STATE WIDE–With new records for deaths, hospitalizations and numbers of people with coronavirus being set almost every day in Indiana, front line health care workers are being mentally stretched and strained. A new survey conducted by Mental Health America, indicates that those workers are affected by what they see, even though they’re professionals.
“Some of the reasons they are experiencing stress to the levels they are, some of the reasons they are experiencing anxiety and depression to the levels they are, is because they are experiencing sadness to a great extent,” said Paul Gionfriddo, president and CED of Mental Health America.
LISTEN: Paul Gionfriddo talks mental health and coronavirus.
He said people should make an effort to recognize the toll it takes to see people die every day, or to be on the virge of death.
Gionfriddo said you can help ease the strain.
“We’re still not paying attention to the advice the nurses are giving us, to the advice the doctors are giving us, to wear a mask,” he said. “You’re left with prayer because people are not taking care of themselves, which means that we’re not taking care of our front line health care workers, that we’re putting too much burden on them.”
Gionfriddo said it’s important that if you have a family member who is a front line health care worker that you take care of them by insisting they use their down time to recharge and rest, and not to continue dealing with COVID or other medical issues.
“Their employers also need to be making certain that people take advantage of the employee assistance program (for mental health),” he said.
He said the employers could also try to figure out how to give workers a break, where possible.
“We’ve got at least nine months of care giving to go. Even if we get the vaccine out there people are going to be getting sick for many months to come.”
Gionfriddo said that’s why health care workers should be trying to keep a healthy pace, so they don’t break before the next half of the pandemic is over.
You can find the survey on mental health at http://www.mhanational.goc/frontline