What does it mean to be safe in a post-covid world? This is a question we have to ask ourselves collectively, as a society and treatment service, and individually, as people battling with an eating disorder.
The pandemic challenged so many aspects of our safety. Within days we were thrust into a place of uncertainty; many individuals faced financial concerns, employment concerns, not to mention very “real” anxieties and fears around accessing specialist support for mental health problems.
With lockdown ending, the world is gradually dipping its toe into “normal” waters. Feeling “safe” in these waters is so important from a psychological perspective. When our feelings of safety are threatened, we can turn to coping strategies and looking outside of ourselves as a means of coping.
Eating disorders are one such means of coping, and they often thrive in uncertain environments. It’s up to us as a treatment service to provide treatment that feels and is safe, that individuals and their families can trust and lean into.
We understand that some clients may be anxious about coming into face-to-face treatment, especially if they have never visited our London centre before. We want to reassure everyone that we have done everything we can to make Orri safe, for both our clients and our staff.
So, here’s how Orri will keep you and your family safe once we reopen on Monday 12th April:
Arrival and Pre-Screen App:
Before arriving at 14 Hallam Street, every team member, client and visitor will be asked to complete a COVID symptom checker on their phone. This, combined with temperature checks, PPE and social distancing, ensures a safe environment to work in
Adapting the Clinic Site:
We have introduced new, separate Sitting Rooms that clients are appointed to with new group formations. Screens have been placed in all sitting rooms, therapy rooms and workspaces. A sheep sticker has been placed on the floor where chairs need to be positioned. The sheep is named Oliver! We’ve ensured that the screens are as discreet as possible.
Programme and Schedule:
A full group and individual programme runs throughout the day, with increased cleaning to ensure the spaces everyone works in are kept safe. Movement-based therapeutic approaches (e.g. yoga, movement groups, mindfulness etc) run with socially distanced considerations in place, with our clinicians paying specific consideration to breath work and movement-based practices to mitigate infection risks.
All groups observe the socially distanced strategy following the Coronavirus policy. Group numbers are determined by the room the group is taking place in and social distancing is observed at all times. Each client has their own, named set of pens/pencils/stationary provided by Orri!
Food and Mealtimes:
We have introduced new procedures to avoid cross-infection and limiting movement around the building. In the Kitchen, the tables have been rearranged in the three dining areas. Each table has clear Perspex screens and service is the same as before, with EDA’s serving the clients.
We recognise that covid will still be very much on the radar once we reopen on the 12th April, however, we’ve done what we can to ensure covid doesn’t impact the experience of treatment and recovery at Orri.