Mental health supports for frontline nurses
First of all, THANK YOU to those of you who are on the front lines each and every day. Your efforts are heroic in the truest sense of the word.
As this pandemic unfolds, my heart breaks in a million different ways, not the least of which is because I cannot be on the front lines. Thanks to a hefty dose of chemo 9 years ago, I am immunocompromised which precludes me from being anywhere near a health care facility. Not being able to suit up and show up, side-by-side in the trenches is excruciating for me. So, I have been trying to figure out how I can be on the front lines, virtually.
In reading account after account of experiences, it occurred to me that there is very little direct peer-to-peer support for Nurses who are bombarded with grief on an unprecedented scale. Nurses are currently suffering from fear, sadness, physical exhaustion, and emotional strain. Nurses are caring for not only patients and colleagues, but also - somehow - themselves, and their families. As we know, death is happening on a massive scale. Further, there is rage resulting from the lack of PPE and anxiety from taking on new, unfamiliar clinical roles. The psychological distress and emotional tax are incalculable.
Among other initiatives, Governor Cuomo called in mental health professionals to set up a hotline for the general public, which is wonderful. There is nothing that I have been able to find for the caregivers.
I would love to develop a peer-to-peer hotline for Nurses. It wouldn’t be traditional counseling. Rather, it would be a lifeline, source of comfort and strength, to those on the front lines of the pandemic, those who are in harm’s way, day in and day out. To use a war analogy, I envision this hotline serving as a medic coming in to “patch up” those in the trenches and send them back into combat. This hotline would provide a virtual hug, pat on the back, and vote of confidence to help our colleagues on the front lines.
If this is of interest to anyone, please do let me know. If there is ANYTHING that I can do to help, I am ready and willing.
Thank you, again.