Mental Health & Wellness
Please see below for some resources targeted at healthcare provider mental health during times of crisis, guidance on how to talk to family and children about COVID-19, and tips for staying active during the COVID-19 Pandemic.
As perfusionists and all healthcare workers deal with the ever-changing dynamics of the COVID-19 crisis in the United States, many negative emotions circulate throughout the day. Fear, stress, anger, depression, uncertainty, and anxiety to name a few. This disease affects us on every level. It affects us at home and at work in many ways. With updates and protocols changing so quickly, it’s easy to get lost in a downward spiral. The COVID-19 Task Force wants to provide some resources to aid in dealing with how we are handling our mental health during this crisis. First and foremost, getting enough sleep and eating a healthy, well balanced diet is paramount in taking on each new day. Additionally, getting exercise and staying in communication with your loved ones will help tremendously. Keep conversations positive and discuss things with your family and loved ones that make you happy and create laughter. Lastly, it’s so important to check in with yourself at least daily. Whether it’s taking a couple of minutes to give yourself a mental pep talk or just taking a moment to get yourself mentally organized, you might find it an easy way to keep yourself sane during a time like this. I hope that these links provide information as well as some aid, and know that as a community, we are here for each other and you can always reach out to this Task Force and we will provide help where we can.
Online Mental Healthcare Providers
A number of online mental healthcare providers are offering free or reduced-cost services for front-line medical workers. Please see below for a list of providers and for more information.
Headspace offers everyday mindfulness and meditation resources for stress, anxiety, sleep, focus, fitness and more. Headspace is currently offering all US healthcare professionals who work in public health settings free access to Headspace Plus through 2020. Learn more here.
Talkspace is a convenient way to connect with a licensed therapist — all from the privacy of your device. Talkspace recently launched The Talkspace Coronavirus Resource Hub, which includes features, videos, and tips from licensed therapists and experts on how to cope with the stress and adjust to the new realities presented by COVID-19. Additionally, Talkspace is devoted to providing 2,000 free months of therapy for impacted doctors, nurses, and social workers. Learn more here.
Neurocore Brain Performance
Neurocore Brain Performance is offering free is offering free telehealth counseling to all first responders and medical professionals in the U.S. through May 1st, 2020. Learn more here.
For the Frontlines
For the frontlines is offering free 24/7 crisis counseling and support for healthcare workers dealing with anxiety, stress, fear, isolation or other difficult emotions experienced during the COVID-19 response. Learn more here.
Project Parachute offers pro bono teletherapy for COVID-19 front lines healthcare workers. Learn more here.
Talking to Your Kids & Family About COVID-19
In addition to taking care of patients on a daily basis, a huge part of our lives is centered on caring for our families at home. It makes it very difficult to be there for our families during this pandemic when we are exhausted and overloaded from work and/or self-quarantining at home to prevent infecting the ones we love. Having conversations and keeping the lines of communication open at home is very important. Since we have not experienced anything like this before, how do we structure conversations regarding what is happening in the outside world with the younger people in our families? We have pulled together some resources and links for you to use to help talk to your kids about COVID-19 so they feel a part of what’s happening which hopefully leads to less fear and trauma.
Staying Physically Fit during COVID-19
The American Heart Association recommends getting 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity per week. Exercise is important for mental health as well as physical health and maintaining a healthy immune system. Variety is key when staying on track with exercise as to avoid getting “burned out” doing the same routine day in and day out. Long walks, running, yoga, hiking, biking, lifting weights you have at home, dancing, and playing outside in the yard with your family are some great places to start. Even gardening, landscaping, washing your car, cleaning your house, and organizing the basement can be effective ways of getting exercise when many are experiencing extra “at home” time. For everyone still at work for the majority of the week, and looking for ways to get some exercise, walking the hospital campus or stair walks/climbs is a great way to get your heart rate up. It can also be beneficial to get out of the Operating Room or ICU and clear your head for 15- 30 minutes and get some fresh air. There are a multitude of online virtual workout portals that you can take advantage of, including many that have a free trial periods. Lastly, during this time of uncertainty for fitness/health instructors, paying for a private virtual trainer is a great way to help supplement their income.