Minto Mental Health offers social check-in service for seniors

Town also thanks volunteers, encourages more physical distancing, stresses importance of address numbers on homes

MINTO – Minto Mental Health (MMH) is offering a social check-in service to seniors living in the community.

“We’re finding that many of our seniors may be feeling disconnected from the community,” MMH officials state.

“With the help of service clubs and volunteers in Minto, seniors can sign up to receive social support check-ins via telephone at random intervals throughout, and potentially beyond, the COVID-19 pandemic.”

For information or to register for the service seniors should contact Minto Mental Health coordinator Jessica Dettman via email at or call 226-622-1741.

During a weekly (Thursdays at 11am) Facebook Live address to the community on April 23, Minto Mayor George Bridge encouraged local residents who are able to volunteer to sign up and make the calls.

“I think it’s a great project and if you have time at home they’ll give you a list of people that you can call, “ said Bridge.

“It’s an opportunity to really help with our people that are shut in at this time.”

No water shut offs

During the interactive online update, CAO Derrick Thomson addressed residents’ concerns about water bills.

“I can assure you we have deferred late payments and interest to the end of June,” Thompson stated.

“And of course we will not be shutting people’s water off during this pandemic. So I just wanted everybody to know that.”

Distancing working

Both Bridge and Thomson said physical distancing efforts are working to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and they encouraged everyone to keep up the effort.

“Certainly from the standpoint of Wellington County we’ve had five (new) cases over the last 12 days so; our social distancing is working,” said Bridge.

However, he noted, the first case of the virus at a long-term care facility in Minto was reported on April 22.

“Unfortunately we’ve had one case at Royal Terrace (in Palmerston), it just was announced yesterday … So we certainly have the disease in the area. So keep that social distancing going,” Bridge stated.

“We’re starting to get the backside of the curve and the flattening is really working and this is not the time to give that up,” said Thompson.

“Your efforts are saving lives and you should never forget that. That’s a wonderful thing.”

Volunteer recognition

Bridge gave a shout out to local volunteers and expressed disappointment the town was unable to recognize them in the usual fashion during National Volunteer Week (April 19 to 25) this year.

In recent years, Minto has hosted a dinner attended by hundreds of volunteers and served by members of town council. However, the 2020 event was cancelled due to the pandemic.

“Normally the council loves to do this. This is one of our favourite things we do every year,” said Bridge of the dinner.

“On behalf of the council I would like to thank all the incredible volunteers here in Minto for everything you do for our community. You are truly the backbone of our community, I’ve said this many times.”

He added, “And we will be practicing our cooking skills for next year, or maybe later in the fall if we can do it.

“But certainly at this time, with this crisis going on our volunteers are so important and whatever you can do to volunteer and help … continue to do what you’ve been doing.”

House numbers save lives

Thomson said town officials have recently noted a number of Minto residences in urban areas don’t have house numbers displayed.

“I can’t tell you how important it is to have a house number on. If for any reason, God forbid, you would have to call a first responder it would make it difficult in the urban area to get to your house without a house number,” the CAO stated.

“Please makes sure your house number is well lit and that it’s accessible and you can see it from the road.”