AboutFace is the only Canadian charity supporting the facial difference community - for 35 years we have been providing programs and services to support people living with facial differences and family members.
From the onset of the pandemic, we have been fully dedicated to adapting programs and services to ensure they are accessible to as many people as possible. We have moved our programming to a virtual environment and expanded our psychosocial programs in support of the facial difference community. Community members are encountering specific challenges during this time, including concerns around their health conditions and treatments, mental health and wellness due to isolation, and high rates of under-employment and unemployment.
Our programs to support the facial difference community across Canada during the crisis include:
AboutFace Hangouts, which explore many creative activities like puzzle building, crafts, talent shows, and mini-golf in the living room along with AboutFace Time sessions to build resilience and coping skills. For kids with facial differences, surgeries may be postponed until after the crisis passes or until it is safe to have surgeries, kids are feeling anxious and scared, and feelings of isolation have increased. Hangouts are open to children and youth affected by facial differences and their siblings - they bring kids together in a safe space to learn, share, and build community.
Mindfulness Sessions have been launched for adult community members and adults. Mindfulness helps reduce anxiety, provides way to deal with stressful situations, and helps with improved mental health outcomes.
Adult Networking Calls, a long-time staple of AboutFace's work. We have seen an increase in adults attending the calls - the need to talk, share feelings, and build connections within the community is urgent at this time.
Connecting with others in the facial difference community and providing psychosocial support to those who already experience barriers has never been more critical than it is during this time of heightened social isolation.
Your donation to AboutFace will support our work as we address this difficult time - your donation will help us continue to provide our vital programs and services supporting the facial difference community.