good time and Happy Halloween from Hoyleton Youth and Family Services!
World Mental Health Day: You’re Not Alone
Mental health is oftentimes something that gets put on the back burner for many people. When we have a sore throat, we go to the doctor. When we feel a sinus infection coming on, we see a doctor. But why is it when we feel mentally drained, we do not see a therapist? Throughout time, there has been a negative stigma given to mental health. Portraying the idea that if someone reaches out for help, then they are weak. That is not the case. When an individual becomes cognizant of their mental state and can admit there are things they would like to work on to better themselves – that takes tremendous strength and self-awareness.
Today is World Mental Health Day, a day created in 1992 by the World Federation for Mental Health. This day was established in hopes to raise awareness around mental health issues that can be improved, and also create opportunities for mental health care opportunities worldwide. The stigma around mental health can be very damaging and cause an individual to not seek treatment out of fear of being judged. Here are three ways to help you navigate the stigma around mental health.
- You are not your illness. Often times, people may say “I’m bipolar” but instead, they should say “I have bipolar disorder.” This language may seem small, but it is important. Although it may seem scary and vulnerable, inform those around you about your illness. Don’t isolate yourself from those that care about you, because you are scared to tell them. They may be able to offer you more support than you expect.
- Get treatment. Treatment is created to help you live your everyday life with minimal disruptions from whatever it is you may be struggling with. Meeting with support groups can also be therapeutic. Knowing that you are not alone and connecting with others who share the same experiences can be beneficial.
- Speak up. Sometimes, it can feel scary opening up to people about mental illness. Or maybe you aren’t the one with a mental illness, but you have a family member or friend who does. Advocate for them. If you hear mental illnesses being portrayed in a theatrical and unrealistic manner, speak up! Stigma is created because of individuals being uneducated in certain topics and only hearing negative connotations with mental health.
Mental health does not have to be a topic that people are scared to talk about. By creating an open environment for people to learn without judgment, individuals can become educated on matters that may concern them or someone they know. If you think you could benefit from therapeutic services, please give us a call today at (618) 688-4727 and schedule an appointment with one of our licensed therapists.
For additional resources, Mental Health America provides a free online screening tool: https://screening.mhanational.org/screening-tools