The impact of the spreading COVID-19 is affecting our entire community. There is great concern for the health of medically vulnerable populations, but we are also aware of the impact of this virus on mental health and the financial stress people will experience due to being quarantined. The staff of the Institute for Therapy through the Arts are committed to supporting our clients and community partners through this crisis and are determining how to continue to serve our mission in the safest way possible.
ITA remains open for business
ITA clinics remain open for the time being, and therapists will continue to visit our community partner sites. We will continue to follow the most up-to-date guidelines published by the CDC and the IDPH as well as recommendations made by the City of Evanston and legal counsel. No one on our staff has been diagnosed with COVID-19, and to our knowledge none of our clients, no one working at our partner sites, nor any Evanston community member has been diagnosed. We will monitor the situation closely and will make determinations daily on how to best protect those we serve.
We will be strictly reinforcing our wellness policy for all employees and clients and have been implementing more rigorous cleaning procedures of offices, treatment spaces, and therapy supplies. Employees and guests in our Evanston clinic have been reminded of good hygiene practices, including frequent hand-washing. We ask that our clients remain home if they show any signs of illness, especially if they have a fever of over 100 degrees. We will be flexible with our 24-hour cancellation policy and will encourage families to stay home if they have any concern.
Our team is exploring options for providing remote therapy sessions in the event we need to close our clinics or clients become quarantined. Please know we are working to find creative solutions so that help is available during this stressful time. We also plan to schedule make-up sessions and programs whenever possible.
In order to practice social distancing and ensure the safety of our larger community, ITA’s annual Creative Arts Therapy Conference has been postponed to next year. We hope we can offer the same program at a later date, and hope by canceling this large event, we will do our part in flattening the curve of COVID-19.
I will continue to send updates as things evolve and our team and board of directors determine the best course of action. My recommendation for managing stress, especially if stuck at home, is to make art. Listen to music, get crafty, dance with Alexa, and play with your children. No matter the circumstances, the arts are always there and so is your creativity. They always have been and always will be.
ITA Executive Director