Counseling Resources For Health Care Workers During COVID-19

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, many health care workers have been working longer hours and more shifts that are stressful and physically demanding. This is affecting the well-being of the entire health care workforce. Many resources have been developed to support the well-being of health care workers, including a few counseling resources.

The Physician Support Line is a national, free and confidential support line service made up of volunteer psychiatrists who provide peer support for physicians. No appointment is necessary, and the line is open seven days a week from 8:00 a.m. to 1:00 a.m. ET. Call the national support line at 1-888-409-0141 or learn more about this resource here.

Physicians are not the only essential workers whose well-being has been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Hope4Healers is a free service that is providing counseling to all health care workers, childcare workers and first responders. The service is also providing counseling to the families of these essential workers. Licensed mental health professionals provide the counseling on a confidential basis and work with clients to identify solutions to the problems they face and competently manage the stress they are dealing with. Hope4Healers is a collaboration between the Department of Health and Human Services and The North Carolina Psychological Foundation.

A simple check-in with colleagues can also help reduce stress and remind us that we are not going through this alone. PeerRxMed is a peer-to-peer program for physicians and other health care workers that provides support, connection, resources and more to help combat burnout. The program is designed to help health care workers address and prevent burnout by using a buddy-system. Health care workers choose a buddy to go through the program with and PeerRx provides prompts and guidance for weekly, monthly and quarterly check-ins.

"Stress, anxiety and depression are on the rise right now," notes Laxmi Mehta, MD, FACC, chair of ACC's Board of Trustees Clinician Well-Being Task Force. "Resources developed by experts and dedicated to supporting the mental health of ACC members are especially critical during this time. ACC understands that a healthy workforce is important, for many reasons, including making you more equipped to care for your patients and communities."

For more well-being resources, visit the Clinician Well-Being Portal.

Keywords: COVID-19, Depression, Mental Health, severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2, Pandemics, Health Personnel, Physicians, Counseling, Anxiety, United States Dept. of Health and Human Services, Emergency Responders, Psychiatry


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