Goodbye 2020, Hello 2021

2020 was a year unlike any other we’ve had here at Tender Heart, and while we hope to have a better year in 2021, we are thankful for the lessons we learned in 2020. Our creativity was tested as we transitioned our groups to virtual, our services were expanded as we began providing one on one therapy and our team was strengthened as we worked through the ever-changing safety protocols. We came through 2020 as we started it: together. This year showed us our strength, our resiliency, our dedication to our group members and their mental health and we couldn’t be more proud to share the success with you.

Our annual holiday party looked a little different this year as we met online, but it was filled with happy tears, laughter and surprises like an Elf delivering a present and a Christmas tree delivering an award! We were happy to spend some time recognizing each other and are happy to announce those who earned awards: 

Employee of the Year:  Jes Bassett, Detroit East team 

Team of the Year:  Grand Blanc Team-  Shawn Richardson, Lisa Scott, Lindalee Stocks and Jess Knopp

“Golden Glue Gun Award”- Frankenmuth team-  Pam Schwartz, Shayna Irvine and Lindalee Stocks

When the pandemic began in March 2020, we were unsure how we were going to continue. We hoped it would last a few weeks at the most and soon realized it was going to be more long-term. This is when our leaders, Dawn and Ashley, went to work. They developed a virtual world for our group members, investing in tablets and training for our staff, worked to create new systems and processes and reached out to facilities that were on lockdown. 

We went from serving 0 people during the early stages of the pandemic, to seeing around 500 people a week with a mixture of in-person and virtual sessions. Our staff worked on sharing ideas and best practices, obtaining headphones so our hard-of-hearing group members could hear virtual sessions better and created beautiful projects and played plenty of games, all while providing mental health treatment to people who had been harshly impacted by the isolation caused by the pandemic. 

Number of clients seen each week broken down by team:
-Bay City: 134 

-Clarkson: 81
-Detroit: 65

-East: 41-Frankenmuth: 61
-Grand Blanc: 65

Our clients faced an insurmountable level of loss and isolation during the pandemic and our social workers used our mental health training to help them process their feelings and cope with their loss. Symptoms of dementia and other mental health diagnoses were observed at an increased level due to the isolation, and our social workers created meaningful, cognitive-stimulating activities that could help improve their levels of functioning. Clients were reminded they are not alone and they are cared for.

As we (happily) close the door on the year 2020, we are taking with us the knowledge we gained to create a better 2021. We hope you and your family are remaining safe, healthy, and happy.  We can’t wait to show you what we come up with next!