Coronavirus Resources

Gándara Center’s Essential Services Continue; Telehealth Available

In response to COVID-19 and the State of Emergency declared by Gov. Charlie Baker, we continue to provide the people we serve with the highest standards of service delivery. Our agency is taking precautionary measures and following best practices to uphold Gándara Center’s part in the public health responsibility to mitigate the spread of the virus.

This includes using Telehealth (phone/video) at our Outpatient Clinics as well as for our Children’s Behavioral Health, Care Coordination, Family Support  and Training, In-Home Behavioral, Therapeutic Mentoring and In-Home Therapy Services. We are also offering limited in-clinic services by appointment only and practicing social distancing at all our locations.

Gándara is committed to ensuring access to high-quality services, especially during a public health emergency.

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Domestic Violence During Coronavirus Lockdown

Domestic abuse has been rising during coronavirus lockdowns not only across America, but also around the world. Indeed, on April 5, the United Nations called for urgent action to combat the surge in domestic violence.

Domestic violence goes up whenever families spend more time together, such as the Christmas holiday season and during summer vacations. Because of this fact, Gándara Center managers who run the agency’s Intimate Partner Abuse Education Program anticipated this surge and acted quickly when lockdowns were first enacted to make sure our services were still offered to those who needed them.

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COVID-19 and Vaping

Health experts say that vaping can increase the risk of developing Coronavirus by compromising the respiratory system—and infections from the virus could be worse for vapers, according to Gándara Center, the host agency for the Hampden County Tobacco Free Partnership (TFCP).

“We all know that smoking is harmful to one’s lungs,” said TFCP Director Sara Moriarty. “As our lives are disrupted by the Coronavirus, this fact raises concerns about the damaging impact the illness may have on those who smoke or vape.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have previously warned about a life-threatening vaping illness called “E-cigarette or Vaping-Associated Lung Injury” (EVALI). In fact, some states, including Massachusetts, are even issuing specific health advisories on vaping and COVID-19. Cases of EVALI provide very real evidence that vaping can cause direct lung damage, and may put e-cigarette users into a “higher-risk category.”

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COVID-19 and Minorities

Black and Hispanic populations across the country—including Massachusetts—are disproportionately contracting COVID-19 and dying from it. This fact is drawing attention to the racial and socioeconomic disparities in health and health care in America.

But at the same time minorities are also getting hit with another long-established racial inequity: mental health treatment. Gándara Center, which specializes in minority mental health, is seeing a boom in the number of people it serves.

Indeed, COVID-19 presents a double jeopardy to minority communities as the pandemic takes not only a physical toll on them but also a psychological one. Almost half of Americans feel the Coronavirus crisis is harming their mental health, according to a poll by the Kaiser Family Foundation. That’s a particular danger during social distancing mandates, when isolation and anxiety are exacerbating people’s mental health problems.

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Gándara Subject Matter Experts Discuss Coronavirus Impact

Several Gándara Center subject experts have been featured in the media as the world—and our community—adjusts to the impact of the Coronavirus.

Gándara Center Outpatient Services Director Dr. Madeline Aviles-Hernandez was on The Latin Media Collective on April 24 discussing the impact of the COVID-19 crisis on the recovery of people who are dealing with substance use. VIEW THE INTERVIEW

On May 11, in The Republican’s weekly Spanish-language sister newspaper El Pueblo Latino, clinical therapist Rahiza Gallardo-Vásquez (pictured) authored a column containing tips for parents who want to help their young graduates cope with the loss of important life events—including proms, dances, and graduations—to cancellations due to the COVID-19 outbreak. READ THE COLUMN

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Coronavirus (COVID-19) Response / Respondiendo a el COVID-19

As the news around the Coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to unfold, we would like to communicate our commitment to ensure the health and safety of all employees and people we serve. Because this is a rapidly evolving situation, we will continue to monitor the updates from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), along with the Massachusetts Department of Health, in the coming weeks and months, and we will follow with further guidance and directions.

We will continue to provide the people we serve with the highest standards of service delivery. Our agency is taking precautionary measures and following best practices to uphold Gándara Center’s part in the public health responsibility to mitigate the spread of the virus.

Read more.

COVID-19 Education Session

This training focuses on the symptoms, transmission, and prevention of Coronavirus. You will learn the basics about the Coronavirus, its background, and how to best deal with the threat it poses to you, your family, and the community.

It’s extremely important for everyone to be aware of the risk and know how to protect yourself and stop the spread of germs.

The session takes about 20 minutes.

How to Protect Yourself

  • 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 with people who are sick, even inside your home. If possible, maintain 6 feet between the person who is sick and other household members.
  • Put distance between yourself and other people outside of your home.
  • You could spread COVID-19 to others even if you do not feel sick.
  • Everyone should wear a cloth face cover when they have to go out in public, for example to the grocery store or to pick up other necessities.

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