With uncertainty and fear surrounding the COVID-19 crisis, those facing substance use or mental health challenges need support and stability now more than ever. The local nonprofit SouthLight remains open and is working to keep our community healthy, safe and connected with life-saving services.
The 50-year-old nonprofit has been a lifeline for those facing addiction or mental illness. SouthLight is still going strong and continues to serve about 1,000 clients a day. Their virtual doors are open; they are welcoming new clients and serving those in need through virtual calls, groups and telemedicine.
Chief Medical Officer Michael Lancaster, M.D., says that even during these challenging times, SouthLight remains committed to serving the community.
“We are finding innovative solutions to keep those recovering from mental health and substance use connected to services. We are continuing to provide the same high quality, compassionate and confidential services, but in a new way.”
Dr. Lancaster, who recently lost his own father to COVID-19, reminds everyone how critical it is to follow the guidelines of social distancing and recommendations by the CDC.
One thing that makes SouthLight unique is that they provide both mental health and substance use services.
Brittany Jones, MA, LCAS, CCS-I, is the program director of the Opioid Treatment Program and explains it this way: “SouthLight is more integrated in that we look at the whole person. SouthLight has so many different programs to offer various levels of support , including peer support, psychiatric services, medication management, intensive outpatient and residential services.”
Jones says, “We at Southlight want to let the recovery community know that although right now are trying times and there is uncertainty, we are here to support you any way that we can during this time.”
SouthLight’s team of dedicated counselors, providers and peers are on the front lines providing lifesaving services every day. Their criminal justice services, medication assisted treatment and residential services for women and children remain open. New client assessments are being done virtually.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, SouthLight’s Opioid Treatment Program is limiting the new patient admissions to high-risk populations only. Check the SouthLight website for updates.
In addition, SouthLight operates a judicial services program that includes DWI assessments, substance use assessments and a pretrial diversion program. SouthLight has adapted to the current situation by offering online classes. Details can be found on SouthLight’s website.
Now more than ever, SouthLight is well-positioned and is adapting to continue to meet people wherever they are in their recovery journey, improve their overall quality of life and provide tools not only survive, but thrive.
If you are seeking mental health or substance use services, or know someone who needs help, call 919-787-6131 ext 1431 between 8 a.m. and 2 p.m. to schedule an online assessment. Learn more about SouthLight’s services and COVID-19 response at www.southlight.org.