Written by: Dr. Amy Bissada
To the essential workers: Thank you for your service!
The following outlines the emotional stages that many frontline workers around the globe are going through:
- Bewilderment: Conflicting information.
- Shock: Realizing the scale and seriousness of the pandemic.
- Anger: Feeling betrayal. Not enough support or PPE.
- Anxiety: Fear of crisis.
- Demoralization. Lack of support. Losing patients daily.
- Desperation: Loss of hope. Cannot see the end. Depression.
- Acceptance: Facing reality.
- Hope: Seeing a light at the end of the tunnel. Physical and mental situation improves. Less exhaustion.
- Recovery: Restoring normal.
- Presumptive Aftermath. Recovery or long term impact (PTSD)
**Thank you Dr. Ben Pu for your contribution to Healthcare Peer Support including above outline
When faced with a lack of support, personal safety concerns, and the realities, we want you to know that it is NORMAL to go through these stages and not a sign of weakness!
Self-care Tools we Recommend:
- Stay connected: giving and receiving support from family, friends, and colleagues
- Self-check in: talk to a family member, friend, peer, trusted supervisor or professional
- Honor service: remind yourself (and others) of the important work you are doing
- Limit media exposure
- Drink enough water
- Healthy Eating
In many communities, the public has been rallying to show their support in any way they can through thoughtful acts of appreciation. I’m sure you’ve seen the videos of singing and clapping from rooftops to drive-by parades to boost morale. Side-walks are being decorated with thank you notes addressed to our healers. Others are sewing or donating masks. These expressions of gratitude can help to make you feel appreciated.
Here are some resources that you might find helpful:
- David Kessler’s Facebook Group on Finding Meaning in Grief and his website: David Kessler Grief Website
- Headspace: free for Healthcare Professionals for the rest of 2020
- Psychological First Aid – free from the VA
- UCLA Mindfulness App
- Yoga with Adriene
- Yoga Tribe Brooklyn – Free online classes
- Free Barre Fitness Classes
- Center for Mind Body Medicine Self Care Workshop
- Compassion Institute Free Drop In Classes
Resources for those with Children
- Bari Koral Yoga
- Center for Puppetry Arts Free Livestream
- Free On-line Karate
- Story Readings
- Common Sense Media Resources for Kids at Home
Lastly when you feel like these resources are not enough, there is professional support at the Ross Center.
While we all wish this was just a nightmare; we know it is reality. Our goal at The Ross Center is to provide mental health support with the goal of mitigating the severe impact to our social, psychological, and emotional well-being due to this pandemic. Unlike other healthcare disasters like 9/11, this one is more drawn out and unrelenting. As healthcare personnel, an unfair burden of this crisis has been placed on you.
You are not alone. We support you. Together, we can overcome. Thank you for your important work.