Released: 5/13/2020 9:55:30 AM
By Brandon Lewis
PUBLISHED 8:42 PM ET May. 12, 2020
As health care workers continue their efforts on the front lines of the COVID-19 crisis, more resources are becoming available to help keep them going in this fight.
"The feedback and the response that I’ve gotten from the employees I’ve spoken with that have used it has been overwhelmingly positive," says Dr. Chelsey McCabe, a psychologist at Oishei Children's Hospital.
Dr. McCabe is part of the COVID-19 Emotional Support Task Force, a team of clinical psychiatrists offering help to anyone working at Kaleida Health and other health care providers in the Great Lakes Health System. From 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. any day of the week, health care workers can now call into an emotional support hotline to speak with a psychiatrist.
"Most of the calls are from people that are either are struggling with sleep or stress response and not being able to shut the work mode off or worrying about exposing other people or their exposure themselves," Dr. McCabe says.
Employees will then be matched with a clinician who will offer sessions to delve deeper into what’s troubling them, all free of charge.
She says, "When you’re in a crisis situation, your stress response can be limited and you can have some deficits that talking to somebody else can really just help you be able to respond better."
If health care workers are not ready to make a phone call, they can also tune in to Kaleida Health’s mindful moment videos, which provide tips on issues like managing sleep and dealing with stress. Dr. McCabe expects resources like the hotline to be available even after the pandemic because the need for help is always there.
"A manager at one of the departments called our hotline just to say, ‘How can I support my staff during this time?’ Which I think was just an awesome thing to have happen. I think everybody knows how difficult this time is, and so that if we can come together and to support, so even just someone offering to call to say, ‘How can I best support my staff?’ I thought was pretty awesome," she says.
Information about the hotline has been forwarded over to employees within the Great Lakes Health System.