Social distancing. Self-isolation. Shelter-In-Place. Safer-at-Home. These are the latest buzz words that have become a part of our vocabulary during the COVID-19 pandemic. The virus has changed how humans interact with each other. It’s also changed how we cope during traumatic events.
For those on the frontlines providing care, the stress and anxiety felt can be overwhelming. The feelings of helplessness, lack of resources, non-stop 24/7 emergency care and mounting numbers of patients on a daily—sometime hourly basis—can push even the strongest willed provider to the limit. Many want to give up. Walk out. Run and hide. It’s a common fight or flight reaction.
Those being treated by overburdened providers are also feeling higher levels of stress, anxiety and fear. They know the uncertainty that comes with the virus, the limited resources for treatment and the precautions everyone is making to ensure care is provided the best it can be.
All of these things play into the mental health of patients and providers.
May is National Mental Health Month and the U.S. government has placed an emphasis on the well-being of American’s mental health during this pandemic. Through it’s various agencies, departments and contractors, resources are available online to address emotional health during traumatic events.
As the Medicare Quality Improvement Organization, Qsource is assisting providers with COVID-19 by conducting in-depth discussions to address providers concerns, needs and questions. We’ve developed a weekly podcast highlighting policies, processes and regulations affected by COVID-19. And we are sharing various resources to address behavioral health conditions in both provider and patient settings.
The CDC has created a micro-site for stress and coping aimed that assisting patients, caregivers and healthcare providers. The site emphasizes that “coping with stress will make you, the people you care about and your community stronger.”
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has collected resources created by federal agencies and their partners to help healthcare providers, caregivers and the general population prepare for and manage the negative behavioral effects that can accompany a public health emergency. Specifically, the resources collected are for community leaders, educators, responders, older adults, children and agencies and organizations that address healthcare needs.
The American Hospital Association is providing resources on general COVID-19 precautions and updates, but also highlights managing anxiety and stress during COVID-19 and behavioral health assistance available.
Mental Health America is an organization that provides educational and promotional material for the annual National Mental Health Month observance. This year they’ve provided a toolkit that includes information about COVID-19 and its effects on mental health.
Everyone copes differently. We understand that. And we sincerely hope that during this difficult time the information we’ve shared will keep you safe and informed.