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Check In Chippewa County fights loneliness with calls

Those in Chippewa County experiencing loneliness, now have another way to connect with others. Check In Chippewa County was started during the Safer at Home order, issued by Gov. Tony Evers, in the spring.

Cheryl Scheidler, a volunteer coordinator with the Chippewa County COVID-19 Task Force, says the pilot for the program is based on needs public health saw with social isolation.

“We just wanted Chippewa County to know that no one should be left alone and we are all in this together,” said Scheidler.

Volunteers are connected with someone who requests a phone call, and they work out a time to chat and how often the calls will take place. The volunteer offers a friendly call during the week.

Scheidler says everything is confidential and volunteers sign a waiver. She says the task force follows up with the volunteer once a week, to see how many minutes they recorded and to check in to ensure there is not a crisis situation.

“Right now, what we have been seeing since March, is most people probably call one time a week, and are averaging about a half hour to 45 minutes on that call,” said Scheidler.

Scheidler says, with the way many things have changed and switched to a virtual setting, she feels it is important to re-energize the program.

“There is a way to stay connected,” said Scheidler.

Scheidler says the holiday season can be trying, as stress, anger and frustration, may overshadow more positive things. She says more people requesting a call are younger than those before, and are either working or going to school from home.

“Sometimes, just having someone else to listen and having that friendly interaction is very helpful,” said Scheidler.

Those interested in receiving a call, or volunteering, should contact Pauline Spiegel by calling 715-726-7816, or sending an email to [email protected]

“It’s a great opportunity for our community, right now, to take hold of this,” said Scheidler.

The program is not meant to serve as a crisis line. If someone is in crisis, call Northwest Connection’s 24/7 crisis line at 888-552-6642.

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