As a clinician with Community Mental Health and Addictions (CMHA) at the Halifax clinic on Young Street, Dr. Anna Richter works closely with caregivers to enable them to support their children. She helps families understand the mental health challenges their child is experiencing and together they determine the appropriate intervention that will help them move towards their mental health treatment goals.
For Richter the COVID-19 pandemic has presented not only challenges but opportunities.
“I think that the shift to a hybrid model of virtual and in-person care that was initiated by the pandemic has provided a great opportunity for exploring different methods of mental health service delivery,” says Richter. “I hope to continue to build competency and skills in providing therapy and mental health services virtually.”
According to Richter the success of delivering virtual care has had as much to do with those receiving it as those providing.
“I have been really impressed by families’ abilities to adapt to virtual care while also adapting to changes in so many areas of their life due to the pandemic,” says Richter. “I have had many experiences of clients and families showing patience and openness to this new method of care delivery and I have learned from them in the process. Seeing how resilient and adaptable children can be provides me with motivation in my work.”
Being able to deliver that care through the IWK has represented a homecoming for Richter.
“Nova Scotia is “home” for me, and so after being in St. John’s and Toronto for graduate school and an internship year, I was very much ready to come back to Halifax, she says. “The IWK stood out for many reasons. In particular, I was looking for a workplace where I could be a part of team, which was especially important to me as an early career clinician. The team I work with in CMHA is incredibly supportive.”
Richter also values the opportunities for professional growth and learning that are offered by the IWK.
“Recently, I participated in a 6-month training opportunity with the OCD-Specific Care Clinic,” she says. “The team was very welcoming and committed to supporting learners which I think is an integral process for developing strong clinicians and teams.”