News and events News Hertfordshire Hub - A Virtual and Vital Service 30th July 2021 Author: Olivia Betts When Covid-19 hit in early 2020, the world was busy responding to a global pandemic with seemingly no end-date. The Living Room was no exception to this daunting and ever-changing catastrophe; the need to adapt our service and deliver life-saving treatment online became paramount. With a global emergency came enormous emotional strain on the nation. Mental health referrals increased (and continue to increase) exponentially. It is well documented that many services either temporarily or completely closed. Many others were forced to keep long waiting lists further restricting access to help. The Living Room adapted to this challenging time and created The Hertfordshire Hub, The Living Room’s fourth virtual treatment centre. The Hertfordshire Hub began as a response to a crisis, but in turn has become a well-loved and effective option for those seeking treatment for addiction. Moreover, it has come to reflect a dynamic and accessible way of delivering therapy. Going online for everything from GP appointments to ordering more toilet roll, has become both the norm, and in many cases the preferred option. The landscape of how we deliver therapy has changed forever and although online methods have been available for some time, it has taken a mental health crisis and global pandemic to ensure this way of engaging in treatment reaches its full potential. The benefit of accessing treatment at home felt very inclusive to our clients at the Hertfordshire Hub, many of whom have small children, are without transport, are working or are living with a disability. One Hertfordshire Hub client explained: “I can imagine how some might think that by being physically separated it could make therapy less effective, but I however, have not found that to be the case. On the contrary, I think it makes it more accessible, more intimate, and it feels more comforting to be able to do it from my own home. I’m able to share things about my addiction that I know I wouldn’t do if I was physically in the same space as the people listening to me. For me, that makes it more powerful. Being able to admit and talk about my inner most demons has helped enormously, and I have been able to do this because the virtual environment makes me feel safer.” We know this method of providing quality and in depth addiction treatment is working, the evidence can be seen in many Hub clients past and present since it’s opening in September 2020. One of our clients added that: “today, I have been sober exactly 200 days, and that has been down to this hub. I am happier, healthier and feel confident that I have my addiction under control. This virtual hub works. I am proof of that.” If you need support and you can't travel to one of our sites, our online Hub can still help! Call 0300 365 0304 to find out more today.