What a wonderful gesture that Ms. Turner and the Olds Rotary Club made in providing cards, gifts, and well wishes to many of the health-care workers throughout Olds. It does not go unappreciated I am sure.
I'm writing this letter today to acknowledge a sector of health-care workers in town who for the most part have gone unnoticed throughout this pandemic and were missed in this showing of support: my fellow colleagues at the Alberta Health Services Addiction and Mental Health Clinic.
These front-line employees have been working tirelessly since the onset of the pandemic, meeting people in person, online, via phone, whatever means necessary to remove barriers to access services.
This is being done with a huge increase in people accessing supports, a very noticeable decline in functioning, no addition of staff or funding, and with little appreciation.
Substance use concerns and mental health symptoms are on the rise due to pandemic restrictions, with no end in sight, there is often a long wait to get in to see a clinician due to low numbers of staff, which is not the fault of us on the frontlines.
I am proud to work alongside these dedicated people and help those that are struggling every day, over and above what is expected of us.
So, please join me in giving a shoutout to the Olds Community Addiction and Mental Health Clinic staff for the health care needs they are meeting in our town.
Editor's note: The organizers of the thank you packages to health-care workers confirm that packages were distributed to the Alberta Health Services Addiction and Mental Health Clinic.