Healing House adjusts to coronavirus shutdown

Posted at 6:08 AM, Mar 26, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-26 07:38:48-04

LAFAYETTE — It is a place where children can go to finally feel whole again.

But, for now, the doors to Healing House are closed; this, as Acadiana stays home to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

"Our biggest concern is the social isolation of our families," Jenne Broussard, Healing House executive director, said. "Their world was already in chaos before COVID-19. Now that we are forced into physical distancing, we want our families to be able to connect with each other even if we can't physically be in the same room."

While kids cannot get to Healing House physically, staff have done what they can to bring activities to them virtually.

"We felt like by moving our support groups online that it would help our caregivers, teenagers, and young teens have a chance to connect with each other without physically being in the same location," Broussard said.

While this is not easy--navigating technology and figuring out what works and does not--Broussard said they are doing all they can to keep spirits high, even for those who are not able to connect virtually.

"We're making personal phone calls to check in with these families," Broussard said. "We've been surprised at just how much these phone calls have meant to them. To know that someone else is thinking of them, someone else is concerned about their well-being, and that there are people out here willing to help no matter how limited our capabilities are--just to know that someone else is thinking about them."

Broussard said it is easy to get caught up with our own lives and forget that someone else out there may be struggling. If we just take a step back, she said, and pick up that phone, sometimes that is all it takes.

Broussard also gave tips on how to stay physically and mentally healthy:

Focus on your body, brain, and heart.

What have you done for your body today? Did you exercise and eat well?

For you mental health, Broussard said you should take a break from everything. Limit media access and find a way to give your nervous system a break.

For your heart, Broussard urges you to have compassion for yourself and others. She also says you should validate the feelings of others around you.