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A Sense of Belonging Matters to Health: South Georgian Bay Community Health Centre Offers Free Virtual Programs During the COVID-19 Pandemic

October 1, 2020

SGBCHC community programs help combat social isolation for people living in South Georgian Bay

Wasaga Beach, Ontario – October 1, 2020 – We know anecdotally that people are healthier when connected to social and community supports. According to a recent study by Angus Reid and Cardus, nearly a quarter of Canadians are very lonely and/or very isolated, which are strongly correlated with poorer health – and these numbers have surged since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. To help address the growing need for social connection and support, the South Georgian Bay Community Health Centre (SGBCHC) in Wasaga Beach is offering virtual community programs to clients and members of the community at no cost.

“From listening and working closely with our clients, we know that many people were facing social isolation before the pandemic began. Offering programs that are accessible to most people and checking in on clients, friends and loved ones who might be feeling particularly isolated, are important steps to support an inclusive community during this pandemic,” said Heather Klein Gebbinck, Executive Director at the SGBCHC. “The healthcare system is also an important doorway for people to access the social services and community supports that are essential to their wellbeing. By offering free, virtual
community programs, we’re hoping to help our community stay more connected and less socially isolated – something that is critically important for everyone during COVID-19.”

From September to December 2020, the SGBCHC is offering free online programs including an exercise maintenance program, fall prevention workshops, cooking classes, diabetes educations series, heart health management, a hobbies and crafts social group, self-management programs, mom and baby support group and mental health support services. Many clients have expressed that the programs are making them feel more socially connected and less isolated and lonely.

“The programs and services at the South Georgian Bay Community Health Centre have helped me in every aspect of my life – physically, mentally and socially. I’m so grateful for the programs they offer,” said Isabel Loucks, SGBCHC client.

To learn more about the South Georgian Bay Community Health Centre programs, please visit www.southgeorgianbaychc.ca, follow this link for our Fall Program Guide, or call 705-422-1888 to register. All programs are free and open to everyone.

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About the South Georgian Bay Community Health Centre

The South Georgian Bay Community Health Centre is a non-profit, community-governed, charitable organization that focuses on the health and wellbeing of individuals in the community. They provide everyone in the community with access to health care services, free community programs and community development. The SGBCHC is funded by the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, through the North Simcoe Muskoka Local Health Integration Network. For more information please visit www.southgeorgianbaychc.ca.

Media Contact:
Louise Picot
SGBCHC Communications
705-606-1549
louise@louisepicot.com

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