The Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit wants to know more about your experiences, good and bad, during this pandemic and is asking residents to complete an online survey to learn what issues need to be addressed.
“We know the pandemic has been very difficult on all residents who have had their freedoms curtailed, their employment and pay cheques cut back, been unable to gather with friends and family, and in some cases have had to postpone visits to their healthcare providers or receive the treatment they need,” said Dr. Charles Gardner, Simcoe Muskoka’s medical officer of health.
“We need to hear from our residents so that we can identify where there are gaps or hardships that need to be addressed. That may mean adapting or improving services the health unit offers or advocating to political decision makers at all levels for changes that address the gaps.”
The survey, linked here, does not collect any identifying information from participants and privacy is maintained. It is directed to local residents who are 18 years of age and older.
Residents of Simcoe County and the District of Muskoka are encouraged to provide feedback on what they as individuals, families, and parents have had to deal with during the COVID-19 pandemic for the past eight months. Questions will ask about:
- Any changes in your income, mental and physical health
- The effect of the school closures on your family, children
- Any loss of food programs/services
- Any changes in behaviours you made while in indoor public spaces
- How you feel the health unit has responded to the pandemic
- If you avoided going to or experienced delays or cancellations in your healthcare service
- Any impacts on your children’s behaviours or mental health
- Any impacts on dealing with stress, your sense of belonging, alcohol use, smoking (cigs, vaping, marijuana), or non-medical use of prescription drugs
- Impact on your ability to get healthy food, or maintain your living arrangements.
“We’d like to hear from a wide range of people, those who have the financial security to get through this pandemic as well as those who are finding it hard to get along. The more we learn the more we can do to improve the services we offer,” noted Dr. Gardner.
“We will also share our findings with organizations who deal with some of the issues we uncover so that they can put plans in places to address the needs our residents have. We want to learn from this pandemic so we can be prepared to support our residents going forward.”
Municipal and community partner and service providers are all being asked to share the link to the survey and encourage their clients to have their say.
The survey results, along with the findings of the Mitigating Harms of Public Health Measures Situational Assessment completed earlier this year will provide valuable information on service improvements needed across the region to support residents.
More information about COVID-19 and a link to the survey can be found at www.smdhu.org.